Glen Abbey golf course will host its 27th Canadian Open this week and this venue has been the main home of the event over the past 40 years or so despite a course rotation plan. It's not long since the last renewal here and in 2013, Hunter Mahan famously withdrew after building up a substantial 36 hole lead as his wife was about to welcome a new arrival. Brandt Snedeker emerged victorious on that occasion but will not return this week due to a niggling injury to his left hip. It's Jason Day - 8.00 - leading the market - fresh off the back of yet another major near miss. Jason needed to hole a putt on the 72nd hole at ST. Andrews to force his way into a playoff but failed to do so.
It may pay to tread cautiously this week with Open Championship delays leaving a number of big names a day behind schedule and it's hard to predict how they will be feeling after a transatlantic flight and a long weekend. Bubba Watson - 13.00 - missed the cut in Scotland and has had an extra few days to prepare for Glen Abbey. The home fans will be cheering on Graham Delaet who trades at 34.00.
The course - Glen Abbey Golf club
An old school, parkland style track, Glen Abbey is a Jack Nicklaus design playing circa 7,250 yards in length to a par of 72. The course is treelined with sand and water hazards featuring throughout. Greens are of average size and expected to play around 12' on the stimp. Fairways were tough to hit in 2013 but rough is meant to be topped at 3" according to the PGA Tour. Birdies will be the brief on a track where Mark Calcavecchia broke records back in 2009 when carding 9 birdies in a row: "It's just fly it right to the stick. ... You give the guys out here no wind and greens that are plugging, you're going to see a lot of low scores." John Merrick - 201.0 - hit a second round 62 here in 2013 to tie the course record. The four par 5s are gettable and scoring on these holes will be imperative.
Three from the pack
The aforementioned Hunter Mahan - 34.00 or 7.50 - hit rounds of 67-64 for a 36 hole total of -13 two years ago here before withdrawing. Only the eventual winner Brand Snedeker (-16) went lower after all four rounds. Mahan was 4th on his previous visit to Glen Abbey back in 2004 so the track obviously fits his eye. Hunter has not been at his best this season and surprisingly his highest finish is a T9 at Augusta. He did shoot a hidden 67 in round 3 of the Open on Sunday though and a return to a suitable track may see him contend again.
Ollie Schniederjans -151.0 or 26.00 - was meant to turn pro this week after a fabulous Open Championship. The amateur hit an outward nine of 31 at ST. Andrews enroute to a closing 67 in his quest for the silver medal. It wasn't good enough in the end but it did propel him to a top 12 finish. The former world no. 1 amateur also made the cut at Chambers Bay last month and posted a T42 in the US Open. Big things are expected from Ollie who supposedly "crushes it" off the tee and Glen Abbey may set up as a course he can take advantage of.
Roberto Castro - 175.0 or 31.00 - has been finding some real form of late - form the stats will not portray, and as such, his price is huge this week. T44 and T23 at the John Deere Classic and the Barbasol Championship don't really stand out but dig a little deeper and you'll see what might have been. A poor final round at the JDC followed a 3rd round where Castro was -7 through just 11 holes. He then closed out at the Barbasol with another low 67 where he hit an eagle and three birdies in a 6 hole stretch. Castro went on to shoot -6 in qualifying for this week at Heron Point golf links on Monday. Add to this a T6 here at Glen Abbey in 2013 and he's a lively outsider this week. Castro was also building up a rep as a fast starter so have a look at the first round leader markets.
Canadian eyes will be on the likes of Graham Delaet this week but youngster Austin Connelly - 251.0 or 41.00 - may get their attention as he returns home. Connelly ranks no.17 currently in the Amateur rankings and comes here confidence high after a 5th place in the Pan-Am games where he said he was up there chasing the win all week and felt comfortable in that position. Austin teed it up in Texas - where he now resides - at the Byron Nelson and hit rounds of 69-66-72 to miss the 3 round cut. Connelly may be worth a look in the subsidiary markets.