RBC Canadian Open

Get to know Oakdale, the home of the RBC Canadian Open in 2023 and 2026

Oakdale Golf Course
Oakdale Golf & Country Club

When Oakdale Golf and Country Club was announced last month as the venue for the 2023 and 2026 RBC Canadian Opens, there were two very disparate reactions among Canadian golfers.

From the few who knew of Oakdale or were fortunate enough to have played it, the reaction likely was: “What a great choice!”

From the vast majority of the others, the response might have been: “Where? Why?”

For the edification of the latter group, here’s why the first group was ecstatic.

Oakdale Golf and Country Club is located near the centre of the Greater Toronto Area and will celebrate its centennial in 2026, the year it plays host to its second Open. The club was formed by members of Toronto’s Jewish community and the original nine-hole course was designed by Stanley Thompson. An additional nine holes were built soon after and a third nine designed by Thompson’s protégé Robbie Robinson, also a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, opened in 1957.

Although it has never hosted an RBC Canadian Open or a CP Women’s Open, it has welcomed the Ontario Men’s Better Ball just about every year since 1959. It will also serve as the site for the final qualifier for next year’s RBC Canadian Open, scheduled for Toronto’s St. George’s Golf and Country Club.

“Aside from the obvious fact that it’s a great golf course with a spectacular clubhouse, it checked all the boxes as far as we [Golf Canada and the PGA TOUR] are concerned,” says Bryan Crawford, RBC Canadian Open Tournament Director.

“In addition to spectator access and admissions, we have to consider so many more components: the TV broadcast, media, catering, parking, hospitality, volunteers, accommodations … all that infrastructure.

“As host sites go, Oakdale is somewhat of a unicorn. It’s unique, the best of all worlds.”

Oakdale General Manager John Caven says while the members were “cautiously optimistic” about inviting the Open to Oakdale, that changed to excitement after a couple of meetings with Golf Canada where the pros, and cons, of our country’s only PGA TOUR event were discussed. The club first “raised its hand,” as Caven phrases it, in 2019 to be considered as a venue for its centennial year.

But, he emphasizes, there were many elements to the decision.

“It’s giving back in many ways. We see it as a privilege to host a Canadian Open. Of course, there is the factor of what it could do for our club but there is so much more it could do for our area, for Canadian golf. For that week, we are the focal point of golf around the world, really.”

When the club reached out to Golf Canada in 2019, it was in the midst of a multi-million-dollar restoration/renovation project under the guidance of Canadian course architect Ian Andrew. (For architecture buffs, the Thompson lineage continues with Andrew. He worked with Doug Carrick who started his career with Robinson. Carrick had done some work at Oakdale more than a decade before.)

Players and spectators will see a traditional tree-lined course that incorporates holes from all three nines to create a 7,460-yard layout for the Open. Visually, it will be reminiscent of recent Open venues such as Hamilton Golf and Country Club and St. George’s (also a Thompson design).

Andrew virtually toured the course, using drone flyovers, with representatives of Golf Canada and the PGA TOUR and will be tweaking some bunkers and tees to address the abilities of the world’s best players. During his project, his goal was to make the original 18 true to Thompson’s design and to rework the other holes to feel like a third Thompson nine.

His assessment of what will happen during the RBC Canadian Open at Oakdale?

“I believe the players will just try to hang on for the front nine where the greens are smaller and the fairways are tighter and then go low on the back which is shorter with bigger greens. In that way, it will be like the Masters used to play where it gets really exciting when they’re coming in on Sunday.”

He sees the closing hole creating some excitement with its risk-reward design.

“The final hole has some similarities with Hamilton’s finisher with a creek crossing the landing area and the approach played up to an elevated green. The biggest difference is the creek meanders, which most players can potentially try to shorten by playing up ‘Knudson’s Alley.’ The final green is the most contoured on the property and being in the wrong quadrant will be a tough two-putt. A big swing is a very distinct possibility on the last hole.”

