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Handicapping

The RBC Canadian Open

The RBC Canadian Open
Date: July 21-24, 2016
Where: Glen Abbey GC Ė Oakville, ON
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by: Evergreen of Predictem.com

Some PGA Tour folks are using up a lot airline miles this month. Those that made their way across the pond for The Open are headed back and many will extend the international portion of their schedules with a trip to Ontario for the RBC Canadian Open. The Canadian Open is the third National Championship recognized by the PGA and has been part of the Tour since 1904. Glen Abbey has hosted many Opens since Jack Nicklaus completed his first solo design in the late seventies and this will be the 28th Open contested at Glen Abbey. One of the more famous shots struck at this course came as Tiger Woods bravely fired a 6-iron from the fairway bunker that carried nearly 200 yards of water and netted a birdie on the way to winning the 2000 Canadian Open. Tiger will not play any golf in 2016 but there are plenty of high-profile players in the field this week, including Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. Day is the defending champion here and both he and Johnson are the clear betting favorites with both listed at 5 to 1 to win at the majority of online betting sites.

The Canadian Open uses a rotation of courses but Glen Abbey has been the most used course in recent years. The 7,273 yard, par-72 layout displays some of the best views you can get at the northern latitudes. The course in general appears cut out of the forest in so many locations that it is as if Mother Nature was designing the course right alongside Nicklaus. The back nine gains a different feel as it descends into a valley and back out so players will be challenged to overcome those elevation changes. The course is pretty straightforward and not overtly difficult but players still need to hit quality drives and approaches to score and keep pace with the field. The tournament has a reputation for players making charges on Sunday so there could be many relevant in play come Sunday afternoon.

Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the players that are the best bets. We make some picks to win and breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches that you can find at Bovada Sportsbook. Here are our predictions to win the 2016 Canadian Open.

Matt Kuchar (12 to 1 odds to win)
The prevailing opinion is that DJ and Jason Day come out hot here despite their less than stellar runs at Troon. That might be true but neither of those guys are paying very well so letís look at a bit better value. Kuchar brings some decent value and has a nice run going at the RBC with T7 and T4 finishes in his last two Canadian starts. His T46ís in both the US and British Opens are uninspiring but he hasnít been worse than sixth in any of his last five non-Major starts. Kuchar is 22nd on Tour in stokes gained-putting and 8th in scoring average, making him one of the best statistical options outside of the top two. He is top-33 in both fairways and greens so expect him to be in good shape all week and he will contend if the putter gets going.

Tony Finau (30 to 1)
After about five household names in this field, you start to see either a lot of young up-and-comers or cagey vets. Finau is in the younger category and will be looking for a second win after nabbing a title earlier this year in Puerto Rico. He is a typical power player that dominates courses and has no fear playing from the rough. Tony has had some lapses of accuracy but is averaging a solid 3.64 birdies per round and a top-50 scoring average. He has gone toe-to-toe against the big dogs with top-20ís at The Open, the Memorial and Nelson but he is better suited for these weaker fields, at least in terms of chances to win. This course declares where you can and canít hit it so I expect Finau to use his length only when appropriate and he should be able to build off his T22 here last year.

Jhonattan Vegas (80 to 1)
I have always liked betting a guy named Vegas for some reason. He is a legit longshot but utilizes the 13th longest average drive on Tour to not only shrink the course but put a ton of wedges in his hands. Jhonny hits the 5th most greens and putts pretty well but he isnít the type of guy that makes a ton of birdies. That makes his margin for success a little smaller than most but he is always one to watch when the strength of field is low. His best finishes this season and all three of his top-5ís have come at the Sanderson Farms, The Barbasol last week and in New Orleans. Those events look much more like the Canadian Open than The Palmer or Players Championship, for example. Maybe itís just confidence or some other intangible but Vegas seems to know when it is his time to cash a big check and tends to come through.

Head-to-Head Matches
Picks to win matches based on predicted score for all four rounds. Check with 5Dimes for single round matches and prop bets.

Jim Furyk v. Brandt Snedeker (pick to win: Snedeker)
Both men are Canadian Open champs and you might want to give the nod to Furyk because of his two-time champion status but neither of his wins came at Glen Abbey like Snedsí did in 2013. Both guys have the no-nonsense style that plays well here but Snedeker is putting better than Furyk at the moment and therefore making more birdies. Furyk is getting the most out of his rounds with a tremendous ability to avoid bogies but I donít really see Glen Abbey as the place to test a player over and over again so Iím going with the better birdie man in this match.

Charley Hoffman v. Ryan Palmer (pick to win: Palmer)
We have a really close match here on paper as neither is significantly better than the other off the tee or into the greens. Hoffman is a little bit better in putting average but it is actually Palmer who makes a birdie or two more a week and gets a slim advantage in scoring. Palmer is just a bit steadier when it comes to hitting greens overall and then proximity to the hole so that is really where those few extra birdies are coming from. Hoffman is a tough guy to shake in head-to-heads but so is Palmer.

Good luck and good golf!

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