The Open Championship continues to provide the best thrills in golf, and this year was no different. After taking a three-shot lead into Sunday, Jordan Spieth bogeyed three of the first four holes, and following a tee shot into another county on 13, Matt Kuchar took the lead for a brief period. What followed was the stuff of legends – Spieth played the next four holes in five under par before closing the door with a par on 18. Kuchar couldn’t do much more, posting birdies on 15 and 17 to keep some pressure on the young stud, but it was Jordan’s day.
Kuchar finished solo second, his best result in a major. China’s Haotong Li shot 63 on Sunday to move up 26 spots and grab third place. Rory McIlroy pounded in an eagle at 17 to finish tied for fourth with Rafa Cabrera Bello.
All told, the Open was another fantastic display of golf and sportsmanship, and with Spieth transporting the Claret Jug back to the United States, he will travel to Quail Hollow in a few weeks to try to complete the Grand Slam... at the ripe age of 24.
2017 British Open Championship recap
Yahoo! Tournament Points – 172; Yahoo! Segment Points/Ranking – 711/21,014th; Yahoo! Season Points/Ranking – 4,211/499th Overall
The comeback is in full swing – this week saw a move of more than 5,000 spots in the segment ranking and more than 160 spots in the overall ranking. Obviously, using one of my last two Spieth starts was a smart move... otherwise, the rebirth of Electric Mayhem would have hit a serious pothole.
Sadly, the Open is behind us, and our attention moves to Canada this week for the RBC Canadian Open. Back at Glen Abbey Golf Club for the third straight year, the field is significantly weaker from last week, and looks to be a bit more thin than the field from last year’s event. This track, designed by Jack Nicklaus, checks in at a petite 7,253 yards, and with all four of the par fives registering less than 570 yards, the bombers could feast.
The winning score in the last five Canadian Opens at Glen Abbey has averaged 16 under par, and if conditions are good this week, 20 under isn’t out of the question. But who could score that low? Carry on, loyal reader...
2017 RBC Canadian Open Yahoo fantasy golf picks
Note: Course History will only use the tournaments hosted at Glen Abbey
Looks like DJ and...well...uh...
- Alex Cejka (10) – Never thought I’d say this, but Cejka might be a good sidekick to DJ this week. In his last 12 rounds at Glen Abbey, 10 have been at par or better, and the other two were 73s. He sandwiched MC at the John Deere with T9 at The Greenbrier and T15 last week at the Barbasol. Cejka finished T5 here last year, shooting 69 each of the last three days. He won’t be heavily owned, so take a look if you don’t like the other options.
- James Hahn (10) – In a weak field, Hahn presents a sneaky case for inclusion. He posted T11 here two years ago, but he has cooled down considerably from a few months ago. Hahn played four rounds last week at Royal Birkdale, and while he didn’t contend, that had to be a confidence-builder. Stats aren’t eye-popping, but he’s having a solid season, and like Cejka, he won’t be picked by many.
- Dustin Johnson (3) – I don’t need to spend much time on this. He’s the #1 player in the world, and even though he has looked like rubbish since falling on the eve of The Masters, he might be able to win this tournament at 60%. Besides the fact that he’s Dustin Johnson, he finished runner-up each of the last two times he pegged it at Glen Abbey. The only question is whether to use him for four rounds or wait to see how he leaves the gate.
- Shane Lowry (9) – He’s been an inconsistent mess lately... boom or bust for most of the last three months. Lowry is one of the best ball-strikers in the world when his game is on, but he’s ghastly if he misses the green. That doesn’t seem to be a huge factor this week, as the GIR ratios could be abnormally high due to lower rough than normal. I don’t like Lowry’s chances to win, but he’s classy enough to score a top-30 in his first trip to Glen Abbey.
- Graeme McDowell (10) – Three trips to this track have resulted in 74-MC-MC, which isn’t good. He was frighteningly consistent this season until three MC in a row lately. That’s not good, either. No reason to think this is his week. Pass.
- Jhonattan Vegas (10) – He’s the defending champion, and that’s absolutely all I like about Mr. Vegas this week. I don’t even really like that, either; the returning winner has obligations that others don’t, and coming off of five straight MC, he needs all the time he can get on the range. Fade.
- Gary Woodland (10) – His personal life has been a rollercoaster this season, so I join most people in cheering for him to play well every time he’s out. The fact is that he just hasn’t. The last time Woodland carded a top-30 on Tour was the Honda Classic in February. One of these weeks, he’ll put it all together and contend, and this could be the spot. He’s 16th on Tour in Driving Distance, 14th in Par Five Scoring and 29th in SG:Approach. He played well for the first two days last week at Royal Birkdale and I think he’s close. If you don’t like the “too-tired-from-the-Open” angle, use someone else, but he’s my #2 ‘A’ player this weekend.
- Ricky Barnes (10) – Don’t laugh... I’m almost considering using Barnes this week, only because of converging trends. He has posted MC-11-5 in three trips to Glen Abbey, and his last 12 starts have yielded 10 weekends, with four top-30s in his last eight tournaments. That’s literally all I have, as his stats look awful, just like every year. 397 career starts, 0 wins.
