top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: RBC Canadian Open (2024)


The highly anticipated return of the RBC Canadian Open is upon us as the PGA Tour heads to Hamilton Golf & Country Club this week.


It was a year ago that Nick Taylor cemented himself in not only PGA Tour history, but propelled himself into superstardom within the Canadian sports rankings.


Taylor sunk a miracle 72-foot putt on the second hole of a playoff against Tommy Fleetwood to become the first Canadian to win the nation’s open in 59 years.


The putt will go down as one of the greatest walk-off victories in PGA Tour history.


Not only was the victory massive for Taylor and Canadian sports as a whole, but the ensuing celebration that saw fellow countryman Adam Hadwin get tackled on the green by security guards will go down in PGA Tour history.


The RBC Canadian Open will be played for the 112th time this year, making it one of the longest standing events on the PGA Tour, dating back to 1904.


The Field

A field of 156-golfers will take on Hamilton Country Club this week.


Among them is presumed favorite Rory McIlroy who has won two-of-the-last-three playings of this event, including the last time this event was played at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in 2019.


McIlroy won that edition in dominant fashion. He was tied heading into Sunday for the lead with Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson but McIlroy’s Sunday 61 saw him blow the rest of the field out of the water.


Other notable names teeing it up this week include Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, Cameron Young, Sahith Theegala and Sam Burns.


Of course, Taylor is the defending champion of this event, becoming the first Canadian to win the event since Pat Fletcher in 1954.


All eyes will be on the strong cast of Canadian golfers who look to repeat what Taylor did a season ago. Those names include Taylor, Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes, Taylor Pendrith and Adam Svensson.


Other former winners of this event in this week’s field include Jhonattan Vegas and Brandt Snedeker.


The Course

The RBC Canadian Open uses a rotation of courses from year-to-year to play host to the nation’s open.


Among them is this week’s venue, Hamilton Golf & Country Club which last hosted this event in 2019. It also hosted in 2012, 2006, 2003, 1990 and 1919, making it one of the lesser used venues in the rotation.


It plays as a par-70 at 7,084 yards that allows both bombers and plodders to both compete. It rewards strategic positioning off-the-tee and both strong iron play and putting. 


Immediately following the 2019 edition of the RBC Canadian Open, Hamilton Golf & Country Club underwent an extensive renovation.


The renovation was geared more towards sustainability more so than playability, much like what we saw last week at Colonial.


In the renovation tees, bunkers and greens on all 27 holes of the venue were reconstructed. A new irrigation system was put into place. 


Additionally, several holes were extended by up to 20 yards to once again, adapt to modern distance advancements in the world of professional golf.


After a near three-year renovation (interrupted by the COVID pandemic,) the course was recognized in 2022 as the Golf Digest Renovation of the Year.


In all, the layout and routing of the course was nearly untouched from the last time we saw this course in 2019.


Hamilton Golf & Country Club was originally a Harry Colt design who was the architect behind the infamous Open Championship venues, Royal Portrush and Royal Liverpool.


However, Hamilton Golf & Country Club is far from a links style course and instead is a Bentgrass, parkland golf course on the mainland surrounded by trees. However, like those other courses Colt designed, does share the oversized, undulating greens as its greatest line of defense.


The course features dramatically sloping greens and therefore, birdies are hard to come by on this course. It also features just two par-fives.


We did see McIlroy dominate this course in its last appearance in 2019 but what McIlroy was able to do is not the norm here. His winning score of -22 is not a common practice here as the field median score over four rounds in 2019 was plus-two. 


In 2019, this course was one of the most difficult non-Major courses on the entire PGA Tour schedule.


The Weather

As of the time of writing this, the forecast actually appears to be clear of precipitation for at least the four days the event will be held, which is far from the norm we’ve seen on the PGA Tour this season. However, the area is seeing a ton of rain leading into the event as the course was closed to fans on Tuesday due to excessive rainfall. Sunday is currently the only day on the forecast that calls for any form of precipitation at just 20-percent. Winds too will be at the highest Thursday and Sunday at ten miles-per-hour and will range between eight-and-nine miles-per-hour on Friday and Saturday. Temperatures will be at the lowest on Thursday at 67-degree before gradually climbing to 76-degrees come Sunday.


Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG: TTG)

  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)

  • Proximity to the Hole From less than 150 Yards / Proximity to the Hole From 200-plus Yards

  • Par Four Average Scoring

  • Par Three Average Scoring

  • Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT) / Driving Accuracy

  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG: ATG) / Sand Saves Percentage

  • Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)

  • Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT)

  • Scrambling


DFS Suggestions

$10,000+

We talk about this often in this price range when it comes to Scottie Scheffler on any given week that it is presumed that he is going to win and therefore he has to be in your DFS lineups. The same can be said this week with Rory McIlroy ($12,100.) McIlroy’s price is significantly lower than what we’re used to compared to Scheffler when he’s in the field but I simply can’t go into this week without McIlroy in my lineups. McIlroy has not only won two-of-the-last-three playings of this event, but also won the last time this event was played here at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. He is currently third on Tour in SG: OTT, fifth in SG: TTG, sixth in par three average scoring, 17th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 23rd in driving accuracy, 26th in scrambling, 33rd in SG: APP, 43rd in sand saves percentage, 50th in par four average scoring, 61st in both GIR% and SG: PUTT, 72nd in SG: ATG and 115th in proximity to the hole from less than 115 yards. McIlroy placed T12th in his last outing at the PGA Championship. He also won both the Wells Fargo Championship and Zurich Classic of New Orleans prior. 


$9,000-$9,900

My overall favorite this week can be found in this price range in Alex Noren ($9,900.) Noren has been one of the most consistent golfers across the entire season and seems that he is knocking on the door of a victory. He hasn’t missed the cut once in 12 events he’s played this season and is fresh off a T12th in his last outing at the PGA Championship. He also placed third at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson and T9th at the Cognizant Classic on the season. Within his last eight outings, his worst finish is T24th at the Wells Fargo Championship. In those same eight events he has five top 15’s and two top tens. He did make the cut in 2019 here as well. Noren is currently first on Tour in scrambling, fourth in all of par four average scoring, SG: ATG and GIR%, seventh in both SG: TTG and sand saves percentage, 22nd in SG: APP, 32nd in par three average scoring, 40th in driving accuracy, 41st in SG: OTT, 69th in SG: PUTT, 92nd in proximity to the the hole from less than 150 yards and 144th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards. I’m also playing two units on Noren on an outright at +2500. Also consider Maverick McNealy ($9,200.) What I like about McNealy is his projected ownership in this price range which will be minimal. McNealy has missed the cut just twice this year in 14 events but those missed cuts included the Zurich Classic team event and The American Express which was just his second event of the season. So therefore, he has made 11 consecutive cuts on the season. He placed T17th last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge and also placed T23rd at the PGA Championship. His best performances on the season came with a T9th at THE PLAYERS Championship and a T6th at the WM Phoenix Open. McNealy is currently ninth on Tour in scrambling, 12th in par four average scoring, 16th in SG: ATG, 19th in SG: OTT, 20th in SG: TTG, 32nd in par three average scoring, 42nd in SG: PUTT, 54th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 76th in proximity to the hole from less than 150-yards, 97th in GIR%, 104th in sand saves percentage, 106th in SG: APP and 118th in driving accuracy. 


$8,000-$8,900

My first play in this price range is Aaron Rai ($8,900.) Rai is currently fifth on Tour in GIR%, ninth in SG: APP, tenth in driving accuracy, 12th in both SG: TTG and proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 21st in both proximity to the hole from less than 150-yards and par four average scoring, 24th in scrambling, 32nd in par three average scoring, 36th in SG: OTT, 37th in sand saves percentage and 70th in SG: ATG. His downfall comes on the greens as he ranks 127th in SG: PUTT which is keeping him off my betting card but in terms of DFS is a solid play. Rai has made four straight cuts coming into this week, including a T39th at the PGA Championship and a fourth place finish at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson. He also placed T7th at the Texas Children’s Houston Open. Also consider Akshay Bhatia ($8,100.) Bhatia is currently 14th on Tour in SG: APP, 26th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 29th in SG: TTG, 31st in proximity to the hole from less than 150-yards, 32nd in driving accuracy, 35th in SG: PUTT, 47th in scrambling, 58th in par three average scoring, 67th in par four average scoring, 71st in SG: OTT, 82nd in GIR%, 85th in sand saves percentage and 103rd in SG: ATG. Since his victory at the Valero Texas Open, Bhatia has not been great. Heck, he’s missed back-to-back cuts coming into this event which is the reason we’re getting a discount on him this week. However, he still has seven top 25’s on the season. I’m also playing a unit on him at +5000 this week. 


$7,000-$7,900

Leading off this price range is Doug Ghim ($7,400.) It’s been a bit since Ghim’s great run of form that took place early this season. Between the Farmers Insurance Open and THE PLAYERS Championship, he placed T16th or better in five straight events. Since, he’s come back to earth.. However, he made the cut last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge and prior to that, placed T35th at the PGA Championship. Ghim is currently 18th on Tour in SG: TTG, 27th in driving accuracy, 30th in par four average scoring, 32nd in all three of SG: OTT, GIR% and scrambling, 33rd in SG: APP, 53rd in sand saves percentage, 60th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 67th in SG: ATG, 93rd in SG: PUTT, 104th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards and 131st in par three average scoring. I’m also playing a unit on Ghim at +8000. Also consider Davis Thompson ($7,800.) In his last two outings, Thompson has gone T17th at the Charles Schwab Challenge and T2nd at the Myrtle Beach Classic. He’s made the cut in six-of-his-last-seven outings as well. Thompson is currently 16th on Tour in GIR%, 21st in par four average scoring, 23rd in SG: APP, 26th in SG: TTG, 27th in par three average scoring, 48th in SG: ATG, 72nd in both sand saves percentage and scrambling, 80th in proximity to the hole from less than 150-yards, 84th in SG: OTT, 87th in SG: PUTT, 121st in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards and 125th in driving accuracy.


$6,000-$6,900

Andrew Novak ($6,500) headlines my suggestions in this price range. He is currently 14th on Tour in sands saves percentage, 16th in par three average scoring, 22nd in SG: TTG, 24th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 25th in SG: ATG, 27th in GIR%, 40th in SG: APP, 52nd in proximity to the hole from less than 150-yards, 62nd in scrambling, 83rd in both par four average scoring and SG: OTT, 122nd in SG: PUTT and 138th in driving accuracy. Anytime you can get a top 25 guy in SG: TTG in this price range is a good play in my book. Novak missed the cut in his last outing at the Charles Schwab Challenge but prior to that made six consecutive cuts. He’s made the cut in nine-of-his-last-11 outings as well. He had a run of events earlier this season where he placed T8th at the WM Phoenix Open, T8th at the Mexico Open at Vidanta and T9th at the Cognizant Classic. Also consider Mac Meissner ($6,500.) Meissner is currently 18th on Tour in SG: ATG, 24th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 31st in sand saves percentage, 32nd in par three average scoring, 36th in SG: TTG, 40th in scrambling, 54th in SG: APP, 62nd in proximity to the hole from less than 150-yards, 68th in SG: PUTT, 69th in GIR%, 83rd in par four average scoring, 106th in SG: OTT and 136th in driving accuracy. Meissner is fresh off a T5th in his last outing at the Charles Schwab Challenge and T13th at the Myrtle Beach Classic in his event prior. He also placed T10th at the Valero Texas Open somewhat recently. He is also on my betting card for a unit at +9000. 


$5,900-

My first play in this price range is fan favorite Joel Dahmen ($5,800.) Making the cut is the name of the game in this price range and Dahmen has made the cut in each of his last five outings. His season has been highlighted by a T11th at THE PLAYERS Championship. Dahmen is currently fourth on Tour in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 28th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 29th in GIR%, 43rd in SG: TTG, 44th in SG: APP, 56th in SG: OTT, 66th in driving accuracy, 83rd in par four average scoring, 94th in both sand saves percentage and scrambling, 116th in par three scoring average and 128th in SG: ATG. His downfall of course comes on the greens as he ranks 175th in SG: PUTT. A spike putting week will skyrocket him up the leaderboard with his elite iron play but even with a god awful putter, he’s making cuts. Also consider Matthew Anderson ($5,400.) Anderson currently plays on the PGA TOUR Americas. In six events played this season he has a victory at the 69th ECP Brazil Open as well as three top threes and five top 25’s. He’s second on the PGA TOUR Americas in scoring average, first in total birdies, fifth in par three average scoring and tenth in par four average scoring. It helps that he’ll have the added incentive of playing on home soil.


Betting Card

  • Alex Noren (+2500) - 2u

  • Akshay Bhatia (+5000) - 1u

  • Doug Ghim (+8000) - 1u

  • Mac Meissner (+9000) - 1u

  • Ben Silverman (+12500) - 1u


Ben Silverman (+12500)

I couldn’t go into this week without at least one Canadian on my betting card after hitting Nick Taylor (+7500) a season ago. On top of that, the scene that followed Taylor’s victory was one of the best I’ve ever witnessed personally in doing this so I want to relive that. Silverman is currently tenth on Tour in scrambling, 18th in sand saves percentage, 21st in par four average scoring, 23rd in SG: PUTT, 32nd in par three average scoring, 36th in GIR%, 61st in both driving accuracy and SG: ATG, 75th in SG: OTT, 81st in SG: TTG, 111th in proximity to the hole from 200-plus yards, 118th in SG: APP and 158th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards. He also comes into this week on the back of back-to-back made cuts as he placed T32nd at the Charles Schwab Challenge and T16th at the Myrtle Beach Classic.

423 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page