After an enthralling week at the British Open, attention now turns towards the RBC Canadian Open from Oakville, Ontario. Although the RBC Canadian Open isn't blessed with the most attractive position on the PGA Tour's schedule, they have managed to assemble a quality field to take on Glen Abbey this week. Big names such as Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar will all be looking to get their hands on this title here this week. The 2018 edition will be Glen Abbey's fourth consecutive year hosting the event.
In 2017, Jhonattan Vegas defeated Charley Hoffman in a tense playoff battle last year after both men had finished the event at 21 under par.
Measuring 7,253 yards, Glen Abbey is a par-72 where players will be in attack mode from the get-go. Historically, length off the tee has been a significant advantage around Glen Abbey, with bombers thriving at this course down the years. That's not to say shorter hitters can't be successful, as Brandt Snedeker showed in 2013 when he won the title here. Despite that victory, however, I'll be placing importance on Strokes Gained-Off The Tee here this week, as well as birdie or better percentage. The wide fairways at Glen Abbey give an even greater advantage to the longer hitters, and with four gettable par 5s available this week there is no doubt that the bombers can have their way with this course.
Let's get down to it. Dustin Johnson is the prohibitive favorite this week, and at 7/1 his price is just about big enough to get involved.
Johnson struggled last week at the British Open, and despite not having his best game, it was mostly the final hole that destroyed his chances. Johnson played the final hole last week five-over par for two rounds, and without that hole, he would have made the cut comfortably. What better place to get the frustration of last week out of his system than Glen Abbey? Johnson has a superb record at this course, where he has finished runner-up twice and last year finished T8. Over his previous 12 rounds at Glen Abbey, Johnson has a scoring average of 68.58.
2018 has been an excellent year for Johnson, and over his previous 24 rounds the world number one ranks first in this field for strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained total. With him likely to have a bundle of birdie chances this week, Johnson's putter will need to be sharp, and it's an excellent sign that over his last 24 rounds he sits seventh in the field for strokes gained putting.
Par-5 scoring will be crucial this week, and there is no better man for eating up the par 5s than Johnson. The American is number one in this field for birdie or better percentage on Par 5's this season and will be licking his chops at the prospect of four reachable par 5s this week. Johnson is also number one in the field for par-4 performance over his previous 12 rounds and second in birdies or better gained over the same period. Take Dustin Johnson at 7/1 to finally land the Canadian Open crown.
Charley Hoffman's performances down the years at Glen Abbey have been excellent. The Californian has three top-20 finishes on his last three visits to Glen Abbey, including his runner-up finish here last year. It was an event last year that got away from Hoffman, but he has been playing himself into form as of late, and he looks primed for another run at the title here in 2018.
Hoffman has now recorded four consecutive top-20 finishes worldwide which shows that he is striking the ball like he used to. A lot of the damage he is doing is on the par 4s, and Hoffman ranks fifth in this weeks field in par-4 performance over his last 12 rounds. Hoffman has also historically played the par 5s excellently at Glenn Abbey, and over his previous 12 rounds at this weeks course, he sits fourth in the field for his performance on the par 5s. He's coming back into form, and this is a golf course that always seems to bring out the best in Hoffman's game, and at 25/1 he looks a decent price to go well again this week.
Vastly overpriced in this market this week is Joel Dahmen. Dahmen has now finished in the top-25 in seven of his last nine events, and he shows no signs of slowing down. The American was third at the Barbasol for strokes gained tee to green and only a miserable week on the greens prevented him from challenging for the title. Over his previous 12 rounds, Dahmen sits first in the field this week for ball striking, and strokes gained tee to green while he ranks third for strokes gained total. Over the same period, he ranks fourth for par-5 performance, and he should be able to tear up the par 5s at Glen Abbey this week. At 5/1, Dahmen is overpriced in this market, and I see no reason why he can't make it four consecutive top-20 finishes this week.
72 Hole Match Bets
Fresh from his expected missed cut at the British Open, Bubba Watson returns to a course that he enjoys. Watson has made the cut in each of his last three appearances at Glen Abbey, including an excellent performance in 2015 when he finished runner-up. Specific tracks allow Watson to perform his best on and it would appear that Glen Abbey is one of those. With wide fairways, the importance of creating angles for your approaches and gettable par 5s there is every chance that Watson can get back in form here this week. Sergio Garcia, on the other hand, has been struggling as of late. The Spaniard has missed six of his last nine cuts worldwide and looks ripe to fade this week. Watson looks the best option to do just that with, as it's difficult to envisage him not making plenty of birdies around Glen Abbey.
2018 RBC Canadian Open recommended bets
- Dustin Johnson 7/1 (Coral)
- Charley Hoffman 25/1 (8 places, SkyBet)
- Joel Dahmen 5/1 (PaddyPower)
72 Hole Match Bets
- Bubba Watson over Sergio Garcia 4/5 (Bet365)