Golf Ontario

Historic RBC Canadian Open Full of Surprise & Delight – Set to Inspire a New Generation

Uxbridge – If golfers and golf supporters across Ontario are feeling a little bewildered today, it is understandable given the way the final stages of the 2023 RBC Canadian Open unfolded under grey and rainy skies at Oakdale Golf & Country Club Sunday evening.

Despite the start to the week with news from the PGA coming completely out of left field, and potentially impacting Canada’s National Open Championship in many ways, once the first ball dropped in the cup on Thursday morning, the field of 21 Canadians (including 11 Ontario natives) went to work chasing an elusive title that had evaded Canadian’s for 69 years prior. We now know the outcome of that effort, and congratulate Nick Taylor, the Winnipeg born resident of Abbotsford BC who won the title following a four hole playoff with Tommy Fleetwood in dramatic fashion by holing out a 72 foot eagle putt in front of a raucous local crowd on 18.

Looking back on the week including the Pro-Am day Wednesday, there was so much on offer for fans of the game from across Ontario to enjoy and celebrate. It was wonderful to see so many children and families from local schools and communities that were welcomed onsite Wednesday to get up close to the stars of the game in a less formal environment. Kudos to our partners at the Golf Canada Foundation and First Tee Ontario for taking the opportunity to both engage with the community, and raise significant funds to support the growth of the game at the community level at this year’s Open. We loved seeing the grandstand overlooking the 18th green full of fans who generously donated each day to experience the best seat in the house! It certainly paid dividends on Sunday!

While inspiring a generation of newcomers to take up the game could certainly be an outcome of the First Tee programming at the event, the incredible play of so many Ontario natives competing in the field would certainly have fueled the passion amongst the nearly 2000 competitive golfers that are part of the Junior Golf Pathway, including fourteen members of Team Ontario. It was not so many years ago that Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes wore the green of Golf Ontario as members of the program. Clearly they have demonstrated that a pathway not only exists to the top tier of the game on the international stage, but that holding court as the leader in a field of this size is achievable in the coming years for them. This tournament, and the results of the 2023 PGA season clearly show that, with four wins on the tour in the bag for Canadians (including Conners and Hughes).

Listowel Ontario’s Corey Conners signing autographs for fans

The atmosphere was electric all week, particularly at the 14th hole dubbed “The Rink Hole”. After Hughes put his shot under five feet from the cup on Friday, he motioned to the crowd to make some noise while his caddy quickly put on a Leaf’s jersey to energize the crowd. Another moment was even more wild when Adam Hadwin actually asked the crowd to make noise while he hit his tee shot up the 172 yard par three hole.

Regardless of what brought you to Oakdale and the Open, no matter if you followed a particular player or group, or if you spent your time in the Fan Fare zone or in a hospitality suite, you were treated to one moment of surprise and delight after another thanks to the competitors, and of course to our partners at Golf Canada, who raised the bar yet again in delivering a memorable and successful event to officially kick off the summer of golf here in Ontario. We extend our tremendous appreciation and congratulations to Golf Canada and their staff across the entire organization for all that they do during Open week to grow the game, entertain us, and fuel our passion for the game.

For us at Golf Ontario, if you share our sense of community coming out of this historic event, we welcome you to engage with us in many different ways. We invite you to become a member of Golf Ontario/Golf Canada and leverage the many exclusive rewards and benefits available to you as a Public Player member. We ask you to consider investing in the next generation of players to follow Corey Conners and Brooke Henderson by making a donation to the Golf Ontario Legacy Fund. Most of all, we encourage you to enjoy this great game. If you are more motivated than ever to get out on course and work on your game, visit one of the over five hundred member facilities across Ontario, and be part of our great community this summer and beyond.

View the RBC Canadian Open leaderboard online here.

Join Golf Ontario today here.