RBC Canadian Open Picks

The RBC Canadian Open Picks
Dates: July 21 24, 2011
Course: Shaughnessy G&CC Vancouver, B.C.
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com

The PGA Tour heads back from The Open Championship this week, but its one more stamp on the passport as the players head to Vancouver for the 2011 RBC Canadian Open. Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club will host the national championship for the fourth time overall and she welcomes a strong field even though many top professionals are either taking the week off or staying in Europe for another week. Carl Pettersson will defend his 2010 championship, albeit at a different course, against some of the best young talent in the game, including Luke Donald, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler. The Golf Channel has the early round coverage with CBS picking up the weekend finish.

The 7,010 yard, par-70 track at Shaughnessy is in play again for the first time since 2005 and players should expect a tough go if this year plays out like it did then. Only eight players managed to finish under-par for the week with the winning total at 5-under as the course finished the year ranked as the hardest non-Major test of 2005. The course features tight, tree-lined fairways and small greens which are also tough to putt so accuracy is at a premium this week as well as scrambling. The players may catch a break as rain in the forecast should keep the greens receptive but spotty tee to green play will leave players with few birdie opportunities.

Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight a few players that we think have a chance to win it all. We give you a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any quality golf sportsbook. Here are our picks to win the 2011 RBC Canadian Open with odds to win and matches courtesy of the board at Bodog Sportsbook.

Short Favorite: Matt Kuchar (12 to 1 odds to win)

Matt finally stumbled last week at the Open Championship, but that was just his first missed cut of a very productive year so far. Kuchar leads the Tour in top-10 finished with eight and has been in the top-25 in an amazing 12 of his 15 made cuts. A win is about the only thing missing and this week could change that as Matts game suits the course well. Coming into the week, Kuchar is in the top-31 in fairways, greens, total putting and ballstriking and ranks in the top-11 in both birdie and scoring average. There is no weakness on the 3rd best all around stat sheet and that will play well at any tough course.

Middle of the Road: Ryan Moore (22 to 1 odds to win)

Despite making the weekend on 13 of 15 starts, Moore has had a very quiet year with just a single T2 at the Travelers as proof of any real contention. Still, a runner-up finish at this course in 2005 and a final round 69 in rough conditions last Sunday makes him a factor this week. Moore isnt going to wow anyone with his stat sheet overall but he does rank in the top-50 in both total driving and scrambling with top-20 ranks in strokes gained and total putting. Moore is a good grinder and should find success like he did in 2005 at Shaughnessy.

Longshot: Carl Pettersson (50 to 1 odds to win)

Ok, so you cant really give too much credit to a defending champ when the venue changes, but the value is there at 50 to 1 and maybe just being north of the border suits Carl enough to pull an unconventional back to back. Pettersson is looking for some good finishes as a T4 at the very first event of the year remains his highlight but hes making a lot of cuts and enters the week with the 22nd most total birdies in 2011 play. Carl is a grinder like Moore and his overall game is greater than the sum of the statistical parts but he does putt it well as evidenced by top-40 ranks in both strokes gained and total putting and his birdie conversion percentage is in the top-25. No apparent weaknesses for the 2010 champ makes him a good pick this deep on the board and his top-45 all around rank is made better by a good chunk of the Tour elite not present this week.

Head to Head Matches *matches are for entire event. Check with your favorite online bookie for single round matches and prop bets.

Luke Donald (-130) v. Rickie Fowler (EVEN) (our pick: Fowler)

This is a good match between two of the best in the younger set with drastically different styles. Donald is short off the tee by Tour standards but hits a ton of fairways while Fowler is all power and hack it on from wherever the drives land. Both hit about the same amount of greens and make the same amount of birdies so its a tough pick from the scoring angle but Fowler was obviously able to handle the pressure of the Open Championship and should be able to use his distance advantage even if he doesnt go with the driver on the shorter course. Even money and a hotter trend sway the pick in this match.

Lucas Glover (-115) v. Brian Gay (-115) (our pick: Gay)

With both players nearly identical in greens hit and putting average, Gays near Tour best fairways hit percentage really looks good in this match. Gay has the better scoring average despite making fewer birdies per round and that no-mistakes approach should make him tough to beat, especially coming off a bit of layoff to recharge.

Good Luck!