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BlogRBC Canadian Open Preview and Picks

RBC Canadian Open

July 23 – 28, 2013

Glen Abbey Golf Club

Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,253

Purse: $5.6 million

with $1,008,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Scott Piercy

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 13 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with four of the top-ten in the field: Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald.  There are five players ranked 11 to 25, top-25 players in the field: Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Dustin Johnson.  There are four players from 26 to 50 in the rankings, they are Hideki Matsuyama, Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy.

The field includes 6 of the Top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players include Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell and Dustin Johnson.

The field includes 9 past champions: Scott Piercy (2012), Sean O’Hair (2011), Nathan Green (2009), Chez Reavie (2008), Jim Furyk (2006 & ’07), Vijay Singh (2004), John Rollins (2002), Scott Verplank (2001) and Billy Andrade (1998).

The field includes ten players that have won on the PGA Tour this year: Dustin Johnson (Hyundai Tournament of Champions), Brian Gay (Humana Challenge), Brandt Snedeker (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), John Merrick (Northern Trust Open), Matt Kuchar (WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the Memorial Tournament), Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open), Sang-Moon Bae (HP Byron Nelson Championship), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship), Billy Horschel (Zurich Classic of New Orleans) and Graeme McDowell (RBC Heritage),

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the RBC Canadian Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at RBC Canadian Open in the last five years or check out our brand new and sortable 8-year glance at the RBC Canadian Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the RBC Canadian Open

Player British Open Sanderson Farms John Deere Classic Scottish Open Greenbrier Classic French Open AT&T National Irish Open Travelers Championship BMW International U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude Classic Memorial Tournament
Ernie Els
(237 pts)
T26
(48)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(88)
T4
(106.67)
DNP
 
T37
(4.33)
Hunter Mahan
(218.67 pts)
T9
(90)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T24
(17.33)
DNP
 
T4
(106.67)
DNP
 
T16
(11.33)
Daniel Summerhays
(208.33 pts)
DNP
 
T2
(100)
T4
(80)
DNP
 
T9
(45)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Hideki Matsuyama
(173.33 pts)
T6
(120)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T10
(53.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Matt Jones
(171.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(55)
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
T64
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(20)
Steven Bowditch
(161 pts)
DNP
 
T17
(33)
T12
(38)
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
David Hearn
(153 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T44
(4)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T21
(38.67)
T18
(10.67)
T21
(9.67)
Brandt Snedeker
(148.67 pts)
T11
(78)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T8
(33.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T17
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Matt Kuchar
(144.33 pts)
T15
(70)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T49
(1)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T28
(29.33)
DNP
 
Win
(44)
Nicholas Thompson
(144.33 pts)
DNP
 
4
(80)
T12
(38)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T28
(14.67)
DNP
 
T24
(17.33)
DNP
 
T56
(0)
T27
(7.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Bubba Watson
(140.33 pts)
T32
(36)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
4
(53.33)
DNP
 
T32
(24)
DNP
 
T29
(7)
Charl Schwartzel
(134.67 pts)
T15
(70)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
14
(48)
DNP
 
T8
(16.67)
Jim Herman
(127.33 pts)
DNP
 
T9
(45)
T10
(40)
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T18
(21.33)
DNP
 
T67
(0)
T47
(1)
DNP
 
Chris Stroud
(126.33 pts)
DNP
 
T9
(45)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T28
(14.67)
DNP
 
2
(66.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T53
(0)
Graham Delaet
(123 pts)
83
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
T8
(33.33)
DNP
 
3
(60)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T21
(9.67)
Billy Horschel
(123 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
T61
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T4
(106.67)
T10
(13.33)
T41
(3)
Chad Campbell
(121.67 pts)
DNP
 
T7
(55)
T15
(35)
DNP
 
T41
(9)
DNP
 
T16
(22.67)
DNP
 
T70
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T75
(0)
DNP
 
Woody Austin
(118.67 pts)
DNP
 
Win
(132)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Martin Flores
(117.67 pts)
DNP
 
T26
(24)
T4
(80)
DNP
 
T54
(0)
DNP
 
T21
(19.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T47
(1)
DNP
 
Graeme McDowell
(112 pts)
T58
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(132)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Morgan Hoffmann
(108.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T15
(35)
DNP
 
T23
(27)
DNP
 
T8
(33.33)
DNP
 
T9
(30)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Patrick Reed
(100.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(55)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T34
(10.67)
DNP
 
T18
(21.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
5
(23.33)
DNP
 
Cameron Beckman
(96.67 pts)
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
J.J. Henry
(92 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(55)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T5
(46.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T51
(0)
T29
(7)
David Lingmerth
(89 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T9
(45)
DNP
 
T54
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T17
(44)
DNP
 
T57
(0)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the RBC Canadian Open

Player British Open Sanderson Farms John Deere Classic Scottish Open Greenbrier Classic French Open AT&T National Irish Open Travelers Championship BMW International U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude Classic Memorial Tournament
Casey Wittenberg
(-56.67 pts)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T72
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Aaron Baddeley
(-53.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Justin Bolli
(-50 pts)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Andrew Svoboda
(-43.33 pts)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
T61
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Trevor Immelman
(-42.33 pts)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
Donald Constable
(-40 pts)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Jeff Gove
(-40 pts)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Colt Knost
(-36.67 pts)
DNP
 
