Piercy Ready to Defend Canadian Open Title

Scott Piercy roared out of the blocks in last year's Canadian Open and kept the pedal to the metal throughout the championship at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario.

The Las Vegas native fired an 8-under 62 in the first round and then carded three straight 67s for a one-stroke victory - the second of his career - over fellow Americans Robert Garrigus and Robert McGirt.

Piercy is back to defend in what is one of golf's oldest championships, originating in 1904. This year's Canadian Open returns to a familiar place: Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario. Opened in 1976, the Jack Nicklaus design will be hosting the event for the 26th time, more than any other course. The last year Glen Abbey held the tournament was 2009.

In addition to Piercy, the 2013 field features highly-ranked Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Brandt Snedeker, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson and two-time Canadian Open champion Jim Furyk.

Gallery favorites include Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont., Stephen Ames of Calgary and Mike Weir of Bright's Grove, Ont. A total of 15 Canadians are in the event. Among the up-and-coming Canadian stars are 21-year-old Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., and 19-year-old Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C.

A Canadian hasn't won it since Pat Fletcher in 1954. But DeLaet is keen on the chances of a player from north of the border winning the $5.6 million championship - with $1.008 million going to the winner. "All the guys that are in the field, and I think we've got a great core of Canadian golfers here this year, maybe as good as I've seen," said DeLaet, who's had five top-10 and 10 top-25 finishes this year in 20 starts on the PGA Tour.

"I played with a few guys here this morning, some of the young guys who are not PGA Tour players, and there's no question there's a ton of talent in this country, and it's only a matter of time really before we start seeing it. Would I like to win this golf tournament and hopefully change the landscape? Absolutely. I mean, I'm going to do everything I can, starting yesterday to hopefully be on that 18th green late Sunday afternoon."

The par-72, 7,253-yard Glen Abbey layout should provide a stiff test for the players. "The golf course is in tremendous shape and ready to challenge the world's best golfers for a record 26th time," said tournament director Bill Paul.

On Wednesday, Piercy met with reporters and discussed his chances to repeat as the Canadian Open champion. Here's what the 34-year-old had to say.

MODERATOR: We welcome Scott Piercy to the media room. Scott, obviously you've got some good vibes from this tournament going tied for sixth here in 2011 and obviously winning last year. Maybe you could start off by telling us what it's like to be back at this tournament and then we'll open it up for some questions.

SCOTT PIERCY: Yeah, glad to be back. Last two years have been good to me, and looking forward to another good year.

MODERATOR: Maybe talk about what it's like to be on this golf course compared to last year at Hamilton. Obviously presenting some different challenges, and what's it like to sort of adjust your game for that.

SCOTT PIERCY: You know, I really don't remember a lot about this golf course. It was so wet last time that it was kind of one of those get it out of your mind because it was so wet. You know, I know there was some reachable par 5s which can make it kind of exciting, and scores are generally pretty low I'm guessing. I don't really remember. But I'm excited to get back out there.

MODERATOR: Maybe you could also give us the state of your game. Consistent year so far, three top 10s, 57th in the FedEx Cup standings and how you're feeling right now heading into this week.

SCOTT PIERCY: It's been an up and down year, three good weeks, three bad weeks. My game is feeling a lot better than it's looking like. Just need a couple things to go my way and I win. It's not always what it looks like.

Q. Coming off a golf course like Muirfield and coming back to North America, what kind of adjustments are there that you have to make?

SCOTT PIERCY: You know, I don't think the golf course will play quite as firm, so it's probably not a whole lot. I was a little surprised by conditions last week. I wasn't ready for it, I guess, in a way. But it's golf.

MODERATOR: Thanks, Scott Piercy, for coming in, and we wish you all the best of luck this week.

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.