Andrew’s mention of the late George Knudson reminds us that Knudson, an eight-time PGA TOUR winner, was a former club professional at Oakdale. Wilf Homeniuk, like Knudson a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, enjoyed a 30-year teaching tenure as an Oakdale pro. Not coincidentally, the three nines at Oakdale are named Thompson, Knudson and Homeniuk.

With all its Hall of Fame lustre, an impressive course and an outstanding facility in a perfect location, Oakdale Golf and Country Club is positioned to host two memorable editions of the RBC Canadian Open. And maybe more in the future?

PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club to host 2023 & 2026 RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club
(Oakdale Golf & Country Club)

TORONTO – Golf Canada and title sponsor RBC in partnership with the PGA TOUR have announced that Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto will join the celebrated host venue rotation for the RBC Canadian Open, with the Stanley Thompson classic confirmed to host Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship in 2023 and 2026.

A 27-hole facility quietly located near the centre of the Greater Toronto Area, Oakdale will challenge the stars of the PGA TOUR as a 7,460-yard composite championship routing that integrates elements from each of the course’s three nines (Thompson, Homenuik, Knudson). 

In 2018, the golf course underwent a major restoration under the guidance of Ian Andrew to bring consistency across the three nines. The facility is currently in the final stages of its multi-million-dollar renovation and revitalization project to the golf course and clubhouse. 

“Together with our partners at RBC and the PGA TOUR, I am extremely pleased that the membership of Oakdale Golf and Country Club has accepted our invitation to join us in hosting the 2023 and 2026 RBC Canadian Open,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “The property is ideally situated in the heart of the GTA and presents the competitive challenge and operational capacity to stage an incredible championship. This is a special moment in Canadian golf as a classic venue emerges to challenge the world’s best golfers and share its history on the global golfing stage.”

When it welcomes the first of two RBC Canadian Opens in 2023, Oakdale will become the 37th golf course in the 117-year history of the event (and only the seventh since 1977) to host Canada’s National Men’s Open Golf Championship. 

“RBC is proud to be title sponsor of the RBC Canadian Open and it is a special honour to see Oakdale Golf and Country Club take its place alongside the rotation of celebrated venues to host Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship,” said Matt McGlynn, Vice President, Brand Marketing, RBC. “The momentum behind this tournament continues to grow, and there is tremendous enthusiasm to introduce Canadian golf fans and the stars of the PGA TOUR including Team RBC to a great golf course and an exceptional tournament experience.” 

The 2026 RBC Canadian Open will take on additional significance as the championship will coincide with the celebration of Oakdale’s centennial anniversary.

“Oakdale is honoured to be hosting the RBC Canadian Open in 2023, as well as in 2026, a year in which we will celebrate our 100th anniversary,” said Mark Sadowski, President of Oakdale Golf & Country Club. ” We are proud to be opening our doors to the world’s best golfers so they can test themselves against our recently renovated composite golf course designed by Stanley Thompson and Robbie Robinson, two Canadian Golf Hall of Fame members. Working alongside Golf Canada, the PGA TOUR, and RBC, our membership is committed to delivering an incredible tournament experience, engaging the community surrounding the club, as well as welcoming Canada and the world to Oakdale!”

The golf club also holds a unique connection to the PGA TOUR as eight-time PGA TOUR winner George Knudson was a former Oakdale club professional. Fellow Canadian Golf Hall of Fame honoured member Wilf Homenuik has also enjoyed a 30-year teaching tenure as an Oakdale club professional. 

“We’re excited about partnering with RBC, Golf Canada and Oakdale Golf and Country Club for the RBC Canadian Open in 2023 and 2026,” said PGA TOUR President Tyler Dennis. “Oakdale is a hidden gem and players will greatly enjoy the challenge of the facility. And with its centralized location, it will prove to be a perfect venue for the RBC Canadian Open rotation and one that fans of Toronto and Canada will embrace.” 

Next June, Oakdale Golf and Country Club will also play host to the Monday Final Qualifier for the 2022 RBC Canadian Open, which will be contested at St. George’s Golf and Country Club with nearby Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility. 

