PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

PGA TOUR’s 2022-23 FedExCup Season Schedule

Photo Bernard Brault, Golf Canada Toronto, Quebec: Sunday June 12th, 2022 RBC CANADIAN OPEN St-George’s GCC Final Round Tony Finau Rory McIlroy Justin Thomas

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – The PGA TOUR today announced its 2022-23 FedExCup Season schedule of 47 tournaments, featuring 44 Regular Season events and three FedExCup Playoffs events, culminating with the crowning of the 2023 FedExCup champion at the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, August 21-27.

As announced on June 22, qualification criteria for the FedExCup Playoffs have been revised starting in 2023, with just 70 players earning a start in the first Playoffs event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, followed by 50 players advancing to the BMW Championship, with the TOUR Championship field remaining at 30 players.

Next season’s schedule includes record prize money and eight invitationals spread throughout with players competing for elevated purses ranging from $15 to $25 million. The bonus pools totaling $145 million include $75 million for the FedExCup, $20 million for the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 and $50 million for the Player Impact Program.

“We’ve heard from our fans and the overwhelming sentiment was that they wanted more consequences for both the FedExCup Regular Season and the Playoffs, and to further strengthen events that traditionally feature top players competing head-to-head,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We feel strongly we’ve accomplished all of these objectives and more, creating a cadence of compelling drama for every tournament throughout the season. Each week has its own identity and purpose, and we’re set up for an exciting 2022-23 campaign as we transition into a calendar season in 2024 that will include a number of new and innovative competitive aspects in the fall.”

The 70 players who qualify for the first Playoffs event will be fully exempt for the following season as the TOUR transitions to a calendar-year season beginning in 2024 with the core portion of the FedExCup contested from January to August. Following the core FedExCup season, official PGA TOUR events will be conducted in the fall, where all players with status for the 2022-23 FedExCup Season will be eligible to compete. Those outside of the top-70 will compete for FedExCup points in a compelling, consequential final stretch to secure status for 2024.

Following the fall events, the TOUR will introduce a series of international events that include the top-50 players from the final FedExCup Points list, the top performers in the fall and additional eligibility as part of a limited-field, no-cut format. Further details on the fall events and the global series are expected to be announced later this year.

Highlights for the 2022-23 PGA TOUR Season:

RBC serves as title sponsor for two events, the RBC Heritage (April 10-16), held the week after the Masters Tournament, and the RBC Canadian Open (June 5-11), to be played for the first time at Oakdale Golf & Country Club in Toronto, the week prior to the U.S. Open (June 12-18) in Los Angeles.


Taylor Pendrith finishes T2 for career-best finish at Rocket Mortgage Classic

DETROIT, MI - JULY 31: Taylor Pendrith of Canada plays the ninth green during the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 31, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

DETROIT – Tony Finau has changed the conversation about him in less than a calendar year.

Finau ran away with the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday at Detroit Golf Club to become the first player in three years to win consecutive PGA Tour events in the regular season. He closed with a 5-under 67 for a five-shot victory and a tournament-record 26-under 262 total.

It was his fourth career victory, and third title in 11-plus months. Finau began his stretch of success last August at The Northern Trust, where he had his first victory in five years and 142 PGA Tour starts.

“I’m proud of the way I’ve fought through adversity in my career,” said Finau, a Salt Lake City native with Tongan-Samoan heritage. “They say a winner is just a loser who kept trying, and that’s me.”

Finau ended a drought in Detroit, winning for the first time in six attempts when he had or shared the 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event.

And, he did it easily.

Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ontario (72), Patrick Cantlay (66) and rookie of the year front-runner Cameron Young (68) tied for a distant second.

“I wasn’t that close,” Young said. “Tony put on a show.”


Finau hit 66 of 72 greens in regulation, trailing the accuracy of just two players since 1980 in a PGA Tour 72-hole event. Peter Jacobsen hit 69 greens in regulation at Pebble Beach in 1995 and a year later, Willie Wood hit 67 at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

With Finau’s sixth birdie at No. 17 and a closing par, he broke Nate Lashley’s tournament record of 25 under set in 2019 during the inaugural PGA Tour event.

