Kyle German, who earned an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open after winning the 2008 Titleist and FootJoy Canadian PGA Club Professionals Championship, will be checking in daily with GNN. Below are his impressions of playing the same course as Kevin Costner and Michael Jordan at Glen Abbey:
It’s easy to see how a sense of entitlement can occur with somebody who regularly plays the PGA Tour.
I’ve been here for two days and you can barely even think about something before it’s handed to you.
Even this morning, we went off on the back nine at Glen Abbey at 7:15 a.m. on a practice round on a Monday and there are already spotters on every hole.
You get the feeling that not a lot people who talk to them. We would walk by and say good morning and they would be kind of jumpy and say, `Hi, how are you?’
It really is incredible. There’s nothing you can want for on the PGA Tour. The TaylorMade reps are out on the driving range for the Mike Weir Charity Classic and they’ve got a bunch of clubs you can try and take and put them in play.
The tournament appears to be gaining momentum. Playing on Sunday afternoon was neat because we were about the only people on the golf course when we played the front nine late in the afternoon.
On Monday morning, when we played the back nine at 7:15 a.m., we were again about the only people out there, but by the time we got done and came back to the range, everybody was getting ready for the Weir pro-am and there were a lot of people, a lot of photographers, a lot of fans.
I have to admit that I got caught up in it when Kevin Costner walked by with a big crowd and then, Michael Jordan walked by and I went, `Now, that’s a big crowd.’
With the celebrities, you feel a little sorry for them. I don’t know what it’s like in their everyday lives, but out here, Joe Thornton couldn’t get from one tee to the next without 100 people yelling at him.
As for the tour players, I’m forever a Trevor Immelman fan. He’s absolutely the nicest guy I’ve met since I’ve been here.
I introduced myself on the putting green and he got talking about the tour and how he loves Vancouver. All of a sudden, he’s got a huge fan here.
It’s very easy to want to be here full-time, but as each day passes, it emphasizes the fact that I can’t allow it to overwhelm me, which I stated in an earlier blog, but mean it more than ever now.
That’s why we’ve only played nine each day. It doesn’t start until Thursday and I don’t want to wear myself out.
Back home, I don’t play a lot of golf. I don’t practice. I’ve hit more golf balls in the last two days than I’ve hit all year, no word of a lie.
As I mentioned, we played the back nine, most of it down in a valley and it’s really nice.
The thing I like is that the rough is thick, it’s not easy. If you hit a bad shot, you’ll be in the rough, but if you hit a good shot, there’s nothing out here that’s going to penalize you. If you hit a good shot, you’re going to be rewarded.
The greens are really good. There’s more of a difference going uphill versus downhill than I would have anticipated. It doesn’t look like severe hills, and I know they’re not up to Thursday speed yet, but downhill, they’ve got some pep to them.
They’re probably in the 10 ½ – 11 range on the stimp. They’re not out of control, but they’re good and really smooth.
Once the tournament gets going, it’s going to be all about taking what the course will give you, not getting greedy and, hopefully, there are enough opportunities to score.
The game plan right now is to hit as many greens in reg as we can because the rough beside the greens is deadly. If we have a 40-footer, fine – two-putt and move on to the next hole.
Cautious aggression is what you call it, I guess.