Golf Betting Systems: RBC Canadian Open Picks and Expert Analysis
If you were to take a poll of 100 golf fans and ask them what their favorite major of the year is, 98 of them would say The Masters, and they'd be wrong. The best Major of the year is far-and-away the Open Championship. Because how could it not be? This year's Open Championship featured four completely different days in terms of weather and golf, a hundred storylines, and an edge-of-the-couch worthy final round on Sunday - all culminating in another first-time Major winner, Francesco Molinari.
Molinari is the hottest golfer on the planet now. Since missing the cut at the U.S. Open, Molinari has three wins and two second-place finishes in his last six events. To be completely honest with you, Molinari was essentially overlooked by many on Sunday despite starting the day just three shots back. Most of the attention (read: all of the attention) to start the day was focused around co-leader Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods. Spieth went on to shoot a five-over 76, while Woods briefly held the lead at -7 and would shoot an even-par 71 to finish in sixth place. Molinari capped off a brilliant final round 69 with a birdie putt on 18 to secure the win. A big factor in this result was the fact that Molinari went bogey free for the final 37 holes - something that hasn't been done since Steve Elkington did it at the 1995 PGA Championship. In addition to winning his first Major, Molinari collected a cool $1.89 million for his performance.
It was a stellar weekend of golf, and here's hoping that the Canadian Open will have some semblance of drama in store for us throughout the weekend.
This year's Canadian Open field is comprised of 156 total players, and the Top 70 and ties will make the cut to play on the weekend. As of writing this, Dustin Johnson is the overwhelming favorite at +650. Brooks Koepka checks in at +1100, with Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau sitting at +1600. Bubba Watson +2000, Charley Hoffman +2500, Matt Kuchar +2500, Sergio Garcia +2500, Joaquin Niemann +2800 and Billy Horschel +3300 round out the Top 10.
Glen Abbey GC - Course Layout
In order to completely break down the field and use the process of elimination to build out the golf card, we must understand what kind of course we are dealing with. The Canadian Open is being contested this year at Glen Abbey GC, which is a Par-72 that plays 7,253 yards. The field will have to contend with Bentgrass on average-sized greens and a course that features no real trouble (unless you end up in the woods or water). I expect birdies to be come fast and furious over the four days as most of the Par-4s are relatively short, which will leave players with several scoring opportunities if they can get dialed in with their short-iron game.
If you look at the last batch of winners you will notice one trend that sticks out -- extremely low scores. Jhonattan Vegas has won this event the last two years running -- once in a playoff at -21 and once at -12. In 2015, Jason Day took home the title at -17 and the year before that, Tim Clark also won at -17. This course is extremely gettable, and you will need to score well in order to have a chance.
Canadian Open - Key Stats
Strokes Gained: Ball Striking + Birdie or Better
I feel like it's not a real PGA tournament unless Bubba Watson has a chance to win the event. The motto around backing Watson is to play Bubba on Bubba courses. Glen Abbey will reward long hitters who can score well this weekend. If that's not a cue to play Bubba at +2000 then I don't know what is. Watson performed terrible at last week's Open Championship, but links golf doesn't suit his style of play. Bubba has a T42/T2/T21 on his resume in his last three starts at Glen Abbey, but he enters on an upwards trend in terms of Strokes Gained: off the tee and total ball striking. He also enters the tournament ranked third in eagles gained over the course of the last 24 rounds. At a course where he can bomb it and mix in his creativity without any excessive potential for penalties, Bubba should be in the mix on Sunday.
Another guy I am looking at backing is Harold Varner III. Varner III is currently in fine form and owns a T5 and T6 in his last two starts. He checks in at 12th in Ball Striking, seventh in Birdies or better, 17th in Par-5s gained and ninth in driving distance over his last 24 rounds. Varner is the kind of player who will look to ride his current hot form into contention once again this week. He has played well on courses that correlate well to Glen Abbey, so backing him at +8000 could turn out to be a very profitable play.
And lastly, let me touch on the top end of the leaderboard. Dustin Johnson was terrible at last week's Open Championship. He finished at +6 and was never close to making the cut after the second round. It's always tough to ignore the World's No. 1 golfer, especially on a course that plays well for bombers. At +650, there is no value, but a win from DJ wouldn't surprise me. Koepka is much of the same -- a bomber who can outdrive the course and potentially set up plenty of scoring opportunities. I just can't see him getting the job done here.
Let's go all in this week on Bubba Watson +1600 and Harold Varner III +8000 to win. Both guys are in great form, and I'm not too worried about Bubba's MC at last week's Open Championship. Both guys will be able to hit the ball long off the tee and set themselves up for scoring opportunities. The field is strong enough to draw interest from casual golf fans but not strong enough to have me worrying about the top off the odds board.
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