Two of the preeminent stars in golf gave the top of the leaderboard a sheen that belied the troubles lurking beneath the surface. For the second straight year, the Canadian Open was played without a title sponsor. "When everything's said and done," tournament director Bill Paul said, "we'll lose $3 million. It's a concern."
This, too, was the first year of a six-year contract for the tournament to be played in this dubious place in the schedule. It will dramatically hinder its ability to secure a field worthy of a national championship that began in 1904 and counts among its winners Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods, an event Furyk said once "probably had a feeling about it that it was the fifth major." Tournament management even chartered a plane to ferry players from Scotland to Canada, as an inducement to British Open participants who might have been balking at playing the Canadian Open because of the logistics. Among the 18 players who accepted the offer was Furyk, who was coming anyway.
“Championship course” is a catch-penny label used by resort developers and signifies only that the course in question is a dreary slog of over 7,000 yards for anyone foolish enough to play it off the back tees.