The PGA Tour will close the regular season at the Wyndham Championship, with the North Carolina event opening Thursday. Players on the bubble will have one last shot to finish in the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings to earn a spot in the playoffs and a full card next season.

Finau and Pendrith started Sunday tied after a third round that seemed like match play, and a potential Detroit duel turned into a dud.

Pendrith had his first lacklustre round of the tournament after he shared the first-round lead with Finau, led him by one shot after the second and matched his 21-under total through three rounds.

The 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie from Canada hit an errant tee shot on the second hole to the right in the rough behind tree branches – after being distracted by a fan running across the fairway – and pulled a 9-foot putt on the hole to lose the lead for good.

Cantlay, No. 4 in the world ranking, had his third straight round in the mid-60s after opening with a 70. Young bounced back from a first-round 71 to finish second for the fifth time.

“I’d be lying if I said it was easy to just watch other people win,” Young said. “Obviously, today Tony beat us all by a lot.”

Pendrith struggled in the final round just as he did the only other time he had a 54-hole lead. He led the Bermuda Championship last October by three shots before a 76 dropped him into fifth place, which was his best finish before his showing in the Motor City.

“It stings a little bit,” said Pendrith, who played in his third tournament after missing nearly four months with a broken rib.

Finau began to pull away from Pendrith with an 11-foot birdie putt at No. 4 and a tap-in for birdie at No. 7.

A par-saving, 11-foot putt at No. 9 was pivotal.

“When that lipped in, that gave me some momentum and then I was in control of the golf tournament,” Finau said.

He made a 21-foot putt for birdie at No. 10 for his third birdie. After his first bogey in the tournament at No. 11, Finau made a 31-foot putt with a break from right to left at No. 12.

Finau was the 3M Open winner last week in Minnesota, where he rallied from five strokes back to win by three. Brendon Todd was the last PGA Tour player to win two straight in the regular season, pulling off the feat in 2019.

“A week can change your life,” Finau said. “When you look at mine, two weeks have changed my life.”

CHIP SHOTS: Three B.C. golfers had respectable rounds Sunday but were never in contention. Adam Svensson of Surrey finished tied for 24th at 12 under, Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford finished tied for 37th at 10 under and Roger Sloan of Merritt tied for 49th at 8 under.

PGA TOUR Team Canada

Canada’s Pendrith stays T1 ahead of Rocket Mortgage Classic Final Round

DETROIT, MI - JULY 30: Taylor Pendrith of Canada walks off the 11th tee box during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

DETROIT – Canada’s Taylor Pendrith could be on pace for his first ever PGA Tour title.

The Richmond Hill, Ont., native shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to match American Tony Finau at 21-under 195 with a round left in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

A stroke ahead entering the round, Pendrith birdied four of the last five holes for a 66.

Pendrith was the second-round leader after setting the tournament 36-hole record at 15-under 129.

The 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie missed nearly four months this year with a broken rib.

Finau, the 3M Open winner last week in Minnesota, is trying to become the first to win consecutive regular-season tournaments in three years.

Rookie of the year front-runner Cameron Young (65) was four strokes back. He matched the Detroit Golf Club record with a 63 on Friday.

Stephan Jaeger was five shots back after a 65.

Patrick Cantlay, No. 4 in the world ranking, was six shots behind after a 66.

The duel in Detroit seemed like match play with Pendrith and Finau taking turns pulling and falling into ties and moving ahead.

Pendrith opened with six-foot birdie putt to take a two-shot lead. Finau pulled within a stroke on the next hole, making a 20-foot chip from the greenside rough for birdie.

“Stay hot, Tony!” a fan shouted.

Pendrith, who had his share of fans back home in Ontario, looked cool as calm as he bumped fists with two young boys as he walked to the third tee.

Finau pulled into the lead with a 15-foot putt at No. 3, then Pendrith pulled his three-foot putt to miss an opportunity to stay ahead.

Pendrith’s errant tee shot to the left on the par-5 631-yard fourth hole put him in the No. 6 greenside rough, leaving him behind several towering tees in his path to the green. He hit a shot 104 yards to the hole, an approach within 16 feet and made the putt to restore his one-stroke lead.

