The RBC Canadian Open adopts a rotation policy but tournament base Glen Abbey will host its 28th edition this week and will again be the host in 2017. This year the event acts as the meat in a Major sandwich, with just a two week gap from the Open Championship to the US PGA. Perhaps it's no coincidence then that the field looks a decent grade with some big names choosing to keep the competitive juices flowing between the two. Jason Day won at Glen Abbey in 2015 and that kick started his winning streak and run to number 1 in the world. He returns to defend at 6.00 in the betting.
World number 2 Dustin Johnson - 6.50 - will join him in Canada and DJ placed second here in 2013. Brandt Snedeker - 21.00 - pipped DJ to the title after Hunter Mahan - who had a substantial halfway lead (-13) - withdrew due to the imminent arrival of a new family member. Mahan - 126.0 - also owns a previous 4th here and a link between the course form of the two is a familiarity for Poa Annua greens but all 18 surfaces at Glen Abbey have now been replaced by Bentgrass for the 2016 edition. Matt Kuchar - 17.00 - and Jim Furyk - 26.00 - have an average finishing position of 5.5 at Glen Abbey from their combined four starts in 2013/15.
The course - Glen Abbey GC par 72, 7,253 yards
Par breakers are the brief on what is now one of the easiest parkland style courses on the schedule. Rough used to be grown a lot thicker at Glen Abbey but these days it's not essential to hit the fairways, despite small-to-average greens surrounded by bunkering. Jason Day was 73rd in driving accuracy last year while Bubba Watson commented about playing smart and bombing the driver on holes where pins were still accessible from the rough. One thing I noticed from recent leaderboards is that plenty of doubles are still being made (many water hazards are in play), but again, par 5s will be the key at Glen Abbey. There were 75 eagles made on the par 5s here last year and another 7 beyond that, which is the most on any course since 2008 according to the PGA Tour site. Marc Calcavecchia famously circled off 9 birdies in a row here back in 2009 in soft and benign conditions.
Canadian Open Best Betting Tips
Emilliano Grillo - 41.00 or 9.00 - ranks 2nd in total driving on the PGA Tour in 2016 and is renowned for his tee to green prowess. Grillo was 1st in fairways hit and 3rd in GIR at the Open Championship and the Argentine is rounding into some nice form with a T11 at the Memorial followed by a runner-up finish on a trip to the Japan Tour bringing the confidence back. Since then he's gone T14 and T12 at the WGC Bridgestone and the Open Championship respectively. Simmering Grillo has experience at Glen Abbey, recording a top 25 last year here, where he solo led after the first round with an opening 64.
Tony Finau - 51.00 or 11.00 - comes to Glen Abbey off the back of a top 20 in his first Open Championship where he ranked 14th in total birdies. It's a much more suitable test this week for Finau who is a huge standout here due to price combined with the par five performance theme of the track. The American ranks 3rd in Driving Distance, 30th in total birdies and 17th in par 5 birdie or better leaders on the PGA Tour in 2016. Finau tied with Grillo for 22nd here last season, closing with a 65.
William McGirt - 51.00 or 11.00 - was tied 2nd here back in 2013 but has moved his game up a level in 2016 where he notched a win at the prestigious Memorial event. He started the season off with a bang, shooting a closing 62 at the Shriners, proving he can go low. He also carded 64s at both Muirfield Village before his playoff win at Memorial, and then opened with the same score at Firestone - two of the toughest tracks - before eventually recording a T7 at the WGC. McGirt also recorded a 65 at TPC Sawgrass and he sits 24th in total birdies this season on the whole.
Canadian Open sleeper watch
It's worth sticking with Brian Harman after the Barbasol last week but it's Morgan Hoffman - 201.00 or 41.00 - who gets this main slot. He's 22nd in par 5 scoring average and coming nicely into form with progressive T44 - T11 finishes at the Barracuda and Barbasol Championships. Hoffmann didn't do a lot wrong to miss the cut here last year where in actual fact it was his par 5 performance that let him down to post a pair of 73s. At Barbasol though he was -10 for 12 par 5s, which included 3 eagles. He was 4th in strokes gained off the tee with a driving accuracy clip of 76.79% (T9), measuring an average of 296 yards (15th). Hoffmann showed he had what it takes against the elite going all the way to the Tour Championship in the Playoffs 2014. His run included a top 10 at the Barclays and a top 3 at the BMW and he's way too big a price here.