OAKDALE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB – A CLASSIC EMERGES….

Oakdale Golf and Country Club is a traditional tree-lined classic parkland style course over tumbling land, quietly situated in a populated urban setting. Formed by members of Toronto’s Jewish community, the golf course was originally designed in 1926 by renowned course architect and Canadian Golf Hall of Fame honoured member Stanley Thompson. An additional nine holes were built soon after and a third nine holes opened in 1957 under the vision of Thompson’s protégé and fellow Canadian Golf Hall of Fame honoured member, Robbie Robinson. In 2018, the golf course underwent a major restoration under the guidance of Ian Andrew to bring consistency across the three nines. The facility is currently in the final stages of its multi-million-dollar renovation and revitalization project to the golf course and clubhouse. 

The Thompson and Homenuik nines make up the original 18 holes created by Stanley Thompson while the Knudson nine reflects the additional work of Robbie Robinson. Smallish greens dominate the Thompson-Homenuik 18, while slightly larger greens are found on the Robinson 9. The ninth hole on Knudson course will be the historic finishing hole for the championship.A practice facility will be built using two existing holes on the property (#1 and #6 on the Thompson nine) while the existing practice range is expected to host a number of event activations. The practice range will be constructed by Ian Andrew who similarly constructed the temporary practice facility at Islington Golf Club which will be part of the 2022 RBC Canadian Open hosted at nearby St. George’s Golf and Country Club.

PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

St George’s Golf and Country Club will host 2022 RBC Canadian Open

18th-Hole-St-Georges-Golf-&-Country-Club
18th Hole of St. George's Golf and Country Club

TORONTO – Golf Canada and title sponsor RBC have confirmed that the membership of St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto have strongly supported the hosting of the 2022 RBC Canadian Open, with nearby Islington Golf Club serving as the official practice facility for the tournament.

St. George’s and Islington re-committing their involvement for the 2022 RBC Canadian Open follows two years of cancellations due to international travel and government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 RBC Canadian Open was scheduled to be held June 7-13.

“I am so pleased that the membership of St. George’s Golf and Country Club as well as Islington Golf Club will join us in hosting the 2022 RBC Canadian Open,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “We are already looking forward to the return of the PGA TOUR  to Canada and so grateful that both clubs including their respective membership and our host volunteer committee continue to work towards the celebrated return of the RBC Canadian Open.”

“Together with our partners at RBC and the PGA TOUR, we welcome both clubs to be a part of what is sure to be a special moment in Canadian golf.”

“RBC is proud to be title sponsor of Canada’s National Open Championship, one of the oldest events on the PGA TOUR schedule with a strong history of celebrating the importance of golf to Canadians,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “We are looking forward to welcoming back defending champion Rory McIlroy, our Team RBC golfers, and inspiring the next generation of golf talent at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open.”

St. George’s Golf and Country Club has previously hosted the RBC Canadian Open on five occasions, dating as far back as 1933 and most recently in 2010.

“We are proud to continue along the path that we dedicated the club and our membership to for 2020,” said RBC Canadian Open Tournament Chair Mark Teskey. “With more than 200 volunteer members having devoted countless hours and many others lending their support in a meaningful way, we are excited to continue with those efforts to make the 111th RBC Canadian Open a great success.” 

“Islington Golf Club is very happy to be partnering with Golf Canada and St. George’s to deliver a fantastic experience for players, volunteers and Canadian golf fans at the RBC Canadian Open,” said Tournament Co-Chair Chris Tortorice. “We are very excited to welcome the PGA TOUR back to Toronto in 2022.” 

Part of the FedExCup Regular Season and conducted by Golf Canada for more than a century, the RBC Canadian Open provides an opportunity for Canada’s top talents to compete against the world’s best golfers while also creating a positive impact in the event’s host community. Established in 1904, Canada’s national open golf championship is the third-oldest national open golf championship worldwide next to the British Open and the U.S. Open. The RBC Canadian Open is proudly sponsored by RBC, Audi, Acushnet, Steam Whistle, Hilton, Levelwear, Sargent Farms, Coca-Cola and the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada. The RBC Canadian Open is proud to support the Golf Canada Foundation as the event’s official charity partner.

