There is no amateur golf championship in Canada with a richer history than the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. More than a century old, the Amateur was first contested as one of the newly formed Royal Canadian Golf Association’s first orders of business in 1895 at the Ottawa Golf Club. When T.M. Harley of Kingston Golf Club defeated A. Simpson of Ottawa Golf Club 7 & 5, a proud tradition of Canadian championship golf was born. Hall of Famer George S. Lyon won the Amateur an incredible eight times between 1898 and 1914 and was runner-up two more times while the inimitable Sandy Somerville made it to the match play final ten times between 1924 and 1938, capturing six championships of his own.
A match play event from the beginning, the Amateur changed to stroke play for the 1969 championship and remained that way through 1994 when it reverted to match play in honour of the RCGA’s and the championship’s centennial in 1995. The championship once again reverted to stroke play in 2008.
Inter-provincial team matches between Ontario and Quebec were first played in 1882, eventually developing into the Willingdon Cup in 1927. This team event, which pits teams from every province against each other in stroke play competition, has been played in conjunction with the Canadian Amateur since 1931 and remains one of the highlights of tournament week. The Willingdon Cup is contested concurrently during the first two rounds of stroke play in the championship.
In 2010, the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship changed to a double field format for the first time ever.
The champion receives an exemption into next year’s RBC Canadian Open.