76
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Greg Chalmers
(-36.67 pts)
DNP
 
T58
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Luke List
(-35 pts)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T59
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
WD
(-1.67)
DNP
 

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Without a doubt Phil Mickelson’s win at the British Open is the moment of the year.  With a final round 66 and birdies on four of the final six holes, Mickelson won by three shots and now has three of the four major championships.  A couple of thoughts on Phil’s victory, first it continues the trend of World Golf Hall of Famers winning.  This is the ninth Open Championship held at Muirfield since World War II.

With Mickelson winning he continues the streak of all nine champions being in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

  • 1948 – Henry Cotton
  • 1959 – Gary Player
  • 1966 – Jack Nicklaus
  • 1972 – Lee Trevino
  • 1980 – Tom Watson
  • 1987 – Nick Faldo
  • 1992 – Nick Faldo
  • 2002 – Ernie Els
  • 2013 – Phil Mickelson

Mickelson now joins this list of players that have won three of the four majors:

  • Phil Michelson – missing major, U.S. Open
  • Walter Hagen – missing major, Masters
  • Tom Watson = missing major, PGA Championship
  • Arnold Palmer – missing major, PGA Championship
  • Sam Snead – missing major, U.S. Open
  • Lee Trevino – missing major, Masters
  • Byron Nelson – missing major, British Open
  • Ray Floyd – missing major, British Open
  • James Barnes – missing major, Masters
  • Tommy Armour – missing major, Masters

Making this win so remarkable was the fact that up until his runner-up finish at St. Georges in 2011, nobody really thought that Mickelson could win the British Open.  Phil said his problem was putting on links greens, frankly he is not that good of a wind and poor weather player.  Going into this week in 19 previous starts he only had two top-tens, in 2004 at Royal Troon he finished 3rd and the runner-up finish in 2011.  The rest were a bunch of finishes between T11th and missing four cuts.  Last year in the rain Phil missed the cut at Lytham.  Hard to believe but it took Phil 20 starts to finally win, a record at not only the British Open but in three of the four majors.  The all-time leader of most starts before winning the U.S. Open still falls in Tom Kite, who had 21 starts before his 1992 victory at Pebble.

I can’t picture any moment better than Mickelson’s birdie putt at 18, the moment of his caddy Bones breaking into tears and the embrace of Phil with Amy and the kids.  Unfortunately that moment is not enough to give him Player of the Year honors.  It’s his third win along with Phoenix and the Scottish Open, but if Adam Scott, Tiger Woods or Justin Rose win the PGA that would be a better season.  Even if Tiger doesn’t win the PGA, with four victories this year if he could win a FedEx Cup playoff event and even with the season FedEx Cup title, that would put him on top ahead of Mickelson.

As great of a moment it must of been for Mickelson, the opposite can be said for Lee Westwood.  Things were in motion for him to finally win a major championship after 19 British starts and 62 major starts.  While Mickelson will be looking to complete the grand slam next year at Pinehurst at 44 years old, Westwood is 40 and still looking for that one major.  Until he does it he will be dodge with the reputation along with Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia of the best player not to win a major.

One last thought about destiny and Mickelson, isn’t it funny that next year’s U.S. Open goes back to Pinehurst.  That was the scene of Mickelson almost winning his first major championship only to have Payne Stewart hole a 15 footer on the 72nd hole for the one shot victory.  Stewart and Mickelson had a very poignant moment in which Stewart put his arms around Mickelson’s head and said that Phil’s moment would come and that he was going to be a father soon.  The next day Phil’s first child was born along with the quest to win the U.S. Open.  It has been a long 14 years since Pinehurst with Phil being runner-up a record six times in that span.  So with Phil getting on in age and the U.S. Open returning to Pinehurst next year, it sets up for some serious drama.  If Phil could complete the grand slam quest at Pinehurst it could be the biggest moment in golf, surpassing Francis Ouiment’s 1913 U.S. Open victory.

Lot’s will be written about all of this in the coming 10 months but first we have to think about the RBC Canadian Open.  Just like with the John Deere, the folks of the Canadian Open chartered that 767 and took 30 of those that played in the British Open off to Canada for that event.  Some of the key players on that jet were Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald.

This year’s Canadian Open returns to Glen Abbey, a public course just outside of Toronto, for the 26th time and despite being wedge between the British Open and the WGC-Bridgestone, still holds a lot of prestige. The course is a gem and in 2004 it was the fourth hardest on the PGA Tour that year with a 72.731 scoring average.  The last time it was played in Glen Abbey in 2009 it played to a 70.892 scoring average and was the 40th hardest course that year, so low numbers can be shot at this course.