Media Release PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

2021 RBC Canadian Open cancelled due to ongoing COVID-19 challenges

RBC Canadian Open pin flag
Getty Images/ PGA TOUR

(more…)

RBC Canadian Open

Ian Leggatt named GM of St. George’s Golf & Country Club

Ian Leggatt St Georges

TORONTO, ON – St. George’s Golf and Country Club welcomes Ian Leggatt as General Manager effective November 2, 2020. Leggatt comes to St. George’s from nearby Summit Golf Club, where he held the General Manager position.

Ian brings a unique background to the position as a former PGA Touring Professional, and winner of the 2002 Tucson Open. He has spent the last eight years leading a successful operation at Summit Golf Club. He is a proven leader with an established reputation and track record of translating his vision and passion for golf into meaningful cultural changes.

“We are very excited to welcome Ian to St. George’s,” said John Ciardullo, Chair of the Board. “The Board of Directors and Search Committee was unanimous in selecting Ian among highly qualified candidates from Canada, the United States, and Europe. Ian’s golf-centric background and his real vision for delivering an exceptional Member experience are precisely the skills and talents that will position St. George’s for long-term success in Canada and will elevate the Club’s international reputation.”

“It is an honour to be the General Manager of St. George’s Golf and Country Club. The Club’s iconic standing in Canadian golf, along with its global presence, truly excites me,“ says Leggatt. “It is the cultural presence of the game that differentiates great clubs from good ones. I look forward to enhancing the culture of golf at St. George’s and delivering a world-class golf experience.”

Leggatt’s November start date proves timely with St. George’s poised to host the 111th RBC Canadian Open in 2021 after the event was postponed in 2020 due to the ongoing global pandemic.

St. George’s Golf and Country Club was designed by Stanley Thompson in 1929 and is currently ranked #23 in the world by Golf Digest and is the highest Canadian rated 5-Star Platinum Club. The classically designed course has played host to the Senior PGA Tour, LPGA Peter Jackson/Du Maurier Classic on five occasions, and the Canadian Open in 1933, 1949, 1960, 1968, and 2010.

RBC Canadian Open

Thanking fans and volunteers of the RBC Canadian Open 💙

The RBC Canadian Open would not be possible without our tremendous fans, volunteers and partners. On behalf of Team RBC and all who make the RBC Canadian Open possible, thank you!

Golf Canada and title sponsor RBC have confirmed that the membership of St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto has agreed to host the 2021 RBC Canadian Open, with nearby Islington Golf Club housing the official practice facility for the tournament. Read the full story here.

PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

St. George’s Golf and Country Club agrees to host 2021 RBC Canadian Open

(St. George's G&CC/ Brent Foster)

TORONTO – Golf Canada and title sponsor RBC have confirmed that the membership of St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto has agreed to host the 2021 RBC Canadian Open, with nearby Islington Golf Club housing the official practice facility for the tournament.

The two facilities were scheduled to host the 2020 RBC Canadian Open this week (June 8-14), prior to the event being cancelled because of international travel and government restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The 2021 RBC Canadian Open will be held June 7-13.

“Together with our partners at RBC and the PGA TOUR, we are very pleased with the overwhelming support by the members of St. George’s Golf and Country Club to host the RBC Canadian Open in 2021,” said Golf Canada CEO, Laurence Applebaum. “The cancelation of our 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic was disappointing and there is now a great enthusiasm as we pivot our full efforts alongside our partners and team of volunteers to making 2021 a great success. I want to thank the membership and the board of directors at both St. George’s and Islington for continuing in this journey towards what will be a truly special edition of the RBC Canadian Open.”

