Canadian Open guide

A preview, stats and bests bets for this week's PGA Tour event - the RBC Canadian Open

By Dave Tindall.   Last Updated: 23/07/13 5:05pm

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The sixth green at Glen Abbey Golf Club

The sixth green at Glen Abbey Golf Club

Sky Bet

One of golf's oldest national championships returns to Glen Abbey for the first time since 2009.

The Jack Nicklaus-designed course was opened in 1976, since when it has hosted the Canadian Open 25 times.

First held in 1904, the tournament used to be one of the most prestigious on the PGA Tour schedule outside of the majors.

And it was one of the few big events that Nicklaus himself failed to win, having finished runner-up seven times between 1965 and 1985.

Glen Abbey is a tree-lined parkland course not far from the banks of Lake Ontario.

The leading contenders

Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker's Open hopes went up in smoke during a second round 79 but 69-72 on the weekend earned him an 11th place finish so it was still a good week's work. It followed on from an 8th in the AT&T and a 17th in the US Open so he's found some good form again after missing two cuts at the start of June. He played at Glen Abbey in the last Canadian Open is staged in 2009 and came fifth so it's no surprise to see him at the front of the market. He ranked second in Putting Average at Muirfield.

Hunter Mahan: For the second major in succession Mahan played himself into the final group on Sunday but, as at Merion, he shot 75 and went backwards. However, finishes of fourth and ninth in the last two majors show that he's doing plenty right and he also likes this event. Mahan has never missed the cut in eight Canadian Open appearances and his best finish (a fourth) came on his only appearance at Glen Abbey in 2004.

Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has a mixed record in the Canadian Open with three missed cuts out of six but a fourth at St George's in 2010 and a 14th at Shaughessy in 2005. The fourth came after he'd finished 27th at St Andrews so he can play well this event well the week after The Open. At Muirfield last week he never got in contention but 72-71 on the weekend gave him a creditable tied 15th place finish. A two-time winner this year, he could easily make it three here.

Dustin Johnson: Can hit driver again

Dustin Johnson: DJ is another who flirted with something big at Muirfield before a poor weekend slung him back from tied second at halfway to 32nd at the finish. Although he loves links golf, you get the impression that Johnson will be relieved to get driver back in his hand after keeping it under wraps for so much of the week at Muirfield. The record books show that the big-hitting American has played in just Canadian Open and that saw him withdraw after an opening 74.

Charl Schwartzel: The South African had an up and down time at Muirfield but a closing 71 gave him a tied 15th to add to his tied 14th in the US Open so he's playing some good golf. However, he's frustrated that it isn't better and the video of him angrily snapping his club during his day one 75 at Muirfield quickly did the rounds on social media. The 2011 Masters winner has played in two Canadian Opens, finishing ninth at Shaughnessy in 2011 and 42nd at Hamilton in 2012.

Luke Donald: The Englishman had a nightmare at Muirfield, opening with an 80 to ruin his chances on day one and failing to repair the huge damage with a 72 on Friday. The upside of the missed cut was that he was able to fly back across The Atlantic two days earlier and he might just be a little sharper here. Luke was 24th at Glen Abbey in 2009 while since then he's finished 3rd at St George's in 2010 and 17th at Shaughnessy in 2011. Still looks to have swing issues so doesn't look the best of the big names at the front of the market.

Graeme McDowell: After dealing in either wins (The Heritage, Volvo World Match Play and Open de France) or missed cuts (five of them) in a strange eight-tournament sequence starting in April, G-Mac finally made a cut and didn't win at Muirfield. In fact, he was somewhat off the pace after finishing down in 58th after a closing 77. This is his first start in the Canadian Open since way back in 2002 when he was 46th.

The home players: For many years Mike Weir had to single-handedly shoulder the hopes of the Canadian fans but this time there are two Canucks with reasonable chances. Graeme DeLaet has posted five top 10s (third at Travelers Championship) and a total of 10 top 25s this season and is knocking at the door for a first win. David Hearn went even closer to giving Canada a PGA Tour win when he lost in a play-off at the John Deere Classic two weeks ago. Hearn has a best of 20th (Hamilton) in 10 Canadian Open appearances while DeLaet's best effort in four starts was a 46th here at Glen Abbey in 2009.

