The PGA takes a detour north for the RBC Canadian Open for the first time since back-to-back canceled events because of the pandemic. The field will take to St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Ontario, a par-70 that’s just over 7,000 yards. The last time this course hosted an event was 2010. From scorecards and aerial views on YouTube, you can see that this course has elevated tee boxes, uphill approach shots, thick and potential blind spots into really small, sloped, bentgrass greens. There are five par-3’s, all of which are over 200 yards.
Without the ability to use course history, there are two types of players you can look for to contend. You can opt for the iron players who can hit into these small greens with ease, or the less-than-optimal ball-striker who has a solid around-the-green and scrambling game.
Here are two longer odds players worth considering for a Top 20 and/or outright. The field is a bit weak with the LIV golf event this week, some player withdrawals and a lack of star power, so there’s the opportunity to bite on some of the long shots.
Top 20: +200
Top 10: +425
Top 5: +750
To win: +4500
The Canadian has a game suitable for the layout as a solid iron player who can work his way around the greens. In 2022, Hadwin has played in 12 events with strokes gained data and has gained strokes with his irons in nine of those events. After a three-event stretch of top 10 finishes, including T9 at The Players, Hadwin missed the cut in the Byron Nelson and finished 71st in the PGA Championship. Neither is concerning as he bounced back with a T18 in the Memorial. Pebble Beach could be used as a comp course because of the small greens, and Hadwin does have two top-20 finishes there. In the Memorial, he gained strokes in every category and could certainly roll that into this week.
Top 40: +100
Top 20: +275
Top 10: +550
Top 5: +1200
To win: +6000
I can’t recall ever using Todd as a wager option, however, he is second in the field in strokes gained putting this season. Todd won’t impress you with his ball-striking, but at least he’s gained strokes with his iron play in five of his last six events. He last played the Charles Schwab Challenge, finishing solo third and gaining four strokes with his ball striking, and over seven with his short game. Todd can definitely be hit or miss. His solo third was only his third top-10 since last August but with a weaker field, a top-40 is doable.
Scottie Scheffler (-120) vs. Cameron Smith
If you just wager on Scheffler in some form every week, you are doing well for yourself. His 9-1 outright odds are warranted, considering he has four wins this year but that’s just too low. Instead, I’ll look at him in the head-to-head market. Why does Scottie do so well? His game is perfectly suited for success — be decent off the tee, hit great with your irons and have a stellar short game. I trust the consistency of Scheffler over Smith.
In 2022, Scheffler has been better off the tee and around the green. Smith has the edge with putting but looking round-by-round in his last two events, he faded as the tournament progressed by either losing strokes with the flat stick or just not producing to his optimal results. Looking at overall tournament stats, Smith does well. Looking individually by round, he has lost strokes on his short game in seven of his last 10 rounds. That’s supposed to be the strength of his game. I’m backing consistency, and Scheffler is it.