2016 Canadian Open Picks with Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 7/19/2016
Now that was a Sunday of intriguing golf!
The duel between Sweden's Henrik Stenson and American Phil Mickelson at the British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland was absolutely sensational theater. Poor Lefty. The guy lips out a birdie on his final hole of Round 1 for a chance at a record-breaking 62. And then on Sunday he shoots an amazing 65 to finish at 17-under yet loses by three shots to Stenson, who had a stunning 63 on Sunday. That ties the lowest final-round score in a major for the eventual winner. Stenson’s is the first to be achieved in the final round of the British Open. Johnny Miller had the only other 63 at the 1973 U.S. Open.
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It was not just Stenson's first major championship win but also the first for a Swedish male. Annika Sorenstam won a handful of them on the LPGA Tour. Stenson's 20 under tied the all-time lowest score (in relation to par) at a major set by Jason Day at last year’s PGA Championship. Mickelson would have won all but four previous British Opens with his 17 under. He finished 11 shots ahead of third place and that gap is the biggest between second and third place ever at a major. For comparison, nobody has won the British Open by 11 or more strokes since 1870. Mickelson would have won the eight other British Opens held at Royal Troon by a minimum of five strokes. It was Mickelson’s 11th runner-up finish in a major, surpassing Arnold Palmer for second on the all-time list (Jack Nicklaus has 19).
Stenson's Sunday has to go down on the short list of greatest rounds in golf history. His overall performance does. The rest of the field averaged a finishing score of 9 over. So that's 29 shots better. That ties the major championship record set by Tiger Woods in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach when he finished 12 under and the field 17 over.
My pick last week was Aussie Adam Scott -- he was a disappointing T43 -- and I also recommended the Bovada prop of Scott, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Mickelson against the field. I did get Sergio at +225 for a Top-10 finish but missed out on Scott, Jason Day (T22) and Jordan Spieth (T30).
This week the PGA Tour stays outside the United States and visits Glen Abbey Country Club in Oakville, Ontario, for the Canadian Open. As you would expect, most big names are not flying back across the pond to tee it up this week, but world No. 1 and defending champion Day and No. 2 Dustin Johnson are. I remember being shocked Day played last year after finishing just one shot out of a playoff at the British Open as he chased that first major. He shot a final-round 4-under 68 last year at Glen Abbey to finish at 17 under and beat out Bubba Watson by a shot. Canadian David Hearn entered the final round with a two-shot lead and still was tied with two holes to play but couldn't keep pace with Day. No Canadian has won his national open since Pat Fletcher in 1954. Tim Clark did in 2014 and his wife is Canadian if that counts! A total of 12 Canadians are set to play this week. Five of this tournament's past six winners have come from behind on Sunday. The last guy to repeat here was Jim Furyk in 2007.
Golf Odds: Canadian Open Favorites
Day and Johnson are each +500 on Bovada to win. Day never broke 70 last week at Royal Troon and finished T22. Prior to last year, he hadn't played this tournament since 2009 and was 52nd then. Johnson was T9 last week at the British Open. He was second here in 2013.
Matt Kuchar is at +1600 with Brandt Snedeker at +2200 and Furyk at +2500. Kuchar has struggled in the past two majors but not been worse than T6 in his past five non-major events. He has four Top-7 finishes here this decade, including a runner-up three years ago. Snedeker won this event in 2013 but hasn't been playing great of late. Furyk has those two wins here and was fourth last year and second in 2014.
Golf Odds: Canadian Open Picks
For a Top-10 finish, go with Day (-200), Kuchar (+130) and Furyk (+175). Head-to-head, I like Day (-115) over Johnson (-115), Kuchar (-130) over Snedeker (even), Furyk (-150) over Emiliano Grillo (+115), Tony Finau (-135) over Charley Hoffman (+105), Hearn (-125) over Bryson DeChambeau (-105), and Jimmy Walker (-120) over Colt Knost (-110).
While Day and Johnson are the two best players clearly in the field, they might be more focused on next week's PGA Championship. It is a coin flip between Kuchar and Furyk, but at the end of the day I’ll throw my weight behind Furyk. I'll throw a few longer-shot bucks on Hearn at +5500 as well to end that Canadian drought after coming so close in 2015.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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