British Open champ Ernie Els set for Canadian Open

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 25, 2012

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 5: Ernie Els of South Africa hits a tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on February 5, 2010 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Ernie Els arrived at the Canadian Open with one trophy already in tow. He's hoping to leave with another. Despite a whirlwind couple of days that following his British Open victory, Els expressed confidence that he's still got enough left in the tank to be competitive. ''I feel very fresh,'' he said Wednesday. Els only managed to get in five practice holes at Hamilton Golf and Country Club this week, but thinks his stellar play from Royal Lytham & St. Annes should carry over. After pulling out a one-shot victory over Adam Scott on Sunday, he returned home to London for a small party with family and friends, and followed that up with a lazy Monday. He traveled to Hamilton on Tuesday morning, getting in a quick practice session before a helicopter arrived to whisk him to downtown Toronto for a ''Right To Play'' dinner. On Wednesday, Els played a round at another course with Gord Nixon, title sponsor RBC's CEO. The itinerary left virtually no time for preparation at the tree-lined Hamilton layout that is hosting the Canadian Open for a fifth time. ''I don't know if it's such a big disadvantage because a lot of times when you don't play a course, you don't know where the trouble is,'' Els said. ''So maybe that's a good thing. You get your yardage, you hit it to your spots.'' As an added bonus, the 42-year-old South African brought the Claret Jug along for the ride and proudly displayed it during his interview session Wednesday. His presence added some buzz to an event that remains in a tough spot on the PGA Tour schedule and was only able to lure six of the top 30 players in the world. Besides Els, the biggest names in the field are Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk - and it's no coincidence that all four men have sponsorship agreements with RBC. However, Furyk also was drawn back by the traditional Harry S. Colt-designed course where he won the first of his two Canadian Open titles in 2006. The 6,966-yard, par-70 layout suits his eye and reminds him of the traditional courses he grew up playing in Pennsylvania. ''If I like the golf course, I'm going to play,'' Furyk said. ''I don't care who is showing up or what the purse is.'' Narrow fairways guarded by thick rough require players to find the fairway from the tee. However, there are only a handful of holes that demand they pull out a driver because the course has been lengthened by less than 500 yards since first contesting the Canadian Open in 1919. However, it still poses a unique test that seems to be appreciated by virtually everyone in the field. Along with Vancouver's Shaughnessy Golf and Country - where Sean O'Hair won last year - Hamilton is the most popular of the Canadian stops. ''It's just a good, solid, old-school golf course and we don't get to play places like this I don't think very much,'' O'Hair said. ''It's fun to come to venues like this.'' Furyk won at Hamilton in 2006 with a score of 14-under 266. He believes some rain earlier in the week has left the course more vulnerable to lower scores than it was six years ago, but that won't change his game plan. ''Even a guy like me who's not all that long, I'm not going to hit a lot of drivers,'' Furyk said. ''It's about working the golf ball and putting it in certain spots on the fairway. The greens are very severe, usually from back to front. (You've) got to keep the ball under the pin to be able to score.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Weirdest Trade In Baseball History
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: 49ers focusing their efforts on hiring Kyle Shanahan

Report: Rob Ryan interviewing for Redskins DC job

Report: Bautista, Jays nearing two-year deal worth $35-40M

Carmelo comments on future with Knicks after another loss

Tomlin calls Pats ‘a–holes’ in speech shared by Brown online

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kelce blasts ref for holding call during 2-pt conversion

Top 10 takeaways from NFL Divisional Playoffs

WATCH: Cook gets both feet in on amazing catch, Crosby kicks Packers into NFC title game

WATCH: Jason Witten catches first career playoff TD

Carroll dismisses notion that Hawks' title window is closing

WATCH: Packers DB destroys Cole Beasley with big hit

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

A statistical look at the 56 years the Chargers spent in San Diego

Eight most disappointing NBA developments at midway point

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

QUIZ: Name every Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Pro-Bowler in the Super Bowl Era

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

NBA referee hotline bling: Green reaches out to touch somebody

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker