The week started normally enough. Players arrived at Oakdale Golf & Country Club ready for the RBC Canadian Open, one final tune-up before next week’s U.S. Open. Then all hell broke loose. On Tuesday, Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan altered the structure of men’s professional golf and diverted the focus of the week from the actual event at hand. On Sunday, Nick Taylor took it back. Three shots back to start the final round, Taylor birdied four of his first seven holes to emerge as the best hope for a Canadian victory. A weekend 129 (63-66) and birdies on the 71st and 72nd holes earned him the clubhouse lead, though he was eventually tied by Tommy Fleetwood. A crazy four-hole playoff ensued, highlighted early by a rollercoaster Fleetwood birdie to keep himself alive. After the Englishman failed to close out the tournament on the next two playoff holes, it was Taylor’s turn at a big putt. His 72-foot eagle attempt rattled home, sending the Canadian crowd (and Sirius XM station) into an uproar and giving the tournament its first Canadian victor since 1954.
Saddled with some of golf’s most divisive weeks in each of the last two years, the RBC Canadian Open has delivered incredible golf. Drama is not something you can forecast or plan, nor can you organize a Canadian to be in the mix at their “home” event. But looking back on the 2022 and 2023 tournaments — years that saw a battle between Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas and a playoff between Taylor and Fleetwood — we saw what happens when competitive golf is given room to run. The product is still what matters. So in a period when it feels as though the only thing that matters is financing, it was good to have a weekend that reminded us that product is king.
This piece originally appeared in The Fried Egg newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.