RBC Canadian Open preview

The PGA Tour travels north this week for the RBC Canadian Open at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver. Sweden’s Carl Pettersson defends the title.

Carl Pettersson defends

Lowdown: The PGA Tour travels north this week for the RBC Canadian Open at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver. Sweden's Carl Pettersson defends the title. Shaughnessy celebrates its centenary in 2011 and, as part of the celebrations, the Vancouver club will host the Canadian Open for the first time since 2005. In that event veteran Mark Calcavecchia finished on top of the leaderboard, but the course was the real winner. Calc ended the week at five-under-par and only eight others beat the card over four rounds. The average score was 72.53 against a par of 70, making it the most difficult course of the year on the circuit outside of the Majors. So, the players will be in for a stern test this week. No respite for those who competed at Royal St George's. A number of players have made that journey including World Number 1 Luke Donald, America's Rickie Fowler and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. Last year, the Canadian Open was contested at St George's Golf & Country Club in Ontario. Sweden's Carl Pettersson defeated Dean Wilson of the USA by a single shot. The Swede was helped in no small part by his superb third round score of 60. England's Luke Donald was a stroke further back in third.

Venue: Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, Vancouver, Canada Date: Jul 21 - 24 Course stats: par 70, 7,010 yards Purse: $5,200,000 Winner: $918,000 Defending Champion: Carl Pettersson (-14)

TV Coverage: Thursday 21- Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm Friday 22 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm Saturday 23 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm Sunday 24 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm

Player Watch: Luke Donald - He'll be looking to bounce back from a disappointing missed cut at the Open. Having had the weekend off at St George's, the Englishman will have had plenty of time to make the journey across the Atlantic and acclimatise. He won the Scottish Open two weeks ago so, the Open was surely just a blip.

Rickie Fowler - He was tied fifth in the Open where he showed his skills in shotmaking and creativity. Both those assets should be of use around the challenging layout at Shaughnessy.

Lucas Glover - Another man who performed well at St George's (tied 12th.) He's already won this year and looks to be back to something approaching his best form. Key hole: 1st. At 475 yards, it's one of the most challenging opening holes on the PGA Tour. In previous tournaments hosted at Shaughnessy it has played to an average of almost 4.5. Skills required: Avoiding bogeys. This course plays more like a US Open venue than a regular PGA Tour track. It won't be a birdie bonanza and the man who makes the fewest errors will likely come out on top.

Where next? Seniors - Senior British Open preview European Tour - Scandinavian Masters preview

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?