Someone will be jetting off to Pebble Beach with a win under their belt. We assess the runners and riders in our latest PGA Tour preview
My Canadian Open betting tips will follow, but first…
The venue: Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Date: June 6-9, 2019
Course stats: Par 70, 6,966 yards
Course summary: The West and South 9-hole loops make up the tournament course and they are a mix of woodland and parkland. The fairways are on the wider side, but the players will need to find them because the rough is extremely tricky. The tournament returns here for the first time since 2012.
Purse: $7.6 million
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson (-23)
Thursday: Featured groups, Sky Sports Golf, 12pm; Sky Sports Golf, 8pm
Friday: Featured groups, Sky Sports Golf – red button, 12pm; Sky Sports Golf, 5pm; Sky Sports Golf, 8pm; Sky Sports Golf, 10pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 6pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 10.15pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf, 6pm
RBC Canadian Open betting tips: Steve’s players to follow
Matt Kuchar (20/1)
It’s hard to ignore Kuch these days and the player everyone now loves to hate on the PGA Tour managed to create headlines for the wrong reason yet again when getting involved in a bizarre spat with a rules official at Memorial.
That helped bring his first missed cut of the season but, in general, Kuchar has been revelling in the controversy of caddiegate, Garciagate and anything else he’s done to which you can add gate at the end.
Hamilton is likely to reward a player who puts the ball on the green and there’s no one in the United States better at that than Kuchar at the moment.
He leads the PGA Tour in greens in regulation percentage, is 7th in strokes gained approaching the green and 18th and 13th in scrambling and sand saves.
His phenomenal tee to green game makes up for some average putting but it’s hard to see a tournament these days where he is not in the mix.
He was T34th the last time the Canadian Open was here but this is a very different player who stalks the fairways now. He’s ruthless these days and it would be a surprise if he flopped two weeks in a row.
Scott Piercy (28/1)
Coming back to Hamilton should give Scott Piercy all kinds of warm feelings – he won the Canadian Open the last time it was staged here seven years ago.
But there’s more than just nostalgia driving this selection, the 40-year-old is also in pretty decent form as well.
He’s made six top 10s in 18 events on the PGA Tour this season and 10 top 25s. Creeping inside the top 20 at the Charles Schwab Challenge last time out, he was also T2 at the AT&T Byron Nelson and T3 at the RBC Heritage.
As noted, greens in regulation are likely to be important this week, so it’s handy that Piercy ranks inside the top 10 on the PGA Tour stats in this department – hitting more than 7/10.
Jason Dufner (50/1)
The Dufman has endured a horrendous time of things over the last couple of years but there have been recent signs that the former Ryder Cup star might be stirring.
He led at the half way stage of the Wells Fargo Open before finishing tied for 4th (largely thanks to weekend rounds of 71 and 73).
And last week he grabbed another top 10, only his second of the year, at Memorial – a result that might have been a little bit better but for a double at the last.
Most impressive for me was the way he recovered from a horror show on Saturday – starting double, par, bogey to lie three over after three holes. He birdied five and six and then tore round the back 9 in 31 for what had at one point looked like a very unlikely 68.
Dufner hits a lot of greens, ranking 21st on tour, and if he can continue to sink some putts he might have another good week here.
I’ll take a chance on top 20 betting plus a small each-way investment on the outrights.
RBC Canadian Open betting tips: Notables
Brooks Koepka (13/2) tees it up for the first time since hanging on at Bethpage Black but, given his Major to PGA Tour win ratio and the fact he cares little about the result the week before one of the big four tournaments, I’d be inclined to steer clear at the price.
Dustin Johson (6/1) has finished out of the top 6 only twice in this last seven tournaments and the defending champion is likely to put in another strong charge in preparation for Pebble, a course that’s provided some of his best and worst moments. The price is what it is but he will still have many supporters.
What can we say about Rory McIlroy (10/1)? PGA disappointment was followed by a missed cut at Memorial. Class in permanent but this isn’t the sort of form I want to carry my cash so close to the US Open.
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