Pendrith took a two-stroke lead at No. 6, making a seven-foot putt that curled in the right side.

Finau equaled Pendrith at 18 under at the turn after making birdies at Nos. 7 and 8 while Pendrith missed a 1-foot putt and make bogey on the ninth hole.

Pendrith ended up behind a tree again at No. 13, forcing him to chip back onto the fairway and leading to a bogey that dropped him him into a second-place tie with Young.

Finau took a two-shot cushion with an eight-foot birdie putt at 14.

Pendrith, who won twice on PGA Tour Canada, bounced back from his second bogey with three straight birdies to pull back into a tie with two holes to play.

Finau went ahead at 17 with a birdie, and Pendrith tied it again with a birdie on the 54th hole.

If Finau can outlast the competition to win Sunday, he will be the first to win two straight regular-season events since since Brendon Todd in 2019.

PGA TOUR Team Canada

Taylor Pendrith takes 1 shot lead over Finau at Rocket Mortgage

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JULY 29: Taylor Pendrith of Canada follows his shot from the ninth tee during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 29, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Taylor Pendrith grew up getting breaks from golf, putting the clubs away each winter in Canada.

That may have helped him when he had to miss nearly four months of competition due to a painful injury earlier this year.

Pendrith shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Tony Finau into the weekend in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Pendrith and Finau shared the first-round lead at 8 under and will be in the final group Saturday, pairing a 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie with a 32-year-old veteran coming off his third career victory.

Pendrith is playing in his third tournament after being unable to swing a club for 12 weeks due to a broken rib, a break that reminded him of his youth.

“We have a long offseason in Canada, so I didn’t touch a club all winter basically growing up so I guess I’m kind of used to it in a way,” he said.

Pendrith said matter of factly that he can compete with the best when he’s healthy and has showed that so far at Detroit Golf Club.

No one, though, has been better than Finau lately.

The Salt Lake City native with Tongan-Samoan heritage is 32 under over his last 107 holes, including rallying from a five-shot deficit last Sunday in Minnesota to win the 3M Open by three shots.

Pendrith tried to pull away in the second round in Detroit, opening with four straight birdies and six in his first 10 holes. He had two birdies and a bogey over the final five holes to finish Friday alone in first.

Finau, meanwhile, started slow with only one birdie on the front nine before carding five birdies on the back. He has a shot be the first PGA Tour player to win two straight regular season tournaments since Brendon Todd in 2019.

“Anytime you win, you breed confidence,” Finau said. “I was just happy to carry that confidence from last week right into this week.”

Pendrith and Finau had a bit of a cushion.

Rookie Lee Hodges (66) was three shots back.

PGA Tour rookie of the year front-runner Cameron Young tied a Detroit Golf Club record with a 63 for a share of fourth place – five shots back – with Russell Henley (65) and Stewart Cink (66).

Rookie Sahith Theegala (67) was another shot back in a pack that includes defending FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, who bounced back from an opening-round 70 with a 65.

Davis Love III, the 58-year-old U.S. Presidents Cup captain, was in Detroit in part to play and more importantly to get to know players better on and off the course that may represent the country in September at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina.

Love missed the cut at 5-over 149, but made the most of an opportunity to have dinner with some President Cup candidates and to play two rounds with with Young and Will Zalatoris.

Young and Zalatoris, teammates at Wake Forest and close friends, may be paired together again in two months.

“If they make the team, they’re a natural,” Love said.

Zalatoris, No. 13 in the world ranking, perhaps felt pressure playing with Love because he barely made the cut. He had to birdie his 36th hole to get to 3 under, the cut line, with a pair of lackluster rounds.

If Young does not earn an automatic spot on the American team, he might be a captain’s pick.

“Cameron is trending up,” Love said. “Go back to Jordan Spieth. Nobody heard of him and next thing you know in one year he’s on the Presidents Cup team, and Cam’s headed that way, too. No one ever heard of him on the Korn Ferry and here he is, he almost won a major.”

