RBC Canadian Open: Glen Abbey Golf Course, Oakville, Ontario
The PGA Tour continues onwards to the RBC Canadian Open after one of the most exciting Open Championship Sunday in history. The venue for the tournament is the Glen Abbey Golf Course, host for the Canadian Open four out of the five years. It is a Jack Nicklaus designed course that plays around 7200 yards in length.
The Course is a high scoring one with some driveable Par 5’s where scoring an Eagle is not uncommon either. There are plenty of bunkers and some quick elevation changes typical of a Jack Nicklaus course designed to test the Golfers.
There is some rain expected during this tournament as well as some gusty winds on Friday. This will not only make accuracy off the tee more important but also help bombers be a little more aggressive on a soft course.
Some of the previous winners of the tournament have included Scott Piercy in 2012, Brandt Snedeker in 2013, Tim Clark in 2014, Jason Day in 2015 and Jhonattan Vegas last year. Vegas held of challenged from Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson last year to take the championship by one stroke as he shot 12-under Par for the tournament.
The field for this tournament is relatively weak, as can be expected the week after The Open but there are some notable names backing up including runner up Matt Kuchar and world number 1 Dustin Johnson. Adam Hadwin, James Hahn, Tony Finau and Charlie Hoffman are among the other notables in the field.
A full field of 156 players will start the tournament with the top-70 and ties making the cut.
This is a tournament that can be approached two ways. The first is to play carefully off the tee and get into the right positions for the iron shots, a successful strategy no doubt but the Wolf believes it will be the bombers who get the most distance off the tee and then wedge their way onto the greens that will be most successful this weekend. the bombers will have a significant edge on the Par 5’s.
Stats That Matter
For this tournament, the Wolf is looking primarily looking at:
– Ball Striking
– Birdie Average
– Strokes Gained: Putting
Players that have won here have tended to hit the ball the longest or the most accurate and reached greens in regulation the most often. Putting stats also correlate highly with the winners and this is why the Wolf is focusing on ball striking as well as strokes gained putting.
Vegas scored a 276 to win last year, while Day managed 271 in 2015 and Snedeker 272 in 2013.
Statistically speaking, Dustin Johnson has the numbers and some solid course history behind him coming into this tournament. However, his price of $7.00 and the recent form that he has displayed does not make an attractive betting option according to the Wolf.
Matt Kuchar, of course, has some excellent form but once again at $11.00, is not someone the Wolf can really get behind. For people that don’t mind the price though, the Wolf has a feeling Kuchar will contend this week as well. He is deadly accurate off the tee and has two top-10 finishes in this tournament in his last two attempts. He is in red hot form but the final 4 holes at The Open will definitely play on his mind.
The Wolf is going with Tony Finau at $29.00 as his best bet. He has made his last 7 cuts, is coming off a T27 at the Open and a T7 in the Greenbrier just before that. His form is unquestionably good and it is only a matter of time before he wins another tournament in the Wolf’s opinion. Finau is 16th in ball striking and 14th in birdie average but does struggle with the putter. He is one of the biggest hitters on tour and he could counter his putting woes by getting close to the pin with some stiff wedge shots. A very streaky player he can tear up this course and post a score.
For the outside bet, the Wolf is going with a man we have backed in the past – Chez Reavie at $41.00. He is statistically a better choice than many of his better known rivals and is in some excellent form. Reavie finished T4 at the ST.Jude Classic, T16 at the US Open before tailing off a little in his next two tournaments. His style of play could really do well at the Glen Abbey golf course since he gets some excellent distance off the tee and has very good control as well. If his putter starts to get going, he could well be in contention when Sunday rolls around. He is in or around the top 50 for all the relevant stats this week. Danny Lee at the same price is someone who is also a good pick and the Wolf recommends keeping an eye on him for some In-Play betting after the opening rounds.
The final man on the Wolf’s list is Chad Campbell at $51.00. He is coming off three consecutive Top-20 finishes although the last one at Barbasol came when everyone who was anyone was at The Open. Still, he has form on his side and some decent stats as well. He is 1st in scrambling and 30th in ball striking. Chad has also made plenty of noise here in the past. He was T11 last year and has shot the lowest score in the second round in each of the last two years. He was -14 heading into the weekend last year so look for him to make another fast start.
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