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RBC Canadian Open

RBC Canadian Open
NameCanadian Open
Course2011 Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, British Columbia
Par70 in 2011
Yardage7,010 yards in 2011
TourPGA Tour
FormatStroke play
Month PlayedJuly
Aggregate263 Johnny Palmer (1952)
To-par-23 Arnold Palmer (1955)
Current ChampionSean O'Hair

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The RBC Canadian Open is a golf tournament which was founded in 1904 by the Royal Canadian Golf Association. It has been played annually ever since, excepting some years during World War I and World War II.

As a national open, and especially as the most accessible non-U.S. national open for American golfers, the event had a special status in the era before the professional tour system became dominant in golf. In the interwar years it was sometimes considered the third most prestigious tournament in the sport, after The Open Championship and the U.S. Open. This previous status was noted in the media in 2000, when Tiger Woods became the first man to win The Triple Crown (all three Opens in the same season) since Lee Trevino in 1971. Nonetheless, this special status has largely dissipated, but the Canadian Open remains a well-regarded fixture on the PGA Tour.

A limited number of entries are allocated to players of the Canadian Tour; however, prize money won at the Canadian Open does not count towards the Canadian Tour money list.

Celebrated golfers who have won the tournament include: Walter Hagen, Tommy Armour, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Bobby Locke, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods. The Canadian Open is regarded as the most prestigious tournament never won by the great Jack Nicklaus, a seven-time runner-up. Leo Diegel has the most titles with four.

In the early 2000s, the tournament was held in mid-September. Seeking to change this, Golf Canada lobbied for a summer date. When the Tour schedule was revamped in 2007, the tournament was rescheduled for July, albeit sandwiched between three events with even higher profiles (The Open Championship the week prior, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational the week after, and the PGA Championship the week after that). A further tweaking of the schedule in 2009 saw the Canadian Open receive a slightly more favourable date; while it is still held the week after the Open Championship, it now is two weeks before the Bridgestone Invitational. Still, the tournament counts towards the FedEx Cup standings.

Glen Abbey Golf Course has hosted the most Canadian Opens, with 25 to date. Glen Abbey was designed in 1976 by Jack Nicklaus for the Royal Canadian Golf Association, to serve as the permanent home for the championship from 1977, with occasional visits to other clubs. From the mid-1990s, the RCGA decided to move the championship around the country. Royal Montreal Golf Club, home of the first Open in 1904, ranks second with nine times hosted. Mississaugua Golf & Country Club has hosted six Opens, Toronto Golf Club and St. George's Golf and Country Club have each hosted five Opens, and three clubs have each hosted four Opens: Lambton Golf Club, Hamilton Golf and Country Club, and Scarboro Golf Club. The championship has for the most part been held in Ontario and Quebec, the two most populous Canadian provinces. Ontario and Quebec have seen all but nine Opens. New Brunswick had the Open in 1939, Manitoba in 1952 and 1961, Alberta in 1958, and British Columbia in 1948, 1954, 1966, 2005 and 2011.

The Open will return to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for 2012.

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