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Optimist Club

by Steve Eubanks

If you believe the natives, Canada has more golfers per capita than any nation on earth, about 6 million in a country of 35 million. That’s a claim the Swedes and Irish might respectively call “nonsense” and “blarney,” but one your friendly neighborhood Canuck will throw out with a smile and an “eh.”

No matter. There wasn’t a better story in sports last week than the final-round battle at Glen Abbey between Jason Day, he of U.S. Open vertigo and missed-the-playoff-by-one- at-St. Andrews fame, the increasingly twitchy Bubba Watson and David Hearn, who was trying to become the first Canadian in 61 years to win his homeland’s national title, a drought only Cubs fans can understand.

England has even won a World Cup since a Canadian captured his country’s open. And while any other week there would have been calls of “Come on Aussie” as Day, one of the most likable guys in the game, rolled in the last of his three consecutive birdies for the victory, Ontario offered nothing less than polite applause and a “maybe next year” optimism.

Does Lucy pull the football out from under Charlie Brown north of the border?

Hey, speaking of opens, they’re coming by the bushel these days. A journeyman named Marco Dawson stared down the two best senior golfers in the world, Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer, to win the Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale.

And on the other end of the age spectrum, 20-year-old Lexi Thompson heads to Ayrshire for the Ricoh Women’s British Open with another win on her résumé, a come-from-behind victory in Michigan that was both Grand and Rapid.


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