Twenty-six years into his professional golf career, Jose Maria Olazabal has decided to play in the RBC Canadian Open.
The 45-year-old Spaniard is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame with 23 career international victories and six PGA Tour wins to his credit, including the 1994 and 1999 Masters. But he had yet to make a stop at Canada's national championship.
Patrick Cantlay will also make his debut. But perhaps that's more understandable. The U.S. amateur, ranked No. 1 in the world, is just 19 and a sophomore at UCLA.
He's taken the pro game by storm this year, earning low-amateur honours at the U.S. Open in June and then shooting 10-under 60 in the second round of the Travellers Championship to set a record for best score by an amateur at a PGA Tour event.
Canadian Open organizers at Golf Canada also announced Tuesday the participation of nine-time PGA Tour winner Stuart Appleby and David Duval, a former world No. 1 whose 13 victories include the 2001 British Open.
The four players will join an already strong field at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver next week that includes world No. 1 Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Paul Casey, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim, Retief Goosen, Sean O'Hair, Vijay Singh, Camilo Villegas, Geoff Ogilvy, Tim Clark, Justin Leonard and defending RBC Canadian Open champion Carl Pettersson, as well as 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
"A week out from this year's RBC Canadian Open we are thrilled with how our field is coming together," tournament director Bill Paul said. "Olazabal, Appleby and Duval have had tremendous careers on the PGA Tour and internationally while Cantlay is a future star - an emerging talent that we hope to see for many years at the RBC Canadian Open."
The Canadian contingent at Shaughnessy is to include PGA Tour members Stephen Ames of Calgary, Mike Weir of Bright's Grove, Ont., Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., David Hearn of Brantford Ont., Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C., and Matt McQuillan of Kingston.