In honor of this week’s RBC Canadian Open, it seems appropriate to look at a rundown of the best Canadian golfers in history of the professional game.
No cliches about hockey, moose, or “eh” here, just some serious golfing talent from a country with roughly one-tenth of the United States.
Keep that in mind before knocking the relative weakness of the Canadian crop relative to the country’s neighbors to the south. So grab a Labatt Blue (OK, one cliche) and some poutine (one French-Canadian cliche) and check out this list of Canada’s all-time greatest golfers.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Stephen Ames is Canadian by virtue of his marriage to a flight attendant. Nevertheless, he is a four-time PGA Tour winner, so he deserves to be included...even if “9&8” will be etched on his tombstone.
A consistent presence on the PGA Tour in the '50s and '60s, Stan Leonard won three times on the PGA Tou. 6 Canadian Professional Golf Tour wins and three Canadian PGA Seniors' Championship also notch the Vancouver native’s belt.
Granted, he’s among the worst golfers on the PGA Tour currently, but Mike Weir is Canada’s greatest golfing talent. Eight times a PGA Tour winner, Weir is also the only Canadian winner of a major championship (2003 Masters).
George S. Lyon
Not a pro, but George S. Lyon won the Canadian Amateur an astounding eight times. Canadian golf traces its origin to his success, and he’s the patriarch of the game, in a way. He also won the only Olympic gold medal in golf (prior to Justin Rose’s win in Rio) at the 1904 Olympics.
Dead before his time at 51, George Knudson had one of the prettiest swings in professional golf. He won eight times on the PGA Tour in the 1960s and 70s. A 27-time winner worldwide, Knudson finished inside the top 10 at the Masters three times.
The British Columbia native is a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, owing to his two PGA Tour victories. He also won on the Champions Tour in 2003. Add to this 12 Canadian Tour wins, and “Hands” professional career merits a spot on this list.