OAKVILLE, Ont. — Watching World No. 1 Dustin Johnson at the RBC Canadian Open is a given, but with an early tee time he won't be on the course Thursday afternoon when the second wave of the first round begins its circuit of Glen Abbey Golf Course.
Here are five other players to watch:
Adam Hadwin — Hadwin, from Abbotsford, B.C., will be grouped with Johnson and Bubba Watson on Thursday and Friday. Ranked No. 55 on the PGA's standings, he's the top rated Canadian on the tour this season and the safest bet to break the curse of Pat Fletcher. Fletcher, from Victoria, was the last Canadian to win the national title in 1954.
Jared du Toit — Mike Weir is the closest any Canadian has come to breaking the national title drought when he lost a playoff to Vijay Singh in 2004. But du Toit came very close as an amateur in 2016, entering the final day of the tournament tied with Johnson for second, getting paired with third-round leader Brandt Snedeker before fading to ninth. The 23-year-old Du Toit is now a professional playing on the Mackenzie Tour and would undoubtedly love to earn his way on to the PGA Tour.
Sergio Garcia — Garcia finished third, seven shots behind winner Tiger Woods, way back in 2000 at Glen Abbey. He came back the next year and tied for fifth, five shots behind Scott Verplank. The 38-year-old Spaniard hasn't played in Canada in the ensuing 17 years, even as he went on to win eight more PGA events — including the 2017 Masters — adding to the two tournaments he had won earlier in 2001.
Jhonattan Vegas — Don't count Vegas out until the final golfer had hit his final shot in the fourth round on Sunday. He's rallied on the final day of play each of the past two Canadian Opens, joining Leo Diegel (1924, 1925; 1928, 1929), Sam Snead (1940, 1941), James Douglas Edgar (1919, 1920), Jim Ferrier (1950, 1951) and Jim Furyk (2006, 2007) as the only back-to-back champions in the Canadian Open's 114-year history.
Tony Finau — Ranked 28th on the PGA Tour headed into the Canadian Open, Finau tied for ninth at the British Open last week. Two weeks before that, he was fifth at the U.S. Open. He's also cracked the top 25 in three of his past five outings.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press