The Event: RBC Canadian Open
Site: St. George’s Golf and Country Club, Toronto
Dates: June 9-12
Result: Rory McIlroy wins by two shots over Tony Finau
Why We’ll Remember It: Even if the 2022 PGA Tour season had been business as usual, the RBC Canadian Open would have still been a very big deal.
The 2019 event was terrific, with Rory McIlroy playing for the first time and shooting a final-round 61 to lap the field at a 22-under-par 258, the lowest 72-hole score in the long history of Canada’s national open.
But the 2020 event was one of more than a dozen Tour stops canceled due to COVID-19, and the 2021 edition was lost as well—even as most the rest of the golf world had returned to normal—due to continuing difficulties of international travel.
So Canadian golf fans hadn’t had PGA Tour golf in three years when their Open finally returned in 2022. This was going to be a celebration no matter what, then in the final round at St. George’s it became much more.
LIV Golf’s inaugural event was played the same week as the RBC Canadian Open, and the Saudi-backed startup drew worldwide attention as a big-money competitor to the PGA Tour. Charl Schwartzel won the event outside London, which ended on Saturday, leaving the stage all to the PGA Tour on Sunday. And the Tour delivered a reminder of why it’s still the top show in golf.
Huge galleries were treated to a final group of McIlroy, Tony Finau and Justin Thomas, and McIlroy birdied 8 of his first 12 holes en route to a final-round 62 and a two-shot win—successfully defending his three-year-old title. Finau and Thomas each shot 64.
“Three of the best players in the world going at it down the stretch, trying to win in front of those crowds and that atmosphere … it doesn’t get much better than that,” McIlroy said, and anyone could read between the lines.
Source : Sports Illustrated