Tournament officials usually send out press releases and often conduct teleconferences when prominent players tell them they’ll be at their events. But, understandably, a tournament prefers not to let on when a prominent golfer who has been in their event before a number of times won’t be back.
That’s why the RBC Canadian Open won’t be making any formal announcement that Masters champion Bubba Watson isn’t going to play the tournament when it’s held July 26-29 at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ont. Watson is a brand ambassador for Schuco, a German technology and clean energy company; this is his second year in that role. He’ll be playing the Schuco Invitational near Hamburg the weekend of the Canadian Open; Watson also played the event last year.
The tournament will be held the weekend after the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in the county of Lancashire, England. It’s a two-day, 36-hole tournament, and not a European Tour event. The Austrian Open is the European Tour event that week.
Watson will of course be missed at the Canadian Open. He played the tournament from 2006-2009. Watson missed the cut in 2008 and 2009, tied for 76th in 2007, and finished tied for 14th in 2006. The tournament was held that year at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, where it will be played again in July.
That time, Watson and his wife Angie, who is from Toronto, took the opportunity to visit family. He played a couple of rounds at the Bushwood Golf Club in Markham, Ont. before the Canadian Open, set the course record of 61, and went on to post that good finish in Hamilton.
Watson’s golf life has changed. He won’t be at Bushwood in July, nor will he be at the RBC Canadian Open. His Masters win is his, and golf’s gain, given his exciting style. But it’s the Canadian Open’s loss. Who knows whether the tournament, which has been improving by going to some of Canada's classic courses regularly, will ever see him again?
RELATED LINK: More blogs from Lorne Rubenstein
Lorne Rubenstein has written a golf column for The Globe and Mail since 1980. He has played golf since the early 1960s and was the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s first curator of its museum and library at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario and the first editor of Score, Canada’s Golf Magazine, where he continues to write a column and features. He has won four first-place awards from the Golf Writers Association of America, one National Magazine Award in Canada, and he won the award for the best feature in 2009 from the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. Lorne has written 12 books, including Mike Weir: The Road to the Masters (2003); A Disorderly Compendium of Golf, with Jeff Neuman (2006); This Round’s on Me (2009); and the latest Moe & Me: Encounters with Moe Norman, Golf’s Mysterious Genius (2012). He is a member of the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. Lorne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can now follow him on Twitter @lornerubenstein