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 his first day at Glen Abbey:
We spent a quiet evening at the hotel after getting into Toronto on Saturday night and got up the next day to watch the British Open at Turnberry from the opening tee shot.
It was heartbreaking for Tom Watson, but even though he didn’t win, it was pretty inspiring watching a 59-year-old playing like he’s 30 and being right in the hunt. I loved it.
When it comes right down to it – and it’s easy to say and hard to do it – but anything can happen in golf, so on any given week … I plan to keep that in mind this week at Glen Abbey.
Like I said, Tom Watson is almost 60 and he did that at one of the most challenging places in the world. Tiger Woods missed the cut and Tom Watson almost won. It just tells you right there what golf’s all about.
Even Stewart Cink, what a great comeback. He got basically no coverage until the 15th hole and he ends up winning it, so long shots can show well at any tournament.
My caddie, Gene Lockerby, and I headed right over to Glen Abbey afterwards and we were the first to register, so we win! I wish it was that easy.
Actually, we have won already, the way we’ve been treated so far. It’s pretty incredible. Gene and I have decided we don’t want to go back to normal life and we’ve only been at Glen Abbey for half a day so far.
When we registered, they asked how many tickets we would need for family and friends and would we need Blue Jays tickets. This is a silly thing to be impressed with, but the yardage book cover is really nice. It’s embossed with the 100th Canadian Open logo on it. Just the little stuff is nice.
The amount of prep work that goes into this is incredible. I was reading in my players’ book that there’s 1,500 volunteers. Some of the ladies at registration started telling me about the new hole rotation at the Abbey, so they know their stuff.
Everywhere you look, there are trailers and TV trucks. It’s something to behold and to think that the PGA Tour does this every week.
It was funny when I went down to the locker room. I’m looking at all the name plaques on the lockers and it’s all alphabetized and on one of them, there’s a green Post-It note. Of course, it’s got my name on it and I went, `Hey!’
Of course, I had to take a picture of that, but the locker room attendant told me it was being taken care of and that the plaque would be up soon. It was good for a laugh.
We went out on the range and all the balls were new, like out-of-the-box new. They had Pro V1s, Pro V1x, Nikes, Callaways – whatever you play, you can hit. You walk up to the stand and they say, `What’s your pleasure?’ It really is like that scene in the movie Tin Cup.
Stephen Ames was there with his coach Sean Foley. I met Sean seven or eight years ago. A cousin of his is a friend of mine from Vancouver. Sean was still working at Glen Abbey at the time.
I also saw Chris Baryla. He’s from Vernon, B.C., and one of his buddies that I know told him I was coming out, so he knew who I was. I also introduced myself to Mike Weir. I know one of his buddies from college.
Gene and I only did the front nine on our own on Sunday, but it’s painfully obvious that the rough is going to be a factor at the Abbey.
I only hit it in the rough once off the tee, but I dropped a few balls in around the green. It didn’t look that thick, but it just settles right to the bottom.
The grass goes right over it, so you can’t see it. It’s pretty juicy and it’s pretty hard to control the ball out of that, so it’s going to be important to keep the ball in the fairway come Thursday.
Gene and I were having a good time messing around and trying different shots and, by the time we went around the front nine, we noticed how late it was getting.
The Mike Weir Charity Classic celebrity event tees off on Monday at noon Eastern time, so we need to get to the course early to take in the back nine and, if time allows, we’ll continue around on the front nine again.
After that, we’re not sure what we’ll do. One thing is certain, we have a sweet ride for our stay here. One of my friends from back home runs a BMW dealership and he knows a guy from Budd’s BMW in Oakville and he managed to secure me a car for the week.
It’s not a courtesy car, but still pretty sweet. Like I said, I could get used to this pretty quickly.