Golf

Hunter Mahan has no regrets over Canadian Open withdrawal

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For Hunter Mahan the week of the RBC Canadian, which starts on Thursday, brings about memories of one of the most remarkable weeks in his life to date.

Last year, Mahan was leading the tournament after 36 holes, but received a phone-call to inform him that his wife was going into labour and he quickly withdrew from the competition to be by her side for the birth of his first child.

Brandt Snedeker would go on to win the tournament, but there is a sense that Mahan would have given him some tough competition had he stuck around for the week.

$1 million decision

It was a decision that cost Mahan over a $1 million in prize-money, assuming he would have gone on to capitalise on his lead, and topped the leaderboard, but the 32-year-old has no regrets.

“It was a crazy thing that happened,” he said in his press-conference before this tournament’s start. “It’s neat that we’ve got a video of it all going down and all the news clippings and it’ll be a fun thing to tell her about.

“It’s always one of those things for golfers what if you had to go home and you were in the lead on Sunday or Saturday?

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“It’s one of those crazy things you think about and discuss with your family and your wife, but most of the time it never really happens.”

Unfinished business

As special as the moment was for Mahan, this year he will be hoping that he can play without distraction and make up for the missed opportunity back in 2013.

Last year he had shot scores of 67 and 64 over the first two days of play and he will undoubtedly be desperate for two similar cards this time around.

This year the tournament is at the Royal Montreal Golf Club for the first time since 2001 and it looks set to be a track which will test the field’s course management and accuracy off the tee.

The course is not the longest, but it is a tight and hitting fairways will be imperative for anybody who wants to be successful.

Tough field

Trying to stop Mahan from making amends for last year, will be a field packed with quality – with many having a point to prove after last week’s British Open, which was won by Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy is not competing in this event, but the likes of Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar will all be teeing off on Thursday and amongst the favourites to win the competition, whilst Graeme McDowell will be hoping to make it a Northern Irish double by topping the leaderboard come Sunday.

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Topics:
The Open
Golf

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