Young had a runner-up finish at the British Open and at the PGA Championship, he missed a playoff by a shot. He has four second-place finishes, was third in two tournaments. And in Detroit, Young showed Love up close what he can do.

“I would hope that I made some kind of case,” he said.

PGA TOUR Team Canada

Taylor Pendrith tied for the lead after first round of Rocket Mortgage Classic

Taylor Pendrith
DETROIT, MI - JULY 28: Taylor Pendrith of Canada waves his ball on the ninth green during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 28, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) – Tony Finau sent an approach from 250 yards soaring over trees and onto the seventh green at Detroit Golf Club, going for the reward and ignoring the risk with a difficult shot.

The way he has been playing over the last week, it made a lot of sense.

Finau, coming off his third career victory on the PGA Tour, and Canadian Taylor Pendrith shared the first-round lead at 8-under 64 on Thursday in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The pivotal shot on Finau’s 16th hole, a 560-yard par 5, set up a two-putt from 43 feet for one of his eight birdies.

“I had to get all of it to get it to the hole and hit it right in the middle of the green,” he said.

The leaderboard was filled with players who took advantage of favorable scoring conditions with morning tee times. In the afternoon, the wind picked up and the scores did as well.

Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, Michael Thompson, Cameron Champ, Lee Hodges and Matt Wallace were two shots back.

Si Woo Kim and Kurt Kitayama, both ranked among the top 70 in the world, were in the pack at 67.

Finau, who rallied from a five-shot deficit with 11 holes left to win the 3M Open by three shots Sunday in Minnesota, opened with a birdie and had five birdies on his front nine.

After cooling off with four straight pars, Finau closed with his seventh and eighth birdies in a bogey-free round. He hit all 18 greens in regulation for the first time in 728 PGA Tour stroke-play rounds.

“Do the math, I missed 10 putts,” he said. “Obviously, 64?s a very good round, but this is a golf course where a lot of guys are going to make birdies.”

On the par-4 eighth hole, he made a 41-foot putt downhill with a slight break from right to left for another birdie and a three-shot lead.

“It was nice to just get a bonus birdie on 8 after a poor wedge shot, but that’s why we call our putter the equalizer,” Finau said.

Pendrith, a 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie, surged into a share of the lead with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch on his back nine.

Toward the end of his round, the relatively anonymous player in the world noticed the `h’ in his last name was missing on the leaderboard.

Alas, the 8 under next to his misspelled name was correct.

“That’s all that matters,” he said with a grin.

Pendrith, of Richmond Hill, Ont., is atop a leaderboard for the first time on the PGA Tour following an opening round. The Canadian did have the third-round lead by three shots last October at the Bermuda Championship before closing with a 76 and finishing a career-high fifth.

In March, he was 13th at the Players Championship and came away with a career-best $327,222 _ and a broken rib.

The injury prevented him from competing for nearly four months, leading to him being ranked No. 237. He has bounced back with ties for 11th and 13th at tournaments earlier this month.

“When I’m healthy, I can compete with the best,” Pendrith said.

Surrey, B.C., native Adam Svensson sits at 3 under, while Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., and Roger Sloan of Calgary, both finished the day at 2 under.

Fellow Canadians Nick Taylor and Mackenzie Hughes sit further down the standings at 1 under and 2 over par, respectively.

Nate Lashley, who won his first and only PGA Tour title in Detroit four years ago, shot a 68 after getting an anti-inflammatory shot in his right foot.

“I’m having surgery next week,” he said, adding he will need four to six weeks to recover.

Mark Hubbard was also four shots off the lead after a topsy-turvy round with four birdies, two bogeys and an ace on the par-3, 216-yard 11th hole.

Hubbard dropped his club and his head after hitting his tee shot.

“That’s embarrassing,” he said while the ball was in flight.

The ball landed on the front of the green and rolled toward the cup before going around it and dropping in.

“That’s probably going to end up being one of my favorite hole-in-ones,” said Hubbard, who has nine career aces.

The field includes five players in the top 20, doubling last week’s total in Minnesota, and Finau was the only one of them to fare well in the first round.