 

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the RBC Canadian Open:

Key stat for the winner:

Those that have played the course before will have a slight edge but the key to the course will be for those to manage the par 4s.  With the 16th playing as a par 4 in 2004 instead of a par 5, it was the 11th toughest hole on the PGA Tour in 2004.  In 2009 as a par 5 it was the 896th rank hole that year on the PGA Tour (out of 918) showing how much easier it is as a par 5.  The 14th hole was the 10th hardest hole on the PGA Tour in 2004 and the 48th hardest in 2009 as it played to a 4.276 average. Both holes will be important for the winner to master.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Over the years Glen Abbey got a reputation as a long hitters kind of course, but if you look at all of the champions since 1990 all but Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh were short hitters.  Another thing, most of the winners at Glen Abbey fade the ball, that makes sense since five of the six holes that bend go to the right, a Jack Nicklaus design trait.
  • Greens are contoured and well bunkered which means that those that scramble will do very well.</li>
  • Putting seems to be the key to success at Glen Abbey.  Those that have putted well tend to get the nod over players that hit lots of greens.  So a good putter and scrambler will prevail this week.
  • With the last hole being a par 5, it has produced some wild finishes over the years. Final hole birdies were made by Greg Norman in 1992 to get into a playoff, and by David Frost (’93) and Nick Price (’94) to win by one.  ’98 was the most bizarre finish with Andrade winning the playoff with a par, while in  ’99 Hal Sutton birdied the hole three times and made par it in the final round.  2000 will always be tops on the highlight reel for Tiger Woods hitting the prettiest shot from a fairway bunker over the lake to made birdie and nip Grath Waite by a shot while in 2004 Vijay Singh made a birdie, Mike Weir didn’t which forced a playoff which Singh won.  In 2008 Chez Reavie played the hole in three under, including a birdie in the final round, an accomplishment that most of the winners achieve in the final round.
  • Nathan Green was a first time winner the last time the Canadian Open was held at Glen Abbey.  Chez Reavie was also a first time PGA Tour winner in 2008, the last time a first-time winner prevailed at the Canadian Open was in 2002 and previous to that was in 1996 when Dudley Hart won and before that it was in 1981 when Peter Oosterhuis won.  So the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey has favored non-winners, a trend that could continue this year.
  • Now we tend to forget that this is the national open of Canada but it’s been a while since a Canadian has one it, you have to go back to 1954 when Pat Fletcher won it.  Mike Weir came close to winning in 2004, only to give up a lead on the final holes and then lose a playoff to Vijay Singh.  Other than that it’s been a bit bare as Dave Barr finished T4th in 1988, while David Morland IV finished T5th in 2001.  There will be 16 Canadians in the field with Mike Weir being the sentimental favorite.  The some of the other Canadians in the field are: Stephen Ames, Graham DeLaet and David Hearn. Again the big question will be if a Canadian can come to the fro-front this year, 2004 did bring a lot of excitment.

Who to watch for at the RBC Canadian Open

Best Bets:

Brandt Snedeker

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T34 CUT T5 T7

His game is coming around and he could be tough, was T5th the last time this was played at Glen Abbey.

Hideki Matsuyama

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
First time playing in this event

I told you about him at the U.S. Open and he finished T10th, told you about him at the British Open and he finished T6th, I am telling you about him now because he could win this week.

Matt Kuchar

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T34 CUT T4 CUT T14 CUT

Hasn’t played great at Glen Abbey but the course should be great for him now.

Best of the rest:

Luke Donald

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T17 3 T24 T46 T18

His play has been rough this year, but could break out of it this week.

Graeme McDowell

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T46

Glen Abbey should also be good for him this week.

Bubba Watson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
CUT CUT 76 T14

Should like all of the par 5s, course is tailored for his game.

Ernie Els

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
CUT T17

If his putting comes around he could be tough.

Solid contenders

Graham Delaet

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T56 CUT T46 CUT

Yes he is the leading Canadian in the field and is playing good.

Scott Stallings

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T7 T22

Hot player, could continue the streak to this week.

Billy Horschel

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T42 CUT

Has been very consistent, could be a good pick getting long odds.

Charl Schwartzel

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T42 T9

Always plugs along, this could be a good week for him as his game it good.

Long shots that could come through:

David Hearn

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T71 T34 CUT T58 T58 T20 CUT CUT CUT CUT

Could be considered the dark-horse favorite for this week.

Chris Kirk

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T4

Was T4th last year, but playing at Glen Abbey for the first time.

Bud Cauley

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T4 T13

One of those names that people don’t associate with, but he could do well this week like he did last year finishing T4th.

Comments

  1. James Gittleman says:

    Sal–Thanks for your insights on Matsuyama! He played extremely well in Scotland but prior to the event he was completely off my radar. I played just a small amount at 200/1. However, this week I played a good amount at 40/1. I like the fact that I’m getting a good number for a player who, will at the very least, be close. You take Snedeker and Kuchar out of the equation and you have a good number of name players that aren’t playing very consistant. Take out the two mentioned and that leaves you with a young player that I suspect is playing for his 2014 card. And you know how the talented youngster with the desire has been able to carry it off roughly every other year. It could happen again. Thanks!! (Oh, and he moved into the top 50 in the World, huge!)

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