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Report: RBC Canadian Open to get new date

RBC Canadian Open RBC Canadian Open
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According to reports, the PGA Tour is set to announce the 2024 schedule next week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and, when it does, it will show the RBC Canadian Open getting a new date.

The national championship will be held a week earlier, May 30-June 2, essentially flip-flopping spots with the Memorial and now two weeks prior to the U.S. Open.

Whether this date improves the opportunity to attract a deep field is open for debate.

The Memorial is a designated event, offering up a massive purse. So too is the stop after the U.S Open, the Travelers Championship. That’s three big events in a row and many players don’t like to be out on tour more than three weeks at a time.

Playing in the Canadian stop’s favour is that the designated events are not mandatory next year like they were this season. And some players aren’t keen on playing the week before a major. Some may choose to play in Canada and rest for a week before the season’s third major.

The RBC Canadian Open will still feature the top Canadian golfers such as defending champion Nick Taylor, and all of the players on Team RBC, including Sam Burns, Cam Young, Sahith Theegala and Webb Simpson.

It’s expected that RBC and Golf Canada will also work to entice more top players to appear as it has done in recent years, and it only takes two or three of the top names to come north for the field to shine.

The last two editions of the Open have been among the best in the tournament’s long history. In 2022, in its post-COVID return at St. George’s G&CC, Rory McIlroy held off Tony Finau and Justin Thomas to win his second consecutive title.

This year, at Oakdale G&CC, Taylor ended a 69-year drought of Canadians winning their Open, coming out on top in a thrilling four-hole playoff over Tommy Fleetwood. It’s hard to think of a tournament on the PGA Tour’s calendar that has had two better finishes over the past two years.

The bigger question for the tournament right now could be the status of RBC as sponsor. It’s contract was up after this past year’s tournament, and it has renewed for the coming year but is taking a wait-and-see approach beyond that.

That’s not the least bit surprising considering the unknowns for the PGA Tour’s future. The financial institution, like everyone else in golf, wants to know what lays ahead for the PGA Tour and its agreement to work with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia before it extends any sponsorship.