Defending FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, ranked No. 4 in the world, and 13th-ranked Will Zalatoris both 70. Cameron Young, ranked 19th, was another shot back and 20th-ranked Max Homa had a 72.


Svensson sits T2 at rain-delayed Barbasol Championship

Adam Svensson
GLENVIEW, ILLINOIS - MAY 29: Adam Svensson of Canada plays his tee shot from the second hole during the third round of the Evans Scholar Invitational at the Glen Club on May 29, 2021 in Glenview, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Adam Svensson had two eagles in a 10-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead Thursday in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship.

Playing through temperatures in the 90s at Keene Trace, the Canadian eagled the par-5 15th and eighth holes. The first eagle came after his lone bogey on No. 14, and the second – on a 31-foot putt – gave him the lead.

“I had a couple of top 25s the last few events and I’ve always had, not issues, but just kind of struggled a little with the putter,” said Svennson, whose best finish this season was a tie for seventh at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

“I’ve been working more on putting than I have ball-striking, usually it’s the other way around for me. The extra work and extra time spending with putting has helped my game even more than just hitting balls.”

Ricardo Gouveia of Portugal and Robin Roussel of France each shot 64.

The Barbasol Championship is the European tour’s first co-sanctioned event in the U.S. and features 50 players from the European tour among 156 competitors. The winner will get the final spot next week in the British Open at St. Andrews.

Gouveia is making his second PGA Tour start.

“It was a great round, really solid off the tee, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, holed some good putts,” said Gouveia, who overcame a back issue that forced him to withdraw from the pro-am Wednesday. “Just a very solid round.

Roussel eagled the par-5 11th in a bogey-free round that included six birdies.

Trey Mullinax was at 65 with Matti Schmid, Camilo Villegas, Max McGreevy, Michael Kim, David Skinns, Mark Hubbard and Bo Van Pelt.


Hadwin notches best Major result with T7 at U.S. Open

Adam Hadwin
Adam Hadwin plays his shot from the eighth tee during the U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club on June 18, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

BROOKLINE, MA. – Adam Hadwin achieved his best Major result on Sunday, coming in at T7 – just five shots back of champion Matt Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick of England is a champion again at The Country Club – A U.S. Amateur champion in 2013. The U.S. Open champion Sunday.

In a three-way battle at Brookline that came down to the wire, Fitzpatrick seized control with a great break and an even better shot on the 15th hole for a two-shot swing. He was just as clutch from a fairway bunker on the 18th that set up par for a 2-under 68.

Victory was not secure until Will Zalatoris, who showed amazing fight back from every mistake, dropped to his knees when his 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th just slid by the left side of the cup. Zalatoris, who closed with a 69, was a runner-up in the second straight major.

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler never recovered from back-to-back bogeys to start the back nine that cost him the lead. He had a 25-foot birdie chance on the 18th that just missed and left him one behind with a 67.

Along with the $3.15 million in prize money, Fitzpatrick had that gold Jack Nicklaus medal draped around his neck, which was only fitting.

Fitzpatrick is the second man to win a U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open on the same course, joining Nicklaus, who turned the trick at Pebble Beach. Juli Inkster won the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open at Prairie Dunes.

Fitzpatrick, who briefly played at Northwestern before turning pro, won for the eighth time worldwide, and this was his first in America – at least a tournament everyone knows about. He won the member-member at The Bear’s Club in Florida at the start of the year, the course Nicklaus built.

Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris were tied going to the 15th when the Englishman hit his tee shot so far right that it went into the gallery and found a decent lie on grass that was dead and trampled. Zalatoris missed by only a few yards and was buried in deep grass.

He hit 5-iron from 220 yards to 18 feet below the hole. Zalatoris went into the front bunker, blasted out to 25 feet and made bogey. Fitzpatrick took a two-shot lead when his birdie putt went into the cup with such perfect pace it didn’t even touch the pin he leaves in the cup.

Zalatoris again bounced back, taking on a tough pin at the par-3 16th to 7 feet for birdie to cut the lead to one shot. Both missed 12-foot birdie chances on the 17th, and then Fitzpatrick missed a fairway at the wrong time, pulling it left into a bunker with a steep patch of rough right in front of him.