- Chad Campbell (10) – Don’t laugh... I’m almost considering using Campbell this week, too. 26-16-11-26 in his last four trips to Glen Abbey, and 13-34-10-MC-9-12-18 in his last seven starts gets me happy. I don’t care who is in the field, that’s a good run. His Par Five Scoring and Approach statistics are solid, and he fits the winner profile much better than Barnes. Campbell’s last win came nearly 10 years ago, so don’t expect a trophy, but he has been rock solid lately and could sneak into the top-10.
- Kevin Chappell (9) – He has no success here in two tries, and he arrives in Canada with two straight MC after a run of 7-WIN-35-52-4-23 prior. Chappell is one of the better true ball-strikers in the field, and that typically plays well at Glen Abbey. I’m completely indifferent on rostering him – I’m hoping by the time I’m done typing this group up, clarity will prevail.
- Harris English (10) – He seems to have found some form, hitting the top-30 in four of his last five starts, but hasn’t scared the leaders in a long time. His irons have improved dramatically over the past few months, but I’m not feeling the gamble here this week.
- Jim Furyk (10) – Yikes. I don’t trust Furyk at all anymore, but it’s hard to ignore his success here. 14-9-4-13 in his last four Glen Abbey RBC starts is the best in the field. After missing every cut for a long time, Furyk has strung together three consecutive top-35 finishes, and despite his struggles this season, he still ranks 35th in SG:Approach. That’s probably enough to throw him on the end of the bench.
- Adam Hadwin (8) – The Canuck finished T7 here two years ago, finishing 67-67-68 after an opening 74, and never broke 70 last year on the way to T49. Hadwin ranks 29th in SG:Putting and 34th in SG:Approach, so if he can keep the ball near the fairway, he’ll have a chance to post another top-10. The group is wide open, and Hadwin has to be considered for a spot on your team.
- Charley Hoffman (6) – He’s been one of the hottest players on the planet lately, and his RBC Glen Abbey history includes 28-16-7 in three tries. Based on those facts, he’s an automatic start this week. However, I don’t feel great about it. His success has come because of a hot driver, and that would seem to be neutralized this week. He’s 118th on Tour in Rough Proximity, which could be key since the fairways are bouncy and tight. Few others have the credentials of the Hoff this week, so I’ll run him out there, but I’m holding my nose.
- Matt Kuchar (4) – This is as simple as figuring out if he will have an emotional letdown after last week. If not, he could win. 2-7-9 in his last three trips to Glen Abbey. 9-12-4-16-4-2 in his last six starts. Despite all that, he doesn’t look to be a great statistical fit. That course history tells no lies, though... I’m betting that Kooch posts another top-10 and keeps his form heading to Quail Hollow.
- Danny Lee (7) – Lee WD from the John Deere Classic with shoulder and wrist injuries, and I don’t make a habit of rostering a player until he’s one week back from injury. He was on fire before the WD, with four top-10s in his last seven starts, and he fired a final round 66 to finish T32 in his first trip to Glen Abbey last year. I like his statistical fit, but I can’t break my own rules this week. I’ll pass.
- Ben Martin (10) – Hot player with no course history can be dangerous. Hot travels, and Martin will see if he can make it 10 straight tournaments with four rounds. Nothing statistically stands out one way or the other, so I won’t use a spot on him, but you could do worse.
- William McGirt (10) – He has a few runner-up finishes on this track, and hasn’t missed a weekend, but McGirt has looked mostly lost lately with nothing better than a T43 in his last seven starts. If he had anything going for him, or even one statistic that looks good for this course, I’d consider using him. But he doesn’t, so I won’t.
- Chez Reavie (10) – Chez has been on a great run lately, including T4 at the St. Jude and T16 at Erin Hills. He won here in 2008, and used a final round 68 to move to T14 last year. 32nd on Tour in SG:Approach and 54th in SG:Putting. Again, in an open group, you want a guy like this who could surprise everyone. He’s on the radar...
- Cameron Tringale (10) – Hot, cold, hot, cold. All season. Currently hot, with a T6 last week at the Barbasol. Finished T14 here last year with two rounds in the 60s. He’s too herky-jerky to roster, but his rank of 13th in SG:ATG could help if he misfires from the fairway.
- Bubba Watson (10) – Do you take a chance on a guy who seems to be finding some form, at a course which rewards bombers, with a runner-up finish to Jason Day in 2015 posting all four rounds in the 60s? Yep, probably. I hate the ‘B’ group this week, primarily because I’m rostering Bubba Watson.
- Keegan Bradley (10) – Two top-10s in his last four starts, and he’s 11th on Tour in SG:Tee, but he hasn’t hit the podium since the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational, and that won’t change this week. Pass.
