Inside The Ropes At The Canadian Open
By Scott A. Sumner
When you arrived at the Angus Glen Golf Club you could sense the excitement. The national championship of Canada had begun. Many PGA tour stars were on hand including defending champion Jim Furyk, highly ranked VJ Singh, Mike Weir, Stephen Ames, John Daly etc. My first stop was the Media Centre tent which had some 200 media assembled to cover the event and provide the experience to millions around the world. I talked to CBS Golf’s Peter Oosterhaus, who was just as elegantly spoken as on his broadcasts. Also I met The Gold Channel’s a newest on air personality, Inga Hammond who was amazed at how much she was being
recognized in Canada.
My next stop was to see Joe of the PGA Tour staff who’s job was to run this event. My request for inside the ropes was granted and after a quick lunch with the wife of RCGA President I was off on the course to check out the venue. The Angus Glen layout would include some holes
from the North and South courses, which meant for a vast area to walk. My first stop was the practice area where I could walk inside the ropes and watch these great golfers warm up. It was amazing to see the ease of their swings and the perfect sound and ball flight that would
result. The hardest working man in golf, V J Singh was there the longest and had many approaches to his practice including some interesting putting techniques.
My journey continued to the 9th hole where I saw Thunder Bay’s former touring pro Alan McLean approaching with playing partners former college golf standout Bryce Moulder and newcomer off the Nationwide Tour Australian Jared Lyle. Here was my opportunity to walk insist the ropes and I began on the 10th hole. This was Alan McLean’s last nine and he had to shoot well to make the cut he told me. I choose to walk with the score board holder and scorer which had made my route right down the middle of the fairway with the players. It was fun to see the actual lies and shots of these high level players so close up. Jarad, whose father, mother and others from Australia walked the whole course with him each day were witnessing their son make 5 birdies in a row to make the cut and play on the weekend. On the 12 th hole Jarad hit what looked like a ball into the water on the left. Alan hit his drive over
a bunker on the right and ended up in the high rough. After approaching the water Jarad was astounded to see his ball playable on the bank and went on to make birdie. Alan decided to take a direct route to the green with a iron and pulled his ball into the water making a double
bogie and missing the cut by 1 shot. How the fortunes of golf change quickly!
On the next hole , no 13, I had a visit from a RCGA rules official on the cart. You are supposed to be 1 yard from the ropes in the inside of the fairway not walking with the players he told me politely. I said I would move over right away and another visit from him happened next to
record my arm band number. We have to tell the PGA Tour of any contact with media he stated. The next day I was pulleds over by Joe of the PGA Tour who said I want to talk to you. It seemed like he meant business and I received a strong warning about my walking inside the ropes in
the wrong position. In the end we were Ok as I informed him of how important this national tournament is and I intended to follow the rules exactly from here on out. He seemed happy with that and that was my first experience inside the ropes at an PGA Tour event. It would
have been nice to have been told of this earlier but things are busy at an event like this.
The final day was very exciting with Jim Furyk winning his second straight Canadian Open with a stellar final round. Jim Furyk also scored a 5 iron 209 yard HOLE In ONE on Number 4. It is great fun to see a PGA Tour event in person!