Hosts seek end to 60-year Canadian Open drought

Quebec: The PGA Canadian Open returns to Royal Montreal Golf Club on Thursday, with Graham DeLaet leading a Canadian contingent vying to end a 60-year drought in their home event.

Pat Fletcher`s 1954 win was the last by a Canadian in the Canadian Open.

This year, DeLaet is the highest-ranked player from the host nation in the field, teeing off Thursday at 38th in the world.

But he`s joined by a number of talented compatriots, including former Masters champion Mike Weir and David Hearn, who shared 32nd Sunday in the British Open.

Two dozen players have crossed the Atlantic Ocean to follow up their British Open campaigns at Royal Liverpool with a title tilt in Quebec.

They include US veteran Jim Furyk, whose fourth-place finish at Hoylake makes him an early favorite.

Furyk is also a former Canadian Open champion, having won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

Defending champion Brandt Snedeker, who won his sixth US PGA Tour title last year at Glen Abbey, will try to emulate that feat.

Other marquee names in the field include American Matt Kuchar, South African Charl Schwartzel, England`s Luke Donald and Northern Ireland`s Graeme McDowell.

World number seven Kuchar is the highest-ranked player in the field and will be trying to bounce back from a disappointing British Open effort that saw him break par just once in four rounds.

Schwartzel and McDowell, meanwhile, will be trying to build on their top-10 finishes at Hoylake.

For Furyk, this week is not only about maintaining momentum but also about solidifying his spot in the US Ryder Cup team.

"It`s my favorite event, it`s the one I look forward to the most," he said. "Right now I have got four weeks ahead of me to try and better my situation.

"I think I`m in sixth place right now, so to try and better my situation or at least hold there to make the team."

But once again, the focus will be on the quest of Canadians to end the drought, although DeLaet insisted that going in with that aim would be counter-productive.

"I think a lot of times we put a little too much pressure on ourselves so maybe this year I can just let it all go and be contention," said DeLaet, who missed the cut at Glen Abbey last year.

"That`s all you can ask for and hopefully we get it done Sunday afternoon."

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