It looked like a playoff was eminent – the previous three U.S. Opens at Brookline were all decided by a playoff _ and then Fitzpatrick fearless hit a fade with a 9-iron that carried the gaping bunker in front of the green and settled 18 feet away.

He narrowly missed and could only watch as Zalatoris missed his last chance.

Fitzpatrick finished at 6-under 134.

The 27-year-old Fitzpatrick, the first Englishman since Justin Rose in 2013 to win the U.S. Open, felt his time was coming. He is meticulous in charting his shots and keeps a record of all of them to identify what needs work. And he emphasized speed in his swing over the last two years, giving him the length and the belief to compete with anyone.

That didn’t make Sunday any easier, a three-man race from the start when Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy fell back and never rejoined the mix.

Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris, who shared the 54-hole lead, each had a two-shot lead at one point.

Zalatoris, who lost in a playoff to Justin Thomas in the PGA Championship last month, recovered from two early bogeys. They were tied when Zalatoris made an 18-foot birdie putt on the short par-3 11th, and Fitzpatrick three-putted for bogey from the same range.

The 25-year-old from Dallas suddenly had a two-shot lead. He also couldn’t keep the ball in the fairway, and it cost him with a dropped shot on No. 12. And then came another big turning point, with Fitzpatrick holing a 50-foot birdie putt across the 13th green. Zalatoris did well to make his 15-footer for par and they headed for the tense conclusion.

Scheffler was still hanging around in his bid for a second major this year, but everyone else became a distant memory. Hideki Matsuyama had the low round of the week at 65, but he finished at 3-under 277, and that was never going to be good enough.

In the end, it was Fitzpatrick sharing hugs with his family on the green, including younger brother Alex, who caddied for him in the U.S. Amateur and recently turned pro.

And there was his caddie, Billy Foster, one of the most popular, long-serving loopers in Europe who had never been on the bag for a major until Sunday.

Mackenzie Hughes of Hamilton, Ont., finished tied for 24th at 4-over.

Full leaderboard here.


Hadwin leads US Open as McIlroy makes statement with clubs

Adam Hadwin
BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 16: Adam Hadwin of Canada reacts on the ninth green during round one of the 122nd U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club on June 16, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) – Adam Hadwin wasn’t officially in the U.S. Open until eight days ago. He walked off The Country Club on Thursday with his best score ever in a major for a one-shot lead.

With the focus finally shifting away from Saudi-backed rival league, who’s going and who’s staying on the PGA Tour, the Canadian opened with a 4-under 66 on a breezy but not overly punishing day at Brookline.

The lingering thoughts of the rival league came from Rory McIlroy, not from anything he said but with the golf he played.

It was another bold statement as McIlroy didn’t make a bogey until his final hole – his brief fit of anger revealed as much desire as frustration – for a 67. That left him in the large chasing pack with four players who had to go through 36-hole qualifying.

Callum Tarren of England, David Lingmerth of Sweden, MJ Daffue of South Africa and Joel Dahmen also were at 67.

At the opposite end was Phil Mickelson, who celebrated his 52nd birthday – on the golf course, anyway – with a four-putt double bogey on his way to a 78.

Hadwin, from Abbotsford, B.C., ran off three straight birdies to finish the front nine in 31, and he only dropped one shot on the back nine for his 66. His previous low score in a major was 68 on three occasions, most recently the first round of the 2020 PGA Championship at Harding Park.

BROOKLINE, MA – JUNE 16: Adam Hadwin of Canada smiles during a press conference following the first round of the U.S. Open at The Country Club on June 16, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

McIlroy has become a leading voice on the PGA Tour over the last few years, particularly with his rebuke of the Saudi-funded series that is disrupting golf. Thursday was a reminder he’s pretty good at his day job, too.

McIlroy made two straight birdies late in his round to become the first player to reach 4 under, only to miss the ninth green and make his only bogey.

At the moment, McIlroy isn’t concerned with his strong stance against LIV Golf.

It’s been eight years since I won a major,” he said. And I just want to get my hands on one again.”

