PGA Tour: RBC Canadian Open Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

Damien Kayat previews this week's RBC Canadian Open taking place at Glen Abbey Golf Course in Ontario.

The Canadian Open always has the dubious honour of being played the week after the Open Championship. And the dramatic events at Carnoustie will take some time to dissipate from the memory. Francisco Molinari’s success in the melting pot that was a Tiger Woods renaissance on Sunday was truly something to behold.

Having said that, the RBC sponsorship has gone a long way to securing a fairly strong post-Major field. The first edition of this event was played in 1904 and this will be the 109th staging of this event. It is the third longest running national open and Glen Abbey has hosted 29 previous Canadian Opens.

RBC Canadian Open | 26 July - 29 July | Glen Abbey Golf Course, Oakville, Ontario

Glen Abbey Golf Course was opened in 1976 and was actually the first course to be designed by the ‘Golden Bear’ himself- Jack Nicklaus- on his own. Its fairways are of an average length while the bentgrass greens are small and undulating. They measure around 12.5 on the stimp and will be absolutely electric in comparison to the Carnoustie dribblers. Steep greenside bunkers are ready to envelop mistake while the rough is generally no that penal. At just over 7,200 yards, this par 72 course has been conquered by length over the last few years. The forgiving rough only emboldens the bombers to unleash at every opportunity.

Dustin Johnson’s precarious possession of the World Number One Ranking survived a missed cut at Carnoustie. Married to the daughter of perhaps Canada’s greatest sporting idol- Wayne Gretsky- Johnson will be hoping to draw some inspiration from that marital connection. Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson will lead the American charge while Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia will hope to feed off Molinari’s success and fly the European flag high. Jhonattan Vegas will be aiming to three-peat this week and few will bet against him with that devastating power off the tee. There is plenty up for grabs with a forthcoming WGC event to qualify for. Furthermore, players such as Finau will be looking to enhance their chances of an automatic Ryder Cup spot.

Past Winners
2017: Jhonattan Vegas (-21)*playoff
2016: Jhonattan Vegas (-12)
2015: Jason Day (-17)
2014: Tim Clark (-17)
2013: Brandt Snedeker (-16)

To Win Outright:
Dustin Johnson 8/1 | Brooks Koepka 11/1 | Tommy Fleetwood 16/1 | Tony Finau 16/1 | Bubba Watson 22/1

Value Bets

J.B Holmes- To Win 60/1, To Place 13/1
Thankfully Holmes is experiencing a terrible July that has seen him rocket to 60/1. Firstly, his June results were fantastic. He finished in a tie for 13th at the Memorial- which also happens to be a Nicklaus design. He improved to a third at the St Jude Classic and a second at the Travellers. Secondly, Holmes’ devastating long game should be perfect for this layout. He had a T16 finish here on debut and finished in a tie for 14th last season. Though he has missed two cuts recently, I expect Holmes to rebound on a course that will likely forgive his worst tendencies.

Adam Hadwin- To Win 70/1, To Place 15/1
Figuring it would be wise to opt for a national hero this week, Hadwin just seemed the natural choice. He clearly has the ability to ruin a generous layout, with a 59 to his name already on tour. He has some history with this event as he finished fourth in 2011. He also has enjoyed a fairly solid season without quite breaking through. The only cut he has missed this season was at the rather abysmal US Open layout. Adam Hadwin is due another big weak and should enjoy solid support from his home galleries.

Jamie Lovemark- To Win 75/1, To Place 16/1
Jamie Lovemark has had a solid season with 12 cuts made out of 13. He perhaps hasn’t contended quite enough since he almost won the Open in 2009. He also made his debut here in 2009 and finished in a creditable 46th despite rib injury. Injury has plagued his short career but it seems as if that cloud has temporarily lifted from his game. In 2014 he was forth through 54 holes here before falling away to a 12th place finish. He has played well on other Nicklaus courses: he has a 10th at Muirfield, he had a seventh at the PGA National and has a sixth at the CareerBuilder.

The Man to Beat- Brandt Snedeker- To Win 45/1, To Place 19/2
I was quite surprised to see the talented Snedeker miss the cut at the Open, especially considering his fondness for links golf. Snedeker returns to an event that has proved fruitful for him. Snedeker won this event in 2013 and has top-five finishes in his other two starts. He also seems to have returned to form of late, with a third at the Greenbrier and a sixth at the FedEx St Jude Classic. Snedeker is an extremely talented player who will thrive in a field that is slightly truncated in the aftermath of the Open.

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Written by Damien Kayat for

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