Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto has made a bid to host the RBC Canadian Open in 2022 and 2026.
The 2022 edition would mark the first time the private club has staged the national championship, and 2026 coincides with Oakdale’s 100th anniversary.
Club president Sam Winberg sent members a slick videotaped message to address speculation that Oakdale (above) is a future venue for the tournament.
“Those rumours are only partially true,” he said.
Winberg noted the club’s board has approved a bid for the Canadian Open and has spoken with tournament organizers at Golf Canada. But there are still a “number of steps” to be taken before Oakdale gets a green light.
A PGA Tour agronomist is expected to visit the property in April to determine if Oakdale’s turf, greens and bunkers meet the standards for the world’s best players. Members also would have to approve the bid in a vote at the club’s annual general meeting on April 26. Title sponsor Royal Bank of Canada also would have to sign off, likely in May.
If those hurdles are cleared, Oakdale would join the roster of classic Ontario clubs lined up to hold the Canadian Open. St. George’s in Toronto has hosting duties this year, with Rory McIlroy as defending champion, and in 2024, while Hamilton in Ancaster has 2023 covered. The venues for next year and 2025 remain unknown.
Oakdale was built on farmland, with the original 18 holes designed by Canadian icon Stanley Thompson, but Toronto has grown up around it and now it’s very much in an urban setting.
“I have seen few properties better adapted to the layout of an 18-hole golf course of championship calibre,” Thompson once wrote of the rolling property that’s in a valley along Black Creek.
Thompson protégé Robbie Robinson designed another nine holes, added in 1957. Architect Ian Andrew has restored the layouts recently, through such changes as removing trees to open vistas and overhauling bunkers.
In the statement to members, Winberg also noted that Oakdale will, at the least, get a taste of PGA Tour golf on June 8, when it holds the Monday qualifier for this year’s Canadian Open.
The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada is going where it’s never gone before. The developmental circuit has added events in Prince Edward Island and the United States to its 2020 schedule.
The Prince Edward Island Pro-Am, announced last week, is scheduled for late June at Dundarave Golf Course, which was designed by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, east of the province’s capital of Charlottetown.
Dundarave, opened in 1999, is no stranger to big events. It has staged the provincial amateur championship, and Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson once played an exhibition there.
The new CRMC Championship in Brainerd, Minn., has an August date. Minnesota native and major champion Tom Lehman has agreed to serve as honorary chairman of the inaugural event.
The PEI and Minnesota tournaments are part of the 13-event Mackenzie Tour schedule, a record number since the PGA Tour took over the circuit in 2013. The tour has existed in various guises since 1970 and held PEI and U.S. events before 2013, but these new events are the first in those locations under the PGA Tour’s watch.
Construction work has begun at Cabot Saint Lucia, the first international foray for the Nova Scotia-based Cabot Links empire.
The design team of Bill Coore and two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw were on site last week, guiding the crew that’s building their first Caribbean course. It is scheduled to open in December 2021.
Coore called the oceanside property “absolutely spectacular” and said the challenge for their team is to make the wildly undulating land suitable for golf. Seven holes are along the ocean.
In addition to the course, Cabot Saint Lucia is to have up to 350 homes ranging in price from $750,000 (U.S.) to $10 million (U.S.), a boutique hotel and other amenities on its 350-acre property.
Cabot Saint Lucia principal George Punoose would not reveal the total cost of the project but said ventures of this size typically range from $200 million to $300 million (U.S.). He said 23 of the first 42 housing lots available have been sold, and LPGA Tour legend Annika Sörenstam is among the early buyers.
David Morland IV had a golf game that was on fire. So was the land around him.
The veteran from Aurora, Ont., earned a spot in the PGA Tour Champions’ Hoag Classic last week by advancing from its most unusual Monday qualifier.
The event at Goose Creek Golf Club in Mira Loma, Calif., was cut short after a nearby wildfire escalated, shooting flames into the air. Billowing smoke threatened the course, prompting tournament officials to evacuate the players.
American Shaun Micheel, another qualifier, was among players who posted video and images of the inferno on social media.
All 48 players had completed at least half of their rounds so the qualifier was reduced from 18 holes to nine. Morland’s score of 2 under held up and he grabbed one of four Hoag spots available.
Morland has played 120 PGA Tour events in his career and won twice on the second-tier circuit now known as the Korn Ferry Tour. He turned 50 in April 2019 to become eligible for the PGA Tour Champions and made three starts last year, with his best finish on home soil at the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary.
Morland's inspired play continued once the tournament began. He carded 10 birdies on the way to a 61 for the first-round lead, and finished T7 overall.
Albin Choi’s record as a PGA Tour caddie is perfect but he has no plans to give up his playing career and carry a bag full-time.
Choi, a 27-year-old pro from Toronto and a former Canadian Amateur champion, filled in as Sungjae Im’s caddie at the Honda Classic in Florida two weekends ago. Im won by one stroke.
“One-for-one record,” Choi told the Canadian Press last week. “ … I should probably be retiring on that note as a caddie. Keep that streak.”
The victory for Im, from South Korea, had another Canadian connection. Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., played the final round with Im and finished in second place. Hughes is also a Canadian Amateur winner and has known Choi since their junior days.
Choi met Im when they played together on the Korn Ferry Tour. The Canadian speaks Korean, making for an easy match, and he’s had experience as a caddie, working at a Florida course while he recuperates from a wrist injury.
Despite their success together, Choi plans to return to his playing career once he’s healed. He turned pro in 2013, winning once on the Mackenzie Tour and spending several years on the Korn Ferry circuit.
He said Im’s victory serves as a lesson and inspiration.
“Just seeing what it takes to be a PGA Tour winner and being there inside the ropes, it was really good,” Choi told pgatour.com. “I haven’t felt that in a very long time.”