Even with a good start, and coming off a victory last week in the Canadian Open, it doesn’t figure to be easy for McIlroy or anyone else. The Country Club might be as accommodating as it gets all week, with moderate wind and cloud cover keeping the sun from making greens crispy and firm.

And the best anyone could do was a 66.

The group at 68 included two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick, who won the U.S. Amateur at Brookline in 2013.

For McIlroy, it was his second straight major – and third time in his last four U.S. Opens – he opened with a score under par. There is confidence in his game for winning last week in Toronto, and there is passion rare for a Thursday unless the game is going badly.

He tried to drive the reachable par-4 fifth hole and caught an awkward lie in the thick collar above a bunker, forcing him to stand in the sand. He hit that into another bunker, and then twice slammed the club into the sand out of frustration. But he managed to save par.

You’re going to encounter things at a U.S. Open, whether they be lies or stuff like that, that you just don’t really encounter any other week,” he said.

It’s hard not to get frustrated because I’m walking up there going, `Just come back into the bunker.’ The thickest rough on the course is around the edges of the bunker. So I was sort of cursing the USGA whenever I was going up to the ball.”

And then from the ninth fairway, his approach sailed to the right and he flung his club. He couldn’t save par on that one and had to accept a 67 – not a bad start, and no apologies for his few outbursts of emotion.

“Almost to remind yourself sometimes how much it means to you,” he said.

There’s a lot on the table outside of golf, too, with 13 players at the U.S. Open who took part in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf last week, leading the PGA Tour to suspend those members.

McIlroy, the first to shut down talk of rival leagues in 2020, spoke passionately this week about building on the legacy handed down by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. For those taking the guaranteed money for 54-hole events, he said it felt like “the easy way out.”

But now it’s time for golf, and there a vibe of relief that focus could turn to a U.S. Open that first came to Brookline more than a century ago. Thursday was more about birdies and bogeys – mostly the latter in a U.S. Open – and a place in history.

No other major is more open – roughly half the 156-man field has to qualify – and it showed. Seven of the top 13 came through qualifiers, including Hadwin. He was first alternate out of the Dallas section and got in when Paul Casey withdrew because of an ailing back.

Dahmen debated whether to go a 36-hole qualifier 10 days ago in Ohio. The U.S. Open is hard and he had been beat up from travel and pedestrian results. Plus, it was supposed to rain. But he went anyway, and he qualified with one shot to spare.

Lingmerth was in the same qualifier and had to play 36 holes and then some because of a 5-for-1 playoff for the final spot. That went to Hayden Buckley – he was among those at 68 on Thursday – and Lingmerth was first alternate. He got in when Martin Kaymer withdrew.


World No. 30 Corey Conners leads Canadians into U.S. Open

Corey Conners
Photo Bernard Brault, Golf Canada Toronto, Quebec: Saturday June 11th, 2022 RBC CANADIAN OPEN St-George’s GCC 3rd Round Carlos Ortiz Corey Conners

Challenging rough, large crowds, and constant media attention made the RBC Canadian Open a perfect test run for this week’s U.S. Open. Especially for Canadian golfers playing in their national championship who had extra responsibilities like more interviews, pro-am events, and sponsor appearances.

Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., won the Rivermead Cup on Sunday as the lowest Canadian at the Canadian Open. He fired an 8-under 62 in the PGA Tour event’s fourth round to place sixth and earn the honour. He’s the top-ranked Canadian heading into the U.S. Open, the third major of the men’s golf season.

This year’s U.S. Open will be held at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., a historic course outside of Boston. The USGA, which organizes the event, likes having deep rough, undulating greens, and pinched fairways at the major.

“I feel like a lot of the things that I did here will serve me well next week at The Country Club,” said Conners on Sunday after finishing his final round at St. George’s Golf and Country Club. “The course was set up great this week and sort of major championship rough and needed to hit different types of shots to make sure you kept the ball in the short stuff.

“It was a great week this week and try and have some more fun next week.”

