The 2019 RBC Canadian Open (June 6-9) takes centre stage on the PGA Tour this week, with the event returning to the Hamilton Golf & Country Club for the first time since 2012, a venue that has also staged five other editions of Canada’s biggest golf tournament.
It is exactly one 100 years since the first of those five renewals was played here, with the field that year featuring the legendary pair of Bobby Jones and Francis Ouimet.
Hamilton Golf & Country Club is a Par 70 measuring just short of 7,000 yards and it is one of most established clubs in Canada having opened in 1915 after it being designed by Harry S. Colt. Despite its relative shortness in the modern game, this parkland course provides players with a decent challenge, with different types of holes asking players to play a variety of shots.
This year’s Canadian Open is the penultimate event before the 2019 US Open but, despite a distance of about 2,000 miles between Ontario and California, it has attracted a decent field with many stars hoping to find their “A” games before heading to Pebble Beach next week.
Dustin Johnson just about heads this week’s Canadian Open betting, with 6/1 the best price on offer about him as he bids to win back to back editions. He’s also twice finished runner-up in the event in the last five years but, notably, he didn’t play here in 2012. The tournament’s new position in the schedule also means that Johnson may simply be using the event to hone his game for next week’s third major of the season.
The same applies to second favourite Brooks Koepka, who has made no secret of the fact that his schedule is aimed at peaking for the majors, as he’s set his sights on at least achieving at least 10 major wins before the end of his career. He’s not played since his win in the USPGA Championship and that makes him easy to pass over this week at single-figure odds.
Rory McIlroy would also like a few more majors on his CV before he hangs up his golf shoes but, after missing the cut last week, he’ll surely simply be looking to find the sort of form that saw him contend regularly earlier in the season. This is also his Canadian Open debut, so he hardly has any affiliation with the event. Justin Thomas also missed the cut last week and he’s another big name teeing it up for the first time in the Canadian Open.
Sergio Garcia missed the cut on his first appearance in the event last year, whilst Webb Simpson has yet to show any worthwhile form in Canada. Matt Kuchar has possibilities, having posted five top-10s in Canada, but he was only 34th here in 2012 and missed the cut at one of his favourite events last week.
That means the first player in this week’s betting strategy is Scott Piercy. The winner of the 2012 Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club probably won’t be the most original pick this week, but he’s also been in great form on tour of late, posting two top-three finishes in his last four regulation PGA Tour events. That sounds like the perfect match of course and current form and it’s hard to ignore his obvious chances this week.
Another player that played well here in 2012 was Bud Cauley, when the then 22-year-old finished fourth. He started slowly with an opening level-par round that year but finished on –14 under par after posting the best final 54-hole score of the entire field. It’s a real surprise to see him priced up at around 50/1 this week after finishing ninth at The Memorial Tournament last week.
If you’re looking to back a player at triple-figure odds this week, Scott Stallings could be worth a bet to bounce back to form at a venue where he finished seventh last time it hosted the Canadian Open. He was the opposite of Cauley that week, as he was –12 under par after the first three rounds but could only shoot 70 on the final day.
The fourth and final spot in this week’s Canadian Open betting strategy goes to Jim Furyk. The 49-year-old former Ryder Cup Captain may have little chance on many of today’s modern courses but he’s a dual winner of the Canadian Open, with the first of those wins coming at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in 2006. He did miss the cut here in 2012 but he’s been posting some decent scores this year and could go close if putting four good rounds together on a course that should suit him ideally.