- Patrick Cantlay (10) – He hasn’t played in nearly two months, and nobody is sure why, but he was on fire before the layoff. 6-6 this season with two top-3 results is impressive enough, factor in that he hadn’t played on Tour since 2014 and that’s downright sick. Once the best amateur in the world, injuries and tragedy have derailed his career. If he isn’t rusty, he could win... something that can be said anywhere he plays. I’ll wait a week and hope I didn’t make a mistake.
- Stewart Cink (10) – He has two top-5 finishes here, but Cink is cooling off after a great start to the season; 46-58-MC-MC in his last four starts. His irons and putter have been magic, and his length will play on this short track. If Cink is going to turn around his southbound trend, this is the week. There are better options for me, but I like Cink’s chances at a top-25.
- Graham DeLaet (9) – Everyone’s favorite Canadian just hasn’t fired at Glen Abbey; 1-4 with a T46 eight years ago doesn’t fly. Check out these SG rankings: Tee-22nd, Approach-23rd, Putting-28th. If he misses the green, it’s over. 201st in SG:ATG. I don’t know what to think, but he likely won’t be the first Canadian to win at home in 63 years.
- Tony Finau (5) – I’m all-in. He has a T22 on this course already, and his form is impeccable; 13-29-40-17-29-7-27 in his last seven starts. Finau sits fourth on Tour in SG:Tee, eighth in Driving Distance, 31st in SG:Approach, and 25th in Par Five Scoring. He simply loves bentgrass greens. Everything lines up. Still looking for his first win of the season, his search ends this week.
- J.B. Holmes (9) – As I’ve said many times before, any place where distance matters is a track that Holmes should feast at. Glen Abbey hasn’t been different, as he finished T16 here in 2009. I’m not playing Holmes this week, as I like two others, but a top-30 isn’t reaching.
- Anirban Lahiri (10) – I don’t see it this week. He’s an excellent performer on long holes and he makes a ton of birdies, but this isn’t his week. I know there is no reason given. I’m just not feeling him.
- David Lingmerth (8) – This could go either way. He has a T12 at Glen Abbey in 2013, and his form was excellent before 64-MC in his last two starts. Did being on the course five straight weeks catch up to him? Hard to say... but he’s rested now and could make some noise this week. Not a Yahoo! starter this week, but he’s a longshot DFS play.
- Luke List (9) – Two trips to Glen Abbey have resulted in T21-T14. Good. MC in seven of his last 10 starts. Bad. Third on Tour in Par Five Scoring, 10th in Birdie or Better Percentage. Good. 164th in SG:Putting. Bad. He won’t be on my team, but he’s filthy long and he’s a solid statistical fit. Huge risk in any game, but it could pay off.
- Trey Mullinax (10) – This will be his eighth week in a row on the course, and that doesn’t seem to work for anyone. His coming out party was his T9 at the U.S. Open and he’s 4-5 since, but with only one top-40 in the books. He’s great off the tee, but the rest of his game needs to improve for him to become a consistent performer.
- Ryan Palmer (9) – He has made all five cuts at Glen Abbey, but hasn’t cracked the top-20. His recent form has been a hot mess, and nothing indicates he will clean it up this week.
- Ian Poulter (10) – IJP is hot right now, but I have no idea why he’s flying to Canada to play this tournament. This will mark five straight weeks playing golf, and at 41 years old taking flights across the world, he is due for a letdown. Pass.
- Ollie Schneiderjans (10) – I have a really good feeling about Ollie this week. He returns to the site of his first professional tournament, where he finished T22 with a 69-66 in the middle of the tournament. He’s inside the top-50 in SG:Approach, Par Five Scoring, Birdie or Better Percentage, and Driving Distance. Ollie didn’t play last week, and he could be the young upstart who swoops in and grabs the tournament. Weak field, great statistical fit, rising star. Paint me interested.
- Kevin Tway (10) – Check out this form: 3-5-20-18-MC-31-43-55-12 in his last nine starts. Where might he fall this week? Glen Abbey likes bombers, and Tway qualifies, but he needs to be able to get to the green from wherever his ball lands, and he’s 128th in GIR. I don’t think Tway wins this week, but he should play four rounds and could jump into the top-30 on his driver alone.
My Yahoo! Roster - *denotes First Round Starter
- A – Dustin Johnson* and Gary Woodland
- B – Matt Kuchar*, Charley Hoffman*, Jim Furyk and Bubba Watson
- C – Tony Finau* and Ollie Schneiderjans
Yuck. I have Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk on my team, so if this is the Ryder Cup, I’m in trouble. This tournament is going to leave me angry, as I’ll burn a DJ start and he won’t win, and someone like James Hahn or Luke List will win and I won’t get bonus points. Just sayin...
I’ll take Finau and Schneiderjans to light up Canada this week, and Kuchar to finish with another winless top-10.
Hit me up at @commishjoe on Twitter with questions, comments or emotional outbursts. Follow along for last-minute changes. If you aren’t a GNN Plus member, sign up today! $10 for the year! That’s the nine-hole twilight rate on your nasty muni course! Good luck!