Bill Paul, tournament director for the RBC Canadian Open, says the return of Tiger Woods to the Masters after the infamous sex scandal that changed his life will increase the profile of golf, but that doesn’t guarantee any direct impact on the Open.
“There is no downside to Tiger coming back, especially when you consider the increased interest among the other tour players, from sponsors and fans, media as well as other PGA Tour events. The fact is your No. 1 player is back and that’s important. He certainly draws interest back in golf for those that may have lost it,” said Paul.
“As far as impact, it will have a big impact on any tournament, including ours. Just the number of people that have called or e-mailed, wondering about the likelihood that he may chose to play our event, there is definitely a ‘what if’ factor to consider as he makes his way back to the tour,” he added.
The Open will be played July 22-25 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in west-end Toronto, but even if Woods decides to play in Canada, St. George’s doesn’t have much room to accommodate a big run on tickets.
“With St. George’s, we’ve got a terrific golf course, but it’s a venue with limited spectator capacity,” said Paul.
“We’d certainly love to have him play the RBC Canadian Open but having said that, if he decided to come up to Canada to play this year, his tournament commitment strategy is typically not to announce until the week before, so I would imagine he would stay consistent with that approach.”