The Canadian Open doesn’t finish until Sunday but already a winner has been declared. The course. The Hamilton Golf and Country Club came through with flying colours Wednesday after the Open’s Pengrowth Championship Pro-Am event.
The PGA heavyweights who got a taste of the Ancaster layout had nothing but praise for the 6,946-yard, par-70 layout. Vijay Singh, winner of the 2004 Open at Oakville’s Glen Abbey course where he beat Mike Weir on the third playoff hole, should be looking forward to his teeoff. In 2003, when the Open was played at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Singh shot a 65 to tie the course record with Tom Pernice Jr.
“Very demanding off the tee,” added Singh, looking to bounced back from Monday’s loss to Tiger Woods at the Deutsche Bank Championship. “To give yourself good birdie chances you need to know where to land it, how much to spin the ball and know which part of the green to hit.”
Others were equally kind to the course on Wednesday, one of 38 across Canada to host the Open.
“Its an old traditional golf course where you need to work the ball a little bit more off the tee,” said Jim Furyk, the number two player on the current PGA Tour money list. “I like the old traditional green complexes here. It’s a really nice layout.”
Furyk is hoping the course will lead him to the top prize of $900,000 from the $5-million cash pool.
Canadian Stephen Ames, who played in Wednesday’s ProAm, also liked the course layout. “The golf course is straight in front of you,” added Ames. “It’s a good old-style golf course and they haven’t made many changes to it. It’s still going to stand like it did in 2003.”
In Wednesday’s ProAm, the teams hosted by tour professionals Singh and Wes Short Jr. came out on top in the morning portion. Singh teamed with amateurs Neil Curren, Mark McNeil and John Dennemy to come in at a 12-under-par 58 while Short joined amateurs Alan MacDonald, Brian McConghy and Phil Sorgen at 16-under-par 54 to take home the afternoon draw.
For Thursday’s opening round, Singh tees off at 7:50 am. Ames goes at 12:50 pm and Weir tees up at 1:10pm.