AUGUSTA, Ga. — Good luck often starts with good planning.
An announcement was made two weeks ago that Masters champion and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler will be in the RBC Canadian Open field this June. Thing is, Scheffler had none of those titles when the plan was hatched to bring the 25-year-old to St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto.
“Scottie was someone that we had not worked with before, but we liked what we saw even as early as last year and started those discussions,” Executive Vice President of RBC Mary DePaoli told Postmedia by phone mid-way through Sunday’s final round. “I’d like to say that our instincts were very much on point because when we started discussing his schedule with him late last fall and early winter, he had n’t gone on his winning spree yet.”
DePaoli said that she and her team at RBC are in constant dialogue with all of the top 50 players in the world, for both the RBC Canadian Open, and this week’s RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, SC
DePaoli added on Sunday that she was still hoping for a miracle run by Canadian Corey Conners, but that Scheffler will also be a popular champion around the office.
Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum was at the Masters following Conners round on Sunday and told Postmedia he was thrilled when he saw Scheffler’s name go from the short-list of hopefuls to the confirmed list of players in the field at Canada’s national open.
June’s tournament will be the first Canadian Open since Rory McIlroy won in 2019, and the defending champ is also in the field. After twice having to cancel the tournament because of the pandemic, challenges continue, but 2022 is looking good.
“We had to help them understand why choosing Canada could be very interesting as they build out their schedule, and you know a lot of that also included ensuring that they understood Canada was open again,” DePaoli said. “We are very thankful that our discussion with Scottie took a turn for the positive and he’s just been on an absolute tear ever since, so we are excited for him to come to Canada.”