Here’s a good point for representatives of Golf Canada to make to players when trying to sell them on coming to either the CP Women’s Open or the RBC Canadian Open this year. Winning national titles in Canada has proven to be a good omen for major winners recently and it’s entirely possible that four majors could be in the hands of the players who won 2015 Canadian men’s and women’s titles by the end of this week. The total now stands at three with Lydia Ko, a three-time champion in Canada including 2015, winning the ANA Inspiration on the weekend after taking the Evian Championship last September. Jason Day, who won the 2015 RBC Canadian Open, already won the PGA Championship last August and after recent consecutive wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Match Play, he’s a favourite to win this week’s Masters. Should he be successful, that would make national champions from this country four-for-four in every major played since winning their Canadian titles … Here’s an interesting contrast. At 18 years, 11 months and 10 days, Ko became the youngest person of the modern era to win consecutive majors. She has 12 LPGA championships overall, plus a Player of the Year to continue her rocketing momentum towards the 27 points she needs to qualify for induction into the LPGA Hall of Fame, something that could realistically happen a year to two years from now. She then has to wait to complete 10 years on tour, so she could actually be officially inducted into the hall of fame by the time she’s 26. The World Golf Hall of Fame, on the other hand, just raised its minimum age from 40 to 50 years of age. Would anyone deny that Ko would deserve to be in the LPGA Hall of Fame in her mid-20s, assuming she keeps up the pace? Would actual induction signal that her career is somehow going downhill even if she’s still playing well at that ancient age? Would a fresh face in her mid-20s somehow tarnish the credibility of the LPGA hall? Decide for yourself, but at this keyboard, the message to the LPGA and Ko is bring it on … Marquee players keep getting younger but the prerequisites for hall of fame inclusion keep getting older. It isn’t out of the question that Jordan Spieth, for example, could have four major championships and 10 overall PGA Tour wins by the time he turns 23 in October, which would, one would think, put him into the World Golf Hall of Fame. That doesn’t mean he should go in immediately, but should he have to wait another 27 years, assuming he keeps playing? It’s likely not something on his mind right now, but his and other cases these days will become glaring in years to come … It may be naive, but I’ve always been a believer in merit being the main reason for anything you receive in life. For example, the decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to introduce gender parity into his cabinet is artificial – and yes, I know it’s 2016 – based on some imagined perfect scenario. Had merit been the main qualification for selecting the cabinet, it could have worked out that there were more women than men if Trudeau is as much about women’s issues as he tries to project. Merit should also be the only reason for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The decision to raise its minimum age is simply an arbitrary decision that thickens the dust on what is seen from the outside as an old boys’ club … While keeping an eye on the Champions Tour on the weekend, I came across a headline that read “Verplank committed,” which could be taken several ways, one of them not so complimentary, so I double-checked the date after clicking to the story on the PGA Tour’s website. It was March 29, so I knew this story about former Canadian Open champ Scott Verplank wasn’t an April Fool prank. Once you clicked to the story, the headline explained better what the story was about. “Verplank fully committed to PGA Tour Champions (Tour),” it read … Speaking of April Fool pranks, Silverwing Links in Calgary got off a good one, with its announcement that it had become Canada’s first cat-friendly golf course. I’ll let its announcement on Facebook do the talking
I’m not sure if anyone falls for April Fool pranks by Bob Weeks of TSN anymore because he’s become pretty predictable, but his blog did get a click from me out of curiosity and I have to admit it was a pretty good one as Weeks wrote about a shortage of the products used to produce Surlyn and the possibility of a shortage of golf balls. That day would never come. There’s an endless supply of replacements in woods and ponds (watch out for gators and snakes in Florida) … Brooke Henderson didn’t move in the most recent world rankings, where she remains seventh despite getting her seventh consecutive top 10 at the ANA Inspiration on the weekend. Hamilton’s Alena Sharp, who will be Henderson’s Olympic teammate in Rio later this year, moved up one to 125th in the world … The majority, or 67 per cent, of respondents to last week’s GNN Poll have some level of concern for their financial situations, with 50 per cent of respondents classifying themselves as concerned and 17 per cent describing themselves as downright scared and only 33 per cent saying they are confident in their financial security these days … The Masters may be the unofficial start to the golf season in Canada, but this year’s different with the unseasonably warm winter/spring experienced in various parts of the country that has led to much earlier openings. This week’s GNN Poll asks if those early openings this year will cut into the time readers would normally spend watching the Masters this week. As of this writing, 77 per cent said no and 23 per cent said yes. There’s still plenty of time to cast your vote on the GNN home page.