“We are thrilled to host the 2021 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “As one of the top five golf courses in Canada, and one of the top 30 in the world, St. George’s is not only an incredible golf course but a world-class venue. Building off of last year’s momentum, we look forward to working together with our partners at Golf Canada and the PGA TOUR to make next year’s event one to remember.”

St. George’s Golf and Country Club has previously hosted the RBC Canadian Open on five occasions, dating as far back as 1933 and most recently in 2010.

Part of the FedExCup and conducted by Golf Canada for more than a century, the RBC Canadian Open provides an opportunity for Canada’s top talents to compete against the world’s best golfers while also leaving a significant impact in the event’s host community.

 

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We’re pleased to announce the 2021 RBC Canadian Open will be held @stgeorgesgcc with @islingtongolfclub as the Official Practice Facility ⛳️

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The RBC Canadian Open is proud to support the Golf Canada Foundation as the event’s official charity partner. Established in 1904, Canada’s national open golf championship is the third-oldest national open golf championship worldwide next to the British Open and the U.S. Open. The RBC Canadian Open is proudly sponsored by RBC, Audi, Acushnet, Steam Whistle, Hilton, Levelwear, Coca-Cola and the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.

RBC Canadian Open

Reactions to the cancellation of the 2020 RBC Canadian Open

RBC Canadian Open
RBC Canadian Open (Marcus Oleniuk/ Golf Canada)

TORONTO – The 2020 RBC Canadian Open, one of the jewels of the country’s sports calendar, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PGA Tour announced the cancellation of the tournament on Thursday as part of its revamped 2020 schedule. The four-day competition was scheduled to begin June 11 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto.

Golf Canada and its partners are now in negotiations to use the same venue for the 2021 edition of Canada’s men’s golf championship.

“Overwhelming disappointment for our fans and disappointment for golf in Canada because the RBC Canadian Open has been such a celebration and such a high point for so many of us,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “We’ve been dealing with the scenarios and the prospect of this for some time but the obstacles were just so numerous and from so many directions.”

The Canadian Open, first contested in 1904, is the third-oldest continuously running tournament on the PGA Tour behind the British Open and the U.S. Open.

It’s the first time the tournament has been cancelled since 1944, when it missed a second straight year due to the Second World War. It was also scrapped from 1915-18 because of the First World War.

“We were set to celebrate our 125th anniversary for Golf Canada,” said Applebaum. “When you think about other reasons why it was cancelled, for the World Wars, it’s similar.

“Right now we’re under a federal quarantine act, and both a provincial and city state of emergency. It’s a global pandemic.”

 

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The @PGAtour has confirmed the @rbccanadianopen isn’t part of the schedule for 2020 and is officially cancelled. Hopefully things return to normal soon! 📷 7th tee, 2nd round of RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in 2017. #stayinside #staysafe #canadianopen

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The Canadian Open is the latest major annual late spring or summer sporting event in Canada to be wiped out or postponed because of COVID-19. The Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and the Queen’s Plate in Toronto will not run on their scheduled June dates, while the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament in Montreal, scheduled for August, will not be held in 2020.

The CP Women’s Open is still on the LPGA Tour schedule. It’s slated for Sept. 3-6 at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver.

Although the Canadian Open has been cancelled, the PGA Tour hopes to resume play this summer.

It laid out an ambitious plan to resume its season Thursday, starting at Colonial on June 11-14 in a televised event with no fans in attendance.

Under the PGA Tour’s new plan RBC, the Canadian Open’s title sponsor, would have its other event the RBC Heritage played without fans in late June.

 

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Our letter to Golf Canada, PGA Tour and RBC about the cancellation of the 2020 RBC Canadian Open. We are sad but we understand and hope that you can all come up with some ideas so that Canadian juniors dont miss out for a whole year. Please listen to our whole letter. 🙏🙏⛳⛳🇨🇦🇨🇦💪💪 @pgatour @thegolfcanada @rbc @stgeorgesgcc @rbccanadianopen @djohnsonpga @mattkuchargolf @graeme_mcdowell @palmerpga @webbsimpson @paultesori @brandtsnedeker @ahadwingolf @coreyconners @grahamdelaet @mgligicgolf @machughesgolf @nicktaylorgolf @rogersloan87 @adam_stanley1 @robgavarkovs

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“It is a bittersweet day for us as the sponsor of two tournaments. In a perfect world, both tournaments would be proceeding, ”said Mary DePaoli, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of RBC.