Graham DeLaet: Can shine in front of home fans

SELECTED PLAYERS with GOOD to REASONABLE FORM in CANADIAN OPEN

Last Eight Years

Player: '05 / '06 / '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12

Stephen Ames: 7 / Wd / 27 / MC / 8 / 59 / MC / MC
Bud Cauley: - / - / - / - / - / - / 13 / 4
Greg Chalmers: - / 35 / - / - / MC / 4 / 22 / -
Ben Crane: 2 / - / - / - / - / - / 29 / -
Brian Davis: 14 / 29 / 27 / 14 / Wd / Wd / - / 15
Luke Donald: - / - / - / - / 24 / 3 / 17 / -
Bob Estes: 40 / 53 / 50 / 14 / 8 / 4 / MC / MC
Jim Furyk: - / Won / Won / 14 / - / - / 34 / MC
Nathan Green: - / 20 / MC / MC / Won / 37 / 76 / 10
Charley Hoffman: - / - / - / 28 / - / 4 / - / MC
Trevor Immelman: 7 / 5 / - / - / MC / 13 / - / 61
Jerry Kelly: 5 / MC / - / 37 / 5 / MC / 34 / 61
Matt Kuchar: 14 / - / - / MC / - / 4 / MC / 34
Michael Letzig: - / - / - / 63 / 8 / 4 / MC / -
Hunter Mahan: 24 / 60 / 5 / - / - / 17 / 34 / 48
Steve Marino: - / - / 15 / 3 / Wd / - / - / -
Sean O'Hair: - / 3 / 50 / 3 / MC / MC / Won / MC
Ryan Palmer: MC / MC / 3 / 22 / MC / 24 / - / 19
Jesper Parnevik: 4 / 17 / - / - / - / - / - / -
Pat Perez: 65 / MC / 10 / MC / 24 / MC / 50 / -
Scott Piercy: - / - / - / - / 40 / - / 6 / Won
Chez Reavie: - / - / - / Won / MC / - / 13 / 37
Rory Sabbatini: 21 / 5 / - / - / - / - / - / MC
Charl Schwartzel: - / - / - / - / - / - / 9 / 42
Vijay Singh: 7 / 35 / 2 / - / - / - / - / 7
Brandt Snedeker: - / - / 7 / - / 5 / MC / - / 34
Scott Stallings: - / - / - / - / - / - / 22 / 7
Cameron Tringale: - / - / - / - / - / MC / 13 / 19
Camilo Villegas: - / 5 / 10 / 53 / 24 / 65 / MC / 61
Mike Weir: MC / MC / 34 / 5 / 24 / MC / Wd / MC
Charlie Wi: MC / - / 22 / 14 / MC / 4 / 22 / MC

Course Key: '05 Shaughnessy; '06 Hamilton; '07 Angus Glen (North); '08 Glen Abbey; '09 Glen Abbey; '10 St George's; '11 Shaughnessy; '12 Hamilton

SELECTED PLAYERS with POOR to MEDIOCRE FORM in CANADIAN OPEN

Last Eight Years

(No Top-35 Finishes from three or more starts since 2005)

Player: '05 / '06 / '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12

Jason Bohn: - / 53 / - / - / - / 48 / - / MC
Justin Bolli: MC / - / - / MC / - / MC / - / -
Steven Bowditch: - / MC / - / - / - / - / MC / MC
Michael Bradley: - / - / - / MC / MC / - / - / 48
Graham DeLaet: - / - / MC / - / 46 / MC / - / 56
Brad Fritsch: - / MC / MC / MC / - / - / 71 / MC
Jeff Gove: - / - / 58 / MC / - / MC / - / -
Matt Jones: - / - / - / MC / MC / 37 / MC / MC
Colt Knost: - / - / - / - / MC / - / 40 / 48
Bill Lunde: - / - / - / - / - / 69 / 40 / 37
Jeff Maggert: - / MC / - / 70 / Wd / - / - / MC
David Mathis: MC / - / - / - / MC / - / 59 / MC
John Merrick: - / - / 50 / - / 36 / - / MC / -
Jeff Overton: - / 53 / MC / MC / MC / - / - / 61
Greg Owen: 70 / 60 / MC / - / Wd / - / - / 56
Tag Ridings: MC / MC / 50 / MC / Wd / - / MC / -
John Rollins: 48 / - / MC / - / - / - / MC / -
Kevin Stadler: MC / - / MC / MC / 55 / MC / 40 / MC
Chris Stroud: - / - / MC / Wd / - / 48 / 40 / 61
Johnson Wagner: - / - / MC / - / MC / MC / MC / -
Eugene Wong: - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC

TOP-10 Finishers at HAMILTON in 2012 (Not Already Listed Above)

Robert Garrigus: (T-2nd)
William McGirt: (T-2nd)
Chris Kirk: (T-4th)
Gary Christian: (T-10th)
Troy Matteson: (T-10th)

TOP 25 Finishers at GLEN ABBEY since Jan 1st, 2000

Player: '00 / '04 / '08 / '09

Stephen Ames: - / - / - / 8
Billy Andrade: - / 11 / - / -
Greg Chalmers: 4 / - / - / -
Brian Davis: - / - / 14 / -
Chris DiMarco: - / 24 / - / -
Luke Donald: - / - / - / 24
Bob Estes: - / - / 14 / 8
Jim Furyk: - / - / 14 / -
Nathan Green: - / - / - / Won
Jerry Kelly: - / - / - / 5
Michael Letzig: - / - / - / 8
Hunter Mahan: - / 4 / - / -
Steve Marino: - / - / 3 / -
Billy Mayfair: - / - / 2 / -
Sean O'Hair: - / - / 3 / -
Ryan Palmer: - / - / 22 / -
Jesper Parnevik: - / 9 / - / -
Pat Perez: - / 14 / - / 24
Chez Reavie: - / - / Won / -
Rory Sabbatini: 6 / - / - / -
Vijay Singh: - / Won / - / -
Brandt Snedeker: - / - / - / 5
Nicholas Thompson: - / - / 5 / -
Scott Verplank: 6 / - / - / 8
Camilo Villegas: - / - / - / 24
Mike Weir: - / 2 / 5 / 24
Charlie Wi: - / - / 14 / -
Mark Wilson: - / - / 22 / 24
Casey Wittenberg: - / 24 / - / -
Yong-Eun Yang: - / - / - / 8

LOWEST ROUNDS at GLEN ABBEY SINCE 2000

63: Stephen Ames (2000)
63: Justin Rose (2004)
63: Scott McCarron (2008)
63: Kevin Na (2009)
63: Camilo Villegas (2009)
63: Briny Baird (2009)
63: Jason Dufner (2009)
64: Eight times

Note: The lowest scores carded at Glen Abbey prior to 2000 are 62s by: Leonard Thompson (1981); Andy Bean (1983); Greg Norman (1986).

Glen Abbey: Par 72; 7,253 yards

Winning Totals (Last Three Times at Glen Abbey):

2009: 270 (Nathan Green)
2008: 267 (Chez Reavie)
2004: 275 (Vijay Singh)

Conclusion

Dustin Johnson shone for 36 holes at Muirfield before the lack of being able to hit driver caught up with him.

But, back on a classic PGA Tour track, DJ can get back to cashing in on his booming drives and post an eighth win in America.

Johnson is dating the daughter of Canadian ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky so he has a little extra connection with this event and trying to impress his girlfriend and future father-in-law may just inspire him to give it that bit extra!

Matt Kuchar was a fairly unnoticed tied 15th at Muirfield this week and looks a fair price at 20s.

Matt Kuchar: Two-time winner already this year

He's a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year and this course should suit him steady game.

Finally, Canada's Graham DeLaet can give the home fans something to roar about.

He was a bit of a fish out of water at Muirfield last week and said: "It'll be kind of nice to going back to playing our style of golf, taking nice divots and kind of feeling that flushness through the golf ball. Everything here kind of feels kind of clicky and hard."

DeLaet looks like a player on the verge of a win and was a regular winner on the Canadian Tour so can hopefully remember that feeling of scoring a home-soil victory.

Best bets

2pts e.w. Dustin Johnson at 22/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5)
2pts e.w. Matt Kuchar at 20/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Graham DeLaet at 30/1 (Sky Bet 1,2,3,4,5)

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