Lorne Rubenstein talks to Greg Norman about the Canadian Open and his issues with the PGA Tour:
"It's a shame that tournaments like the Canadian Open, which have had a tremendous history, are not kept up in the upper echelon of events," the Australian said. "I really, really, truly believe that, because national events are made by the competitors. I remember watching the Australian Open when Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player and Arnold Palmer always came down."
The result is that a once significant championship is reeling. It's becoming possible to contemplate the contemptible: that it could become a bottom-feeder on the PGA Tour, or disappear altogether. That's unlikely, but the scenario was once impossible even to imagine.
"A Canadian Open isn't just for the professional golfers," Norman said. "It's also what the Royal Canadian Golf Association does behind the scenes to bring out a Mike Weir into the world. That can come only through national associations and [a tournament like] the Canadian Open."
There was emotion in Norman's voice. He doesn't like a lot of what's going on with the PGA Tour, and has been trying to get access to its financial records. Norman's engaged lawyers to help him. He's been stymied, but said he won't give up. Norman wrote a letter to PGA Tour members before their mandatory meeting with commissioner Tim Finchem and his staff during last month's Players Championship.
"I needed them to know what I was doing," Norman said. "I didn't want them to be told what I'm doing."
Norman will have more to say in his new book, which is scheduled for October publication. As for now, perhaps the RCGA should contact him. Norman doesn't plan to play the Canadian Open, but the former winner and two-time British Open champion has a passion for national championships.