“We held out hope all the way, to the end, but the international travel restrictions, the quarantine measures that we’re all familiar with, and government mandates at so many levels were critical factors because we have to ensure the safety and the health of anyone participating in our tournaments.”

A cancellation seemed increasingly likely in recent weeks as the pandemic worsened. Three regional qualification tournaments set for mid-May were cancelled last month.

Also, the City of Toronto had cancelled its permits for all public gatherings up until June 30.

The edict didn’t apply to sporting events held on private property – like MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, the NBA’s Raptors and NHL’s Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena, or the Canadian Open itself at St. George’s in the city’s west end.

However, city co-operation would have been necessary for parking and transit. The city’s edict also cancelled a two-night concert series planned for tournament week as The Chainsmokers and Keith Urban were going to perform at nearby Richview Collegiate Institute.

Adam Hadwin at 2019 RBC Canadian Open

Although Golf Canada and RBC are already planning the 2021 Canadian Open, DePaoli says the fate of the concert series is still to be determined.

“We will make a decision on the inclusion of a concert series once we understand government mandates around physical distancing,” she said. “Our decision will start with what is permitted and what will society accept by way of gatherings.”

How this cancellation will affect the tournament’s long-term schedule is not yet known, although St. George’s was tentatively scheduled to host the Canadian Open again in 2024.

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Obviously extreme disappointment this morning over the cancellation of the RBC Canadian Open in June. This is always a highlight in my season I look forward to every summer. I love competing in front of my home crowd! On the bright side, we have another year of build up and prep to make the 2021 RBCCO an outstanding event in the PGA Tour schedule! #rbcco #rbc #pgatour #tsn #tsncanada #canada #toronto #golf

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Applebaum says he’s especially disappointed for the PGA Tour’s Canadian golfers who enjoy the added support of playing on home soil.

“Obviously it’s not an easy decision and there’s very valid reasons for things getting cancelled or postponed,” said golfer Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., before the Canadian Open was officially cancelled. “It’s an event that I’ve been looking forward to all year, really.

“It’s so much fun to play in front of the Canadian fans, the support’s incredible at the RBC Canadian Open.”

PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

2020 RBC Canadian Open cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

RBC Canadian Open trophy
(Bernard Brault/ Golf Canada)

 – Golf Canada and RBC will now pivot all efforts towards planning for a celebrated return of the RBC Canadian Open in 2021 – 

TORONTO – With continued public health concerns as well as international travel and government restrictions due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the PGA TOUR, in consultation with Golf Canada and RBC, has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 RBC Canadian Open.

The event was scheduled for June 8-14 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club with Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility. The cancellation of the 2020 RBC Canadian Open also includes the RBCxMusic Concert Series which was scheduled to take place June 12-13 at Richview Collegiate Institute, featuring headline performances by The Chainsmokers and Keith Urban.

“The RBC Canadian Open has always been a rallying point for Canadian golf and while we share in the crushing disappointment with our fans, players, volunteers and many event partners, our primary responsibility is the safety of our people and our communities,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “It is now our full intention to push forward together with RBC, the PGA TOUR, the City of Toronto and our host clubs with the goal to bring the 2021 RBC Canadian Open to St. George’s Golf and Country Club with Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility.”

“Our foremost consideration is the health and safety of everyone in our community, including the players, spectators, our staff and volunteers, the media and the thousands of supporters who contribute to the success of our event,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “The international travel restrictions, required quarantine measures and government mandates were critical factors that contributed to the decision to cancel our event this year. We have no doubt that the incredible momentum we’ve built together with our partners will make the 2021 RBC Canadian Open a world-class experience.”

Golf Canada and RBC would like to thank golf fans across the nation for their understanding and in particular, our  many corporate partners, ticket and hospitality purchasers, as well as the countless volunteers for their continued support through this unprecedented time.

Golf Canada, the PGA TOUR and RBC have continued to monitor the guidelines provided by federal, provincial and municipal government health authorities in order to prevent the spread of the virus within our communities. With this decision, Golf Canada and RBC will now turn their focus towards the 2021 RBC Canadian Open.

Dating back to its inception in 1904, the cancellation of the 2020 RBC Canadian Open marks only the seventh time that Canada’s National Open Championship has not been conducted, including wartime cancellations from 1915-18 as well as 1943-44.

All corporate hospitality buyers will be contacted by their Golf Canada sales representative over the coming days to plan forward for 2021 and individual ticket purchases made via Ticketmaster will be automatically refunded within the next 30 days. The same refund policy applies for RBC clients who purchased RBCxMusic Tickets.


For more information, visit www.rbccanadianopen.com.

From the Archives RBC Canadian Open

Doug Sanders, colourful RBC Canadian Open winner, dies

Doug Sanders
Doug Sanders (Golf Canada Archives)

Doug Sanders brought a flamboyance to golf fashion ahead of his time, a colourful character known as much for the 20 times he won on the PGA TOUR as the majors that got away.

Sanders died Sunday morning in Houston, the PGA Tour confirmed through a text from Sanders’ ex-wife, Scotty. He was 86.

Sanders was still an amateur when he won his first PGA Tour event in 1956 at the RBC Canadian Open in a playoff against Dow Finsterwald, and his best year was in 1961 when he won five times and finished third on the PGA Tour money list.

But he is best known for four runner-up finishes in the majors, the most memorable at St. Andrews in the 1970 British Open. He only needed par on the final hole of the Old Course to beat Jack Nicklaus, and Sanders was 3 feet away. He jabbed at the putt and missed it, and Nicklaus beat him the next day in a playoff.

“If I was a master of the English language, I don’t think I could find the adjectives to describe how I felt when I missed that short one,” Sanders said after the playoff, where Nicklaus beat him by one shot. “But that’s golf, and that’s the fascination of the game.”

Doug Sanders

Sanders also finished one shot behind Nicklaus in the 1966 British Open at Muirfield. He had a one-shot lead going into the final round of the 1961 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills and finished one behind Gene Littler, and he finished one shot behind Bob Rosburg in the 1959 PGA Championship at Minneapolis Golf Club.

The loss to Nicklaus took its place with other near-misses in golf, such as Scott Hoch at the 1989 Masters. Sanders once cited Walter Hagen saying no one ever remembers who finishes second.

“But they still ask me if I ever think about that putt I missed to win the 1970 Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I tell them sometimes it doesn’t cross my mind for a full five minutes.”

But there was never any mistaking Sanders, known as the “Peacock of the Fairways” for his Easter-egg collection of colours he wore on the golf course, even after he was done competing.

“The two most frequent questions on tour were, `What did Arnold Palmer shoot?’ and `What’s Doug Sanders wearing?”’ Sanders told Golf Digest in 2007.

Tommy Bolt once said of Sanders, “The man looks like a jukebox with feet.”

Also overlooked were his 20 victories on the PGA Tour, the last of which was the 1972 Kemper Open by one shot over Lee Trevino. He won at some of the bigger spots on tour, such as Colonial, the Western Open and Doral. When he won the RBC Canadian Open in 1956, it was 29 more years before another amateur – Scott Verplank – won on the PGA Tour.

Sanders played in one Ryder Cup, in 1967 in Houston, with Ben Hogan captain of what is regarded one of the best U.S. teams from that era of the matches.

He was born in Cedartown, Georgia, and played college golf at Florida.

Sanders stayed active after no longer competing, sponsoring the Doug Sanders Celebrity Classic for six years and a junior golf championship in Houston.