Welcome to the Great White North everyone. This week the PGA Tour travels to Canada for the RBC Canadian Open. It is a tough spot for the tournaments to be in (following a major), but the field is extremely strong this week. Last week we got to witness a very touching moment with the victory by Darren Clarke in the British Open. It was the 3rd win by a person from Northern Ireland in the past 6 majors, an unbelievable achievement for a country who is home to only 1.8 million people.
The players will be playing a course called Shaughnessy, which is located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The area is absolutely breathtaking and will allow the viewers to see one of the nicest courses in Canada. Unfortunately for the golfers it will also be one of their most difficult test of the year.
Shaughnessy was the host to the 2005 Canadian Open and it showed its teeth that week. The course is a 7010-yard Par 70 that played as the hardest non-major course on Tour in 2005. The course played to a scoring average of 72.53 that year and the wining score was -5 (Mark Calcavecchia).
Look for conditions to be slightly easier this year, as players will have extremely damp greens. The small greens will be difficult for the players to hit this week, but the real test will lie in maneuvering around their severe undulations. Look for putting ability and both iron and driver accuracy to play key roles in determining this week’s winner.
Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler, Charl Schwartzel and world number 1 Luke Donald will all be playing this week in Vancouver. Look for a few of the top players to be on the leaderboard, but the Canadian Open may produce another long shot winner, much like last week. Here are this week’s picks.
Charl Schwartzel 17.5/1 – Comes in off a very solid British Open where he finished T16. Charl has been one of the best players on the European Tour all year and I look for him to continue that this week in Canada. He is a terrific striker of the golf ball and should hit plenty of Greens In Regulation.
Ryan Moore 23/1 – Moore finished 2nd here in 2005 (the last time the tournament was held at Shaughnessy). He has also been playing very solid golf as of late ( T28, T2 in his last two tournaments.) Look for Moore to quietly go about his business and play well once again this week.
Ben Crane 65/1 – A very generous price for a guy who fits the mold of what it takes to win at this golf course. Crane actually finished tied with Ryan Moore in 2005 for 2nd , and would have won had it not been for a 74 opening round. He has the course knowledge, now just must execute like he can.
Chez Reavie 90/1 – I didn’t even have to think twice about taking Chez this week. He won the Canadian Open in 2008 and finished in a tie for 16th at the Viking Classic. He can work his way around a golf course and I feel that bodes very well for him this week. 90/1 is very generous.
Cameron Tringale 120/1 – A long shot pick but also a player who should play well on this Pay 70 layout. He has two top 10 finishes in his last 4 starts (and 3 Top 25’s in his last 4 starts) and looks to continue his solid play this week. Tringale is the type of player who does not excel in any facet of the game, but instead tries to play an overall solid game.
Adam Hadwin 625/1 – I can honestly say this is the largest longshot I have ever taken. The 22 year old from Abbotsford British Columbia is Canada’s next rising star. He played last year in the Canadian Open finishing T37 and he also finished this years United States Open with an excellent score of 3 over (T39). I had to take a Canadian and this hometown BC boy may just be the guy this week.
Hope everyone enjoys the golf this week!