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RBC Canadian Open: Prediction, tips and odds

The PGA TOUR heads north of the border for the RBC Canadian Open, and Mike Glasscott has seven players to follow.

RBC Canadian Open Tips

Win: Corey Conners (22/1)
Top 10: Adam Scott (4/1), Shane Lowry (13/5), and Alex Noren (13/5)
Top 20: Taylor Pendrith (12/5), Greyson Sigg (15/4), and Ben Silverman (9/2)

Hamilton Golf & CC course guide

One of just two Harry S. Colt designs in Canada, Hamilton Golf & CC opened outside Toronto in 1916. Located in Ancaster, the club has 27 holes, but the event uses the 18 holes (West and South) designed by the legendary architect Harry S. Colt.

Martin Ebert and Tom Mackenzie renovated the entire property after the conclusion of the 2019 event. The 2024 edition will play 7,084 yards (Par-70), 117 yards longer than the 2019 tournament.

The tee boxes, greens, and bunkers were reconstructed, and a new irrigation system was added. The most noticeable change will be the return to the bunkering from Colt’s original design from photographs found at the club. The penalty for finding the sandy areas, 72 total, will include increased depth, jagged edges, and fescue “eyebrows.”

New tee boxes provide additional yardage, and the expansion of the putting surfaces features pin positions new to all.

Reducing trees throughout the property added new sightlines, fresh angles of attack, and better growing conditions for the turfgrass.

The elevation changes up and down the valley requires navigating sidehill lies and properly judging yardage.

For the third week in a row and fourth time in five events Bentgrass (V8 Creeping Bentgrass) will comprise the putting surfaces. The new, expanded greens, now covering 6,000 square feet on average, will provide bigger targets to attack. The Stimpmeter will run between 11 and 12 feet.

The course record, 61, was set twice in the 2019 edition. Canadian Ben Silverman signed for the record in Round 2. Champion Rory McIlroy equaled the record on Sunday.

McIlroy, one of two multiple winners in the field, owns the tournament scoring record of 22-under-par 258 (2019).

RBC Canadian Open preview

Preceded by the Western Open in 1899, the RBC CO, established in 1904, is the second-oldest non-major championship.

Hosting for the seventh time in history and the fifth time this century, Hamilton Golf & CC has crowned Bob Tway (2003), Jim Furyk (2006), Scott Piercy (2012), and Rory McIlroy (2023) as champions. As of Tuesday, McIlroy is the only one entered this week.

The invitational field of 156 players includes 12 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf rankings, led by No. 3 Rory McIlroy.

The top 65 and ties after two rounds will play the final 36 holes. The last two editions at Hamilton produced cuts of 2-under (2019) and 1-under (2012).

Nick Taylor, the 2023 winner at Oakdale Golf & CC after defeating Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff, became the first Canadian to win this event since 1954.

The 2019 champion, Rory McIlroy, also won the 2022 edition. There was not an event played in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Jhonattan Vegas won the 2016 and 2017 editions at Glen Abbey.

The winner will take home 500 FedExCup points plus $1.692 million from the $9.4 million purse.

Top of the Board

Rory McIlroy (4/1): The two-time champion has racked up three top-10 paydays on three different courses, including T9 at Oakdale last year. With two victories in his last three starts on TOUR, I can easily make the case for him again this week. This field is nowhere near the depth of the PGA Championship, and with only one water hazard, he is free and clear to fire away.

Tommy Fleetwood (18/1): Making his third start in Canada, the Englishman has lost in a playoff and cashed T6 in his previous two appearances. Hamilton will be his third different course in three starts, and the changes won’t be new to him.

Sahith Theegala (20/1): The 2023 is an outstanding putter and doesn’t mind new Bentgrass greens. Finishing T12 at Valhalla, he continues to produce results on unfamiliar greens. The only weakness in his game is around the greens, but he sits in the top 32 of the other Strokes Gained categories.

Corey Conners (22/1): After the drought finally broke last year, I am starting my card with an Ontario native this week. The Listowel native, a two-time winner on TOUR, will not have a nation sitting on his shoulders. Asking him to play target golf and pound greens in regulation is the perfect recipe. If he makes a few putts, away we go!

Shane Lowry (25/1): Martin Ebert also oversaw the renovation at Royal Portrush, the scene of his only major championship. Finishing seven shots behind McIlroy in the 2019 event, the Irishman has cashed T12 or better in three of five weekends. After T6 at the PGA Championship, I can’t dismiss him.

Alex Noren (25/1): Cashing T26 or better in 10 of 12 events, the days of finding any value on the Swede are long gone. Sitting fourth in SG: Total and eighth in SG: Tee to Green, it’s easy to see why. Like Fleetwood, he’s still looking for his first win in North America.

Sam Burns (28/1): The new father tends to make money with the flat stick. Maybe a few quiet nights out of the country will rejuvenate his game!

Cameron Young (28/1): One of the best drivers of the golf ball on TOUR, he’s still looking for his first win. Finishing second at a hilly, tough-driving Innisbrook makes me take a second look this week. Cashing T63 at Valhalla, his third consecutive T34 or worse payday pushes me away.

Players to consider for Top 10, Top 20, or Top 40 action:

Tom Kim (33/1): Making six cuts in a row, four have resulted in T30 or better. Something is cooking here, and I don’t want to be late.

Aaron Rai (40/1): Placing T3 and T13 the last two seasons suggests he enjoys golf in the Toronto area.

Adam Scott (40/1): Outside of a missed cut at Valhalla, the veteran has racked up T30 or better in five of his last six.

Erik van Rooyen (55/1): Cranking out frequent results of T25 or better since last fall, the South African has three top-10 paydays in his last nine.

Taylor Pendrith (60/1): The Canadian has not produced the goods on home soil, but he’s won and cashed T10 and T11 in three of his last four starts on TOUR.

Greyson Sigg (125/1): For the gamblers only! His last four starts have resulted in MC-T13-MC-T9. The 29-year-old sits 12th in SG: Approach and 30th SG: Tee to Green.

Ben Silverman (150/1): McIlroy gets all the headlines for his course-record 61 in 2019, but Silverman set the bar with that score two days prior. The Canadian made the cut in each of his last two starts, including a T32 at Colonial.

Bud Cauley (175/1): Finishing T4 in 2012, it’s been a long road back to Hamilton. There are not many in the field this week who cashed a check in that edition. Kevin Kisner is the only other player in the field who cashed in the top 10.

Robby Shelton (225/1): Cashing T9 last week, he was second in Putting and T9 in Fairways.

David Lipsky (300/1): Finishing T9 at Colonial last week, he led the field in GIR. Now, about that putter…

Stuart McDonald (500/1): A winner on the PGA Tour Americas this spring, the Canadian played the weekend last year at Oakdale.

Mike Weir (2500/1): The Presidents Cup captain was T14 at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship last week in Michigan. Drop a loon on him to make the cut.

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