RBC Canadian Open Betting Preview
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Hamilton Golf & Country Club - Ancaster, Ontario - Par 70, 7,000 Yards
Forty five minutes drive south from Toronto sits one of the oldest and most challenging courses in North America. Hamilton Golf & Country Club has not been a regular stop off on the PGA Tour’s visits north of the border, having last hosted this event back in 2012, however it presents one of the stiffest challenges the players will face this year.
Designed originally back in 1894, and lengthened only recently to a somewhat genign 7,000 yards, Hamilton has three 9 hole courses on site of which the South & West will make up the Championship venue this week. These holes are characterised by tight, undulating, tree lined fairways that are fairly wide at an average of 30 yards. If the players miss these then the rough is deep and penal, meaning the majority will need to lay up following errant tee shots in a very US Open(esque) precursor to Pebble Beach. Half of the holes at Hamilton are doglegs, and the putting surfaces are well defended by substantial bunkering. This week’s field will need to hit a large number of greens in regulation to contend.
Last Five Winners at the Canadian Open:
2018: Dustin Johnson: -23
2017: Jhonattan Vegas: -21
2016: Jhonattan Vegas: -12
2015: Jason Day: -17
2013 : Tim Clark: -17
Bet UK’s Market Leaders
The Canadian Open always draws a strong field, and this year is no different. Dustin Johnson (6/1) and Brooks Koepka (13/2) who recently separated themselves from the field at the USPGA in New York are the two red hot market leaders. However it is hard to justify them taking a combined 25% of the market in a tournament with such depth, and where their desire to take home the prize could legitimately be questioned. Both are undoubtedly in terrific form, but I expect both are more concerned with keeping their form good for the challenges ahead than contending this week.
Behind them we have Rory Mcilroy (9/1) who looked unusually erratic off the tee last week, posting an opening round where he lost over four shots to the field in strokes gained driving in what was his second worst performance from the tee in his PGA Tour career. Further down the field we have the likes of Justin Thomas (16/1), Webb Simpson (20/1) and Matt Kuchar (20/1), all of whom could contend, but none of whom ignite any excitement at current market price in what is always a tight and competitive betting event. This week there are just three selections as I’m struggling to see contenders too far down the market (100/1+).
Rob’s Golf Betting Tips
Bud Cauley comes into this week in a fast improving run of form, culminating in a 9th place finish last week at The Memorial a course that should provide a similar test to this week’s venue. Cauley has been touted for nearly 10 years as a potential superstar, but has yet to convert that promise to trophies, much to the bemusement of many senior analysts. My impression of him is that there is a confidence block, and that once that is overcome the wins will flow, and Hamilton could prove to be the ideal platform.
This is a shotmakers course, similar to Muirfield Village last week, and that will play to the diminutive Cauley’s advantage. The winner this week will need to play good strategic golf, and nobody is better placed than him to plot their way around such a tight and demanding track. Add to that the fact that he already has a top 5 finish to his name here in 2012, and I’m excited to recommend 3 points e/w at 50/1.
Other Betting Tips
Jason Dufner nearly took centre stage with the headline pick this week at the same price as Bud Cauley, and there are strong arguments to suggest he will strongly contend at Hamilton. Dufner is a chameleon when it comes to golf courses, being able to contend at almost any venue when in form. That form has shown signs of a return recently with two top 10 finishes in his last four events; a run that would see an otherwise in form him less than half the price he is this week.
Dufner can move the ball right to left, and left to right, is a major champion, and a tough venue like this holds no fear for a player of his obvious abilities, especially as they appear to be returning to their best. This is his first appearance at this venue, but that is not a concern, and I shall have 2 points e/w at 50/1.
Next up we return to a player we have previously enjoyed place success with, and one that has fallen slightly out of form over recent weeks. Sungjae Im looked all set in the early season to follow the other Koreans such as An and Pan in coming over and enjoying instant tour success, but it hasn’t yet fully materialised for himI feel, despite only making one cut in the last 4, that could all change this week. The course could not be better suited. He is not a long hitter, but has unerring accuracy which will be a key factor in success this week, and a hot putter could see him take that step to the next level. Earlier this season, Im finished in the top 8 in 3 of 4 starts so he undoubtedly has the class to compete in this field. The staking strategy is 2 points e/w at 80/1.
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