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His result at the RBC Canadian Open moved Conners up to 30th in the world golf rankings, a career high for the 30-year-old. It was his fourth top-10 finish this season, following a tie for fifth at the QBE Shootout (Dec. 12), third at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play (March 27), and a tie for sixth at the Masters (April 10).

Conners said he feels like he can carry his momentum from the Canadian Open into the major and get another positive result.

“I’ve learned over the last few years how to manage the energy, how to be ready to play and how to prepare for big championships,” said Conners, who has missed the cut in three other U.S. Open appearances.

“I’ve got a good plan heading in, try and stick to it and just have some fun. I think I’m still feeling pretty energized.”

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., as well as Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin, both from Abbotsford, B.C., also played in the Canadian Open and will tee off at the major on Thursday.

Hadwin drew into the field last Wednesday as he was preparing to play in the Canadian Open.

“I’ve been playing some good golf, so I just have to keep doing the things that I’m doing and stay positive and just keep working hard,” said Hadwin, who finished at St. George’s with a 1-under 69 to tie for 35th.

Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., is also playing in the U.S. Open after competing in the Korn Ferry Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am last week. The 34-year-old Silverman will be making his major debut on Thursday.

“I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket for one tournament,” said Silverman. “But this is my first major championship. It’s an opportunity to play in a tournament I haven’t played before. All the top players in the world are going to be there, and I’m super excited for it.”

PGA TOUR RBC Canadian Open

McIlroy goes back-to-back, defends RBC Canadian Open title

ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO - JUNE 12: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy after winning the RBC Canadian Open at St. George's Golf and Country Club on June 12, 2022 in Etobicoke, Ontario. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

TORONTO, Ont. – Rory McIlroy’s bid to defend his RBC Canadian Open title is complete.

McIlroy fired an eight-under par 62 in the final round of Sunday’s National Open at St. George’s Golf & Country Club to win his second consecutive RBC Canadian Open, three years and four days after he hoisted the trophy in 2019 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

“It means an awful lot. I feel like it’s getting tougher and tougher to win on the PGA TOUR,” said McIlroy. “I went out with a lead and had to shoot 8-under par to get the job done. So, the depth of talent on this TOUR is really, really impressive.”

The Northern Irishman’s win in Canada marks his first-ever successful title defence on the PGA TOUR and his 21st tournament victory, putting him in a tie for 31st on the all-time wins list.

“Super happy to get that 21st win [and] to defend,” said McIlroy. “To play in a final group like that with that atmosphere all day. I mean the fans here this week have just been absolutely unbelievable – like so good and so cool to play in an atmosphere like that. Boisterous, loud, but respectful.”

The 33-year-old joins J. Douglas Edger, Leo Diegel, Sam Snead, Jim Ferrier, Jim Furyk and Jhonattan Vegas as players to win back-to-back at the RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy is also the first champion since Jim Furyk in 2006-07 to win back-to-back titles at two different venues—Furyk accomplishing the feat at Hamilton Golf & Country Club (2006) and Angus Glen Golf Club (2007) while McIlroy followed up his 2019 victory at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

McIlroy is now two-for-two north of the border and his return for 2023 at Oakdale Golf & Country Club is all but confirmed.

Justin Rose’s final round 10-under par 60 is the lowest final round score in the history of the tournament, one upping McIlroy’s 61 in the final round of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open.

Corey Conners went out with a bang, matching McIlroy’s round of eight-under par 62 and catapulting up the leaderboard for a sixth-place finish. The Listowel, Ont. native earned the Rivermead Challenge Cup as the low-Canadian professional at the RBC Canadian Open for the first time.

“There’s a great list of Canadians who have their names on that trophy, so definitely an honor to have my name added,” said Conners. “It was a great week and hopefully start there and can challenge for the title in the next few years.”

Tony Finau entered Sunday’s final round with a share of the lead, and albeit a respectable six-under 64, he could not keep pace with the eventual winner. Justin Thomas also carded a final round 64 to finish in sole position of third place.

Keith Mitchell and Wyndham Clark have qualified for the 150th playing of The Open Championship as the leading two finishers within the top-eight who weren’t otherwise already exempt into the tournament. The Open will be played at St. Andrews, July 14-17.

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