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RBC Canadian Open Preview and Picks

by Matt Fargo

Bet Golf at Bovada

We follow up an exciting Open Championship, with Ernie Els taking home the Claret Jug after the Adam Scott collapse, with the RBC Canadian Open this week from Ancaster. This is always one of the more difficult tournaments on tour to breakdown because of the constant venue changes. The Canadian Open has been around for over a century and in that span, 37 different courses have played host. This year it returns to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for only the fifth time.

The last time Hamilton Golf and Country Club hosted was 2006 when Jim Furyk won by a stroke over Bart Bryant and two shots over Sean O'Hair who coincidentally is the defending champion of this event after winning in a playoff last year at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club. Hamilton is a par 70 course that reaches a rather tame 6,985 but it is not overly easy as the greens are very small and similar to the Open Championship last week, there are numerous bunkers in place, 89 to be exact.

This is the sixth consecutive year that the RBC Canadian Open has followed the Open Championship and that is certainly a tough draw. As with any event following a major, the field is lacking in star power as only three players from the Official World Golf Ranking are in play, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan and Ernie Els. That makes for a pretty wide open tournament and it heightened by the fact that not many players in the field have stepped foot on this track before.

Ernie Els (+2,500) looks to be getting exceptional odds but that is for a reason. He is coming off the big win at Royal Lytham & St. Annes last week and that took a lot of energy out of him. If ever there is a letdown, this is it and even though he says he is looking forward to playing here, he came over a day later than originally planned so his preparation for Hamilton took a hit.

Matt Kuchar (+1,000) is the favorite this week and for good reason. He is the highest ranked player in the field (8th) and comes in with some great momentum. He finished T9 last week in Lancashire which was his seventh top ten of the season. He has yet to miss a cut and has finished worse than T27 only twice. He already has a win at THE PLAYERS and his solid ball striking will keep him in the hunt this weekend.

Because Hamilton is considered a ball-strikers course, the top ranked ball striker cannot be left out. Hunter Mahan (+1,200) leads the tour in that category and he too is coming off a solid finish at the Open Championship where he finished T19, his best ever finish in that major. He has two wins this year and while he finished T60 here back in 2006, it included a Friday 66 and he is much stronger now than he was then.

Bo Van Pelt (+2,500) missed the cut at the Open Championship last week so the extra two days could be beneficial here. It was just his third missed cut of the season and he brings in six tops tens including a solo second at the AT&T National two starts back. He played here back in 2006 when it was the Bell Canadian Open and he finished T20 so he is familiar with the surroundings and has succeeded in doing so.

Vijay Singh (+5,000) is still going strong at his age and he showed signs of it last week with a T9 at the Open Championship. It was only his second top ten of the season but he has missed just one cut in his last eight starts and a trip to Ancaster could get him back into the winners circle. He finished T35 in 2006 and T6 in 2003 when the Canadian Open was played here so he knows his way around.

For a longshot, we will take a look at Charlie Wi (+6,000). While he has not won this year, he has a solo second at the AT&T Pebble Beach National as well as a T3 at the Greenbrier Classic three weeks ago. That was his last event played so he comes in fresh and with the similarities of The Old White TPC and Hamilton, he could be in store for another strong finish and his first ever win on tour.

Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the RBC Canadian Open - All for 1 Unit
Matt Kuchar (+1,000)
Hunter Mahan (+1,200)
Bo Van Pelt (+2,500)
Vijay Singh (+5,000)
Charlie Wi (+6,000)

Record to date after 27 events: +68.1 Units
Sony Open -5 Units
Humana Challenge -6 Units
Farmers Insurance Open +22 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
Accenture Match Play +7.1 Units
Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Transitions Championship +6 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -4 Units
Shell Houston Open +16 Units
The Masters -6 Units
RBC Heritage -5 Units
Valero Texas Open -4 Units
Zurich Classic of New Orleans +21 Units
Wells Fargo Championship +36 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial +11 Units
The Memorial -5 Units
FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units
U.S. Open -5 Units
Travelers Championship -5 Units
AT&T National -5 Units
Greenbrier Classic -5 Units
John Deere Classic +8 Units
The Open Championship +36 Units

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