There is an answer to the age-old question about why it’s taken a Canadian so long to win the national championship since Pat Fletcher last did it in 1954.
You’re welcome to figure it out, but you’re on your own. I have neither the time nor the inclination to do the research, but if you must find out, you’ll need a calculator.
The simple answer is do the math.
A quick count shows over six times as many players from other countries in the field and many of the Canadians who started on Thursday were longshots at best, with many of the home spots given to developing players.
Having said that, Adam Hadwin was one of the last Canadians you would have expected to see in contention at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open at Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, but there he was just to blow that theory out of the water, even though he tied for fourth.
Then, amateur Taylor Pendrith came out and shot a 65 in Thursday’s first round, but came in with a 75 the next day, yet made the cut. We’ll see what he can do away from the glare on the weekend. Whatever does happen won’t change the fact that he’s an outstanding prospect.
To call a developing player a longshot is by no means a reflection on their his level. He’s at the Open for the experience of playing a PGA Tour event. As somebody who chronicles the game, it would be a dandy if it was a Canadian club pro or developing player who won.
Yet, coming into this year’s edition of the Open, how many home boys would you have given a good chance to win?
Whatever number you come up with, there’s some mighty long odds when you compare the maple leafs next to players’ names to the number of flags from different countries. The odds against a Canadian winning even got longer when 13 Canadians missed the cut on Friday.
The flip side of that is Graham DeLaet sitting two shots off the lead going into the weekend after scorching Royal Montreal with a 63 on Friday. That hot round will ignite once again the question that was asked so much in the early part of the week.
It was a question that was asked when Hadwin got into contention in 2011 at Shaughnessy.
It was a question 10 years ago on the 50th anniversary of Fletcher’s win when Mike Weir came oh so close before Vijay Singh snuffed the great Canadian hope at Glen Abbey.
When DeLaet put himself within a couple of shots, he had a hot putter going, which he’ll need again on the weekend, not to mention confidence and patience. There’s little doubt that he has the game to get his first win on tour and it will be the intangibles that seal the deal for him.
It will be tempting to get ahead of himself, with the expectations of the fans and the media to finally provide that great Canadian moment at the national championship.
Yet, if the fans and media really want players to talk about the secret to a Canadian winning the Open, they would be wise to listen to what they have to say about patience out on the golf course because it doesn’t end well when you get ahead of yourself.
That’s also wise advice for the people on the other side of the ropes and the folks in the media tent.