After a wild final round at the year’s third major we’re headed to Canada for the RBC Canadian Open. There are only two weeks in between majors now, as the PGA Championship looms on the horizon, and so every start from here on out is important for the players. On top of being a good rebound spot for players who disappointed in Britain, the Canadian Open is also one of the last few starts for players on the FedEx Cup bubble. Those outside of the top 125 will need a big week here to ensure tour status for next season. The Canadian Open this year will again be hosted at Glen Abbey, site of the 2013, 2015 and 2016 tournaments, as a well as a bunch of other stops pre-2010.
The Course: A quick note about Glen Abbey. It essentially sets up as a very easy par 72 and contains four very easy par 5’s, that will generally play as the four easies holes on the course for the week. To give you an example of how easy these holes can play (and how vital they are) in 2015 Bubba Watson played the par 5’s in an incredible 16 under par for the week (average score of 4.00), he played the rest of the holes in even par and still finished solo second. Glen Abbey is a tighter tree-lined course but it’s shorter par 5’s and par 4’s don’t offer much defense from bombers off the tee and it has been picked apart by longer hitters the past two seasons.
Open Hangover?: While we might feel inclined to fade players coming over from Europe, past results show us that players coming over from Europe can generally be trusted here. Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker both won at Glen Abbey after playing well at the Open and whatever jet-lag players may suffer from, it has generally been overcome by the need to pile up end of season points.
Matt Kuchar ($11,400): Kuchar will likely be labeled as overpriced by many in DFS this week but if we’re looking at course fit and past trends, this week sets up well for Kuchar to notch his first win since 2014 at another RBC event (the Heritage). In his last three starts at Glen Abbey, Kuchar’s worst finish is a T9 and he was runner-up here in 2013 to Brandt Snedeker, he’s also now gone solo second-T4-T16 in his three starts before this week. With two of the last three winners here coming off of good Open Championships, Kuchar looks to be in a prime position to take down a weaker field.
Charley Hoffman ($10,300): For many of the reasons we have to like Matt Kuchar this week, we also have to like Charley Hoffman. Hoffman played well at the Open, finishing T20, and hasn’t missed the weekend in any of his last nine starts. Hoffman’s record at the Abbey isn’t quite as good as Kuchar’s but a T16 and a T7 in his last two starts here is still close. Charley has the distance off the tee to take advantage of the shorter par-5’s here too, giving him a great chance at some eagle bonuses on DraftKings as well.
JB Holmes ($8,500): Holmes has been much more consistent off the tee of late, ranking inside the top five in SG: Off the Tee at the US Open and the Greenbrier, and he could find this course quite appealing now that he has his driver working. Longer hitters have really taken to this course of late with both of the last two winners averaging well over 300-yards off the tee. Even after a slow start to the season, Holmes still ranks 41st in birdie or better percentage and is a discount at only $8,500 in this field.
Patrick Cantlay ($8,100): We haven’t seen Cantlay much lately and it’s likely due to the fact the young American is taking on a light schedule to ensure no regression occurs to the back injury that forced him to stay off of tour for so long. While there may be some rust, we shouldn’t rush to avoid Cantlay, who is a superb price this week given the strength of field. Of note is the fact Cantlay hadn’t played for about month before finishing solo second at the Valspar, so there is likely less risk in playing him here than there appears to be. His par 5 scoring averages rank him with the best in that area and he should set up well for an easy test at Glen Abbey.
Others: Gary Woodland
Kevin Tway ($7,600): Tway brings a nice blend of power off the tee and some decent form on and around the greens. The 28-year old has finally found his groove on tour this season and is coming off a T11 finish at the John Deere, where he carded a brilliant 63 in round two. He can be inconsistent at times, but the fact he ranks 24th par-5 scoring is encouraging and another big fantasy week would not be shocking. There’s lots of options at this range but discount Tway this week.
Chad Campbell ($7,500): I won’t say much about Campbell, as he makes for a pretty obvious play given his recent form and the course history he has at Glen Abbey. Campbell has finished 18th or better in four of his last five starts and has finishes of T26-T11-T16 to his credit over his last three trips to this venue. He’s a great cash game play, although he’ll likely be popular this week in gpps.
Ollie Schniederjans ($7,200): I’m sure many people will be targeting Ollie at this price and I can’t really disagree. Schniederjans ranks T36 in par-5 scoring and T50 in birdie or better percentage on the season; he also had a nice introduction to this week’s venue with a T22 finish here in 2015. He shook some rust off at the John Deere where he posted two rounds of 6-under par or better and should be looking to join the list of young players who have picked up their first win in 2017 this week.
Richy Werenski ($6,500): Werenski should definitely catch the eye here if you need a min-priced play. He’s now been under par in each of his last eight competitive rounds and has shown improvement over his last two starts in nearly every category. The former Web.com winner showed the ability to go low last season and has taken advantage of easier setups over his last two starts. He’s a good min-price punt this week.
Others: Robert Garrigus
High-upside GPP Picks
Bubba Watson ($9,400): Watson has picked up the pace a bit over his couple of starts and comes in off the back of three straight made cuts and a T27 at last weeks Open. It may not seem like much, but after missing what seemed like every cut earlier in the season this should give Bubba a big mental boost and sets him up well on a course he has taken to well. Watson has gone T21 and solo second over his two starts at Glen Abbey and crushed the par 5’s here in 2015 (he was an incredible -16 on them for the week). He lines up as a great risk/reward tournament play on DK.
Anirban Lahiri ($7,600): Lahiri is a great tournament target almost every time he tees it up, but even more so in these weaker field events where he’s more likely to make the weekend. Lahiri ranks ninth in Birdie or Better percentage for the season, is T31 in par 5 scoring, and is coming in off of some solid recent starts on similar styled PGA venues. A T2 at another Nicklaus design (Memorial) and a T17 at an easier venue like TPC River Highlands is a good sign Lahiri could be in for another big week in Canada.
Scott Stallings ($7,500): Stallings has been playing out of his mind the past two weeks and given that Glen Abbey lines up nicely—in terms of ease of setup—with the venues at his past two starts we probably shouldn’t look past the three-time Tour winner in DFS. He was top five in both SG: Off the Tee and Approaches at the Barbasol, and with 41 birdies and three eagles over his last two starts is a great tournament target this week.
Others: Luke List
Players to Consider (in no order)
– Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, JB Holmes, Patrick Cantlay, Gary Woodland, Kevin Tway, Ollie Schniederjans, Ricky Werenski
– Bubba Watson, Anirban Lahiri, Scott Stallings, Luke List, Robert Garrigus, Chad Campbell
JB Holmes 45-1
Scott Stallings 80-1
Anirban Lahiri 80-1 EW
Kevin Tway 75-1 EW
Luke List 200-1 EW