By DAVID W. KEEN
Tour Council's Ralph Bauer sits down to discuss the RBC Canadian Open and preview what we can expect from Canada's national tournament.
We caught up with TourCouncil's Ralph Bauer early this week at the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey as he walked the course with Nick Taylor during his practice round. Bauer works with many of Canada’s most promising young talents as well as Taylor and David Hearn.
We asked Bauer what we should expect from the Oakville, Ontario course after last year’s tournament was held in Montreal, Quebec. “It’s a pretty straightforward golf course, really,” said Bauer, “the rough looks to be down this year and the greens seem really accessible from the fairway bunkers so I think the guys can really swing away on the tees. I think that combination will make it more of an iron player’s course, more of a second-shot course.”
“The course is in by far the best condition I’ve ever seen it in, the greens a wonderful. You can see they’ve put a lot of time and effort in to this and it’s really made a difference, you can tell,” said Bauer.
It’s also the time of year, with three of the four majors in the bag, when players are a little more likely to start paying more attention to the FedEx Cup standings. Suddenly it feels later in the year and players start to think about playing a little more aggressively when they get to a course like this.
Bauer’s players have been enjoying a nice run of form lately, “David [Hearn] had a great time at the Greenbrier. He lost in the playoff to Danny Lee, but he played really well, especially under pressure, and earned his way to St. Andrew’s. Working with Kyle Stanley has been exciting, he’s such a good player, he’s had a top 25 in each of his last three events, which has been fun for him.”
Bauer went on to say that this week is a lot of fun, not just for him and the other Canadians involved on tour, but for everyone. Yes, even those making the short turnaround after The Open championship.
“You know, with this tournament being played right after The Open and all that entails, you know the weather conditions, the pressure — it can be a slog — it’s almost kind of a relief for the guys to play a course that’s a little more gettable. It could turn into a bit of shootout too, which is always nice for the spectators,” Bauer said.