PGA Tour Picks: Canadian Open Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 7/23/2014
As usual, I will take a look back before looking ahead to this week's PGA Tour event, the RBC Canadian Open, and by far my favorite statistic from last week's 143rd British Open was that Rory McIlroy's father made about $150,000 more than Tiger Woods did.
If you have never checked out the British books, they offer some crazy exotics. In 2004, McIlroy's father put down $341 (200 pounds) at 50/1 at Ladbrokes that his highly-touted young son would win the Open Championship within 10 years. That cashed out at $171,000 when Rory took home the Claret Jug on Sunday. Two friends of McIlroy's father placed similar bets and made a combined $136,700.
Don't weep for Rory as he made $1.66 million and clearly stamped himself as the new face of golf with his wire-to-wire win. McIlroy grabbed hold of the tournament with opening 66s, and really there was never much drama. He finished at 17 under, despite playing very conservatively on Sunday (just 1 under), two shots ahead of Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.
It was stunning, and it wasn't. When McIlroy is on, he is clearly the best player going right now. When he's off, he can be pretty bad. McIlroy is now 75 percent of the way to the career Grand Slam at age 25 -- he really should have it by now if not for that back-nine meltdown at the Masters a few years ago. McIlroy, Tiger and Jack Nicklaus are the only three players with at least three majors by the age of 25. McIlroy is going to get the Tiger treatment for a while in that he's the clear betting favorite in any major he plays.
After an opening-round 3-under 69, Woods went 9-over in his remaining three rounds to claim 69th place, his worst finish in a major as a professional and 18 spots behind Ryder Cup captain and 64-year-old Tom Watson. Phil Mickelson finished T23 but was never a factor; he climbed on Sunday thanks to a final-round 68. His opening 74 just about finished him immediately.
McIlroy went off as the co-14/1 favorite with Justin Rose at Bovada. I didn't pick McIlroy to win but did say it might be worth throwing a few bucks on him leading after the first round, and that paid off at 20/1. He's been a first-round monster all year. I also hit on Rory at +135 for a Top-10 finish. My pick to win was Adam Scott, and he was T5. He paid off for me at +150 for a Top 10. Garcia paid off at +225 on that prop for me. The only major disappointment was Lee Westwood, whom I thought would contend but missed the cut. His window to win a major might be closed. Head-to-head, I hit on Watson at -140 over John Daly, Sergio at even over Martin Kaymer, Sergio at -115 over Tiger, Mickelson at -170 over Tiger and McIlroy at -115 over Rose. Even though I chose Scott to win, I hedged on a European winner at +110, so that paid out as well. So all in all, a great Open Championship.
This week the Tour stays international and moves to the Royal Montreal Golf Course (the Blue course) for the Canadian Open. This course is notable as North America's first official golf club, opening as a nine-hole track in 1873. The first Canadian Open was held there in 1904 but it moves around. Last time Royal Montreal hosted was 2001 when Scott Verplank won it.
It's a decent field considering it's the week after the Open Championship. A total of 24 players who competed at Royal Liverpool are supposed to play, including five of the Top 20 in the world. This tournament, of course, means more to Canadian players than any others, and there are 14 countrymen in the tournament. No Canadian has won this in exactly 60 years.
You may remember last year's event. I picked Hunter Mahan to win. And he was leading through two rounds but withdrew early on Saturday when his wife went into labor. Brandt Snedeker would capture the event at 16 under, three shots ahead of William McGirt, Dustin Johnson, Jason Bohn and Matt Kuchar.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: Canadian Open Betting Favorites
Furyk is the 10/1 Bovada favorite. He's having a nice year with six Top 10s, including a T4 last week. Furyk has two runner-ups as well. He won this tournament in 2006-07 and was T9 last year. Remember, though, those finishes weren't at Royal Montreal.
Johnson and Matt Kuchar are 12/1. Johnson probably wins last year if he doesn't shoot a first-round 75. DJ has seven Top 10s on Tour this season and was nearly in contention for a bit last week before finishing T12. You know how I feel about Kuchar: He's Mr. Top 10. Kuchar leads the Tour with nine of them this season, but none since May. In addition to that second last year in the Canadian Open, he was T4 in 2010.
Graeme McDowell (16/1) and Charl Schwartzel (18/1) round out the favorites. McDowell is playing really well right now with three straight Top-10 finishes overseas, including a win in France. Schwartzel was T7 last week and has a best finish of T9 in this tournament, coming in 2011.
PGA Tour Picks: Canadian Open Betting Predictions
One would think anyone who played across the pond the week before the Canadian Open would struggle here with jetlag, etc. However, since this event was moved a week after the British Open, three guys have won after playing overseas: Furyk in 2007, Sean O'Hair in 2011 and Snedeker (22/1 to repeat) last year.
On the Top-10 props, I like Johnson (+120), Kuchar (+130), McDowell (+150) and Canadian Graham DeLaet (+200). It's not a great European field here, so go with McDowell at 2/1 as the top European, Schwartzel at 5/4 as the top South African and DeLaet at 15/8 as the top Canadian. Head-to-head, go Schwartzel at -125 over Snedeker (-105), DeLaet (-110) over a struggling Luke Donald (-120) and Mahan (-130) over Charley Hoffman (Even).
I want to recommend DeLaet (25/1) to win so he can end that Canadian drought on the 60th anniversary of the last one. He simply hasn't played that well in this event. I also want to recommend Mahan (28/1) as karma payback for last year, but he's not playing great this year. I'm going with Johnson. He has the ultimate karma north of the border as he's engaged to Wayne Gretzky's (really hot) daughter.
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