The Canadian Open Picks, Sleepers and Preview
The Open is over and while Northern Ireland celebrates the tour moves back across the Atlantic for the RBC Canadian Open. Although not a Major Championship, the Canadian Open began in 1904 and is the third longest continually running tournament on the PGA tour. The lineup of previous winners reads like a golf hall of fame and includes Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods. The tournament this year takes place at the Royal Montreal Golf Club in Quebec.
Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel and Graeme McDowell all play in Quebec this week after strong showings at Royal Liverpool last week. They’ll be joined by Matt Kuchar, Ernie Els and Luke Donald. Jim Furyk, twice winner of the Canadian Open tees up on Thursday, as well as defending champion Brandt Snedeker. Canadians Graham Delaet, David Hearn and Mike Weir compete this week on home soil.
The Royal Montreal Golf Club is the oldest in Canada. The championship course is 7153 yards long and has a par of 70, two nines of 35. The course last hosted the Canadian Open in 2001 and also held the Presidents Cup in 2007. According to the website, the course requires a combination of power and control off the tees, as well as precision into the tiered greens.
Last year Brandt Snedeker won the tournament by three shots, a third round 63 propelling him to the top of the leaderboard. There was a 4 way tie for 2nd featuring Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Bohn and William McGirt. In 2012 Scott Piercy won the tournament by a shot from Robert Garrigus and William McGirt. Scott Verplank won the last time the Canadian Open was played at Royal Montreal in 2001 beating Bob Estes and Joey Sindelar by three shots, John Daly and Sergio Garcia in contention.
What the Stats Tell Us
Being another tournament that is played at various courses, course form doesn’t help this week – we can’t really read into anything from a tournament last played 13 years ago. The website states – “The course requires a combination of power and control off the tees, as well as precision into the tiered greens.” This gives us a clue, so players with good “total driving” and “approach” stats will be worth considering, but player form is my main consideration this week.
Eight Players to Pick – Sleepers and Value Picks
Dustin Johnson – Johnson is a player coming into form after a somewhat disappointing year. Was very much in contention at the Open until a disappointing finish and has had four top twenty finishes in his last eight outings. This includes a top 5 at the US Open. Expect a solid week.
Graeme McDowell – McDowell is the OTHER Irishman in form right now. A winner two outings ago in France and a strong finish at the Open make McDowell hard to ignore this week. Right now McDowell is outside an automatic Ryder Cup spot, so he’ll be fighting for points this week on the World Points list.
Charl Schwartzel – This South African is having an up and down season, with four top tens and four missed cuts in his 15 outings this year. Two of those top tens have come in his last three tournaments including last week at the Open Championship, this former Masters winner heading in the right direction.
Hunter Mahan – Mahan had a good start to the season with four early top ten finishes, however he has dipped since, with a run of ten tournaments without a top 20 finish and four missed cuts. However, solid finishes in his last two tournaments (24th at the Quicken Loans and 32nd at the Open) added to the fact that he is 7th in total driving make Mahan a decent pick this week.
Scott Brown – Sleeper – Brown is player who is solid off the tee (26th in accuracy, 30th in total driving) and a player hitting form at the right time – a 5th place finish last time out at the John Deere Classic his joint best result of the season. Four top tens on the wraparound season show a player very capable of competing when on song.
Tim Clark – Sleeper – Tim Clark has had something of a wretched season with eight missed cuts in his 15 outings this year, however he turned this around last time out with a 5th placed finish at the John Deere Classic. Two stats catch the eye with Tim Clark however this week – third in driving accuracy and 1st in proximity to hole from the fairway, which is very important on tiered greens.
Joe Durant – Sleeper – Durant started off the season with a 79th followed by five missed cuts, however his last five tournaments have seen four cuts made and 31st and 11th finishes in the last two tournaments. 1st in driving accuracy and 8th in proximity to hole make this payer a very interesting pick this week.
Tyrone von Aswegen – Sleeper – 13th in proximity to hole is a good sign but this pick is something of a gamble, as he has had no top tens this year and has missed seven cuts in 18 tournaments. However there are some signs that he could be a good low salary pick this week. His last six events have featured three top thirty finishes, a 57th and two missed cuts – the two missed cuts by just a single shot. As the final player on your roster you could do a lot worse.
The early betting lines show that it’s tight at the top of the pile with Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and Graham McDowell just behind favorite Dustin Johnson. Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel and Brandt Snedeker are next on the list, followed by Graham DeLeat and Hunter Mahan.
Join and Play in Fantasy Golf Leagues
There are dozens of cash game leagues you can join at DraftKings.
- $2 PGA Chipshot – This is the largest, small buy-in GPP offered each week and virtually everyone who plays fantasy golf plays in this contest each week. It’s a ton of fun for $2 and the top prize ranges from $500 to $1500 depending on the week.
- $0.25 Quarter arcarde – This is the smallest real money tournament you can play anywhere online. It’s literally only a quarter.
- $1 Single Entry – One entry only per person means everyone has to put in the ‘best’ line-up and see how you do. These are probably my favorite.
- $5 Single Entry– Similar to the $1 buy in, this tourney is one line-up per person only.
- $27 PGA Contest – A medium stakes buy-in each week for a nice guaranteed prize pool.
- $109 PGA Long Drive – The largest GPP tourney each week. On big weeks (majors) 1st place has been $100k!
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