Well, I would like to say that I nailed Ernie Els to win the Open Championship last week, but in all honestly Els didn’t win the tournament so much as Adam Scott lost it. I did think about picking Els as the best value at 33/1, mentioning in the preview that I did a double-take on the Big Easy because of his past success at Royal Lytham. Els’ victory, his fourth major championship, ended a streak of nine straight first-time major winners.
Unfortunately, I chose Lee Westwood, just as I did in last year’s British Open. But Westwood couldn’t break 70 once and finished T45. That will be the last time I pick him to win a major. I was also highly disappointed with Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose, both of whom I predicted to have a Top-10 finish. Both missed the cut. I did hit on Tiger finishing in the Top 10, as well as Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy not to. I think it’s time to worry a bit about Lefty and Rory with the state of their current respective games.
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The golf season is about to get very interesting, with a WGC event, the PGA Championship, FedEx Cup playoffs (capped by the Tour Championship) and the Ryder Cup upcoming. However, this is a down week at the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario. This is usually the case after any major, but especially after the British because it’s such a long flight back and quick turnaround for players who made it through the weekend.
The biggest name in the field is probably Els, and I’m a tad surprised he didn’t pull out with the WGC-Bridgestone next week and then the PGA. He actually did joke about skipping the event after winning on Sunday but said he was kidding and will play. The other top players in the field are Americans Matt Kuchar, Jim Fuyrk and Hunter Mahan.
This will be the 103rd Canadian Open. Founded in 1904, it is the second oldest non-major tournament currently on Tour. The event rotates courses and returns to Hamilton G&CC, a par-70, for the first time since 2006, when Furyk won. This course has hosted this event just five times so will be unfamiliar to many players.
Incidentally, Furyk would win again in ’07 and is the only multiple winner of this event in the field. Last year, Sean O’Hair won (after missing the cut the week before at the British Open) with a bogey on the first playoff hole to beat unknown Kris Blanks. O’Hair is back to defend and is 33/1 at Bovada.
Obviously, the fans will be rooting for the few Canadians in the field. The last Canadian to emerge victorious at this event was Pat Fletcher in 1954.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: RBC Canadian Open Favorites
Kuchar is the 11/1 favorite. He has just one Top-10 finish in five Canadian Opens, a T4 two years ago. He missed the cut last year. He didn’t play in 2006 last time it visited this course. Kuchar has back-to-back Top-10 finishes on Tour this year.
Mahan is next at 14/1. The two-time winner this year has finished outside the Top 20 just once in his past five tournaments (T19 last week). He has Top-10 finishes in seven Canadian Opens but was T60 back in 2006.
Furyk is next at 16/1. He actually has no Top-10 finishes in this tournament other than his two wins (he finished 16-under in 2006). Furyk hasn’t been great of late, with two T34 finishes and a missed cut in his past three events.
The favorites are rounded out by Els and Brandt Snedeker at 22/1. I would literally bet anything that Els struggles this week after the high of Sunday. His mind won’t be here – I wouldn’t be surprised if he misses the cut. Last week, Snedeker led at the halfway stage of the Open Championship after equaling the lowest score over the first 36 holes in championship history with rounds of 66 and 64. But he faded to finish third. Snedeker does have two Top-10 finishes in three tries at this tournament.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: RBC Canadian Open Predictions
On the Top-10 finishes, I would go with “yes” on Kuchar (+115) and Mahan (+135) but “no” on Furyk (-250), Snedeker (-300) and for sure Els (-300).
Charl Schwartzel at 25/1 to win is interesting. He missed a month with an injury following the U.S. Open and missed the cut on the number last week. He was T9 in this tournament a year ago.
I’m always a fan of Bo Van Pelt in these weaker-field tournaments and he’s 33/1. Van Pelt missed the cut last week, but I almost think that’s a good thing. Van Pelt was the runner-up at Congressional before that. Van Pelt was T6 in this tournament a year ago and T20 back in 2006.
But I am going to go with a Canadian here. No, not former Masters winner Mike Weir, who has fallen off the planet and is 10-for-10 in missed cuts this year. The pick is Graham DeLaet at 66/1 to win his first event. The Saskatchewan native was last seen with a T12 at the Greenbrier. He ranks 15th on Tour in ball-striking and 31st in greens in regulation, two keys to playing this course from the 2006 version.
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