The third major of the year has come and gone in an exciting fashion and we are on to the next one. Jordan Spieth took the 3rd leg of his career grand slam; some of us had him in our lineups, some didn’t. Some had the seemingly unstoppable Matt Kuchar, some didn’t, and some had both. Whichever category you fall into, remind yourself that it doesn’t matter anymore. On to the next one.
Luckily for all PGA fans, the field at this week’s RBC Canadian Open is anything but lackluster. Headlining favorites include last year’s RBC runner up Dustin Johnson, last weekend’s runner up Matt Kuchar, last week’s semi-disappointing (or just good-enough) Ian Poulter, along with names like Charley Hoffman, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson, and the ageless Jim Furyk.
The tournament is being played at the Glenn Abbey Golf Course in Ontario, Canada. The Canadian Open has been played at Glenn Abbey multiple times before, and lucky for us DFS’ers, this gives us some good stats to base our research on. As many already know, the course isn’t known as being the most difficult to be seen on tour, but is unique in many of its own ways. Cliff-like elevated tees, 100+ bunkers, and multiple water hazards stand out. Ten par fours that are not overly long, a history of interesting weather (usually wind), and quick greens where strokes can be made up. The course’s distance doesn’t imply that long hitters should be successful here, but in my humble opinion, it is very clear that the past couple champions and runner ups have one thing in common, and that is driving distance. Now I know that is not the only way this tournament will be won, so I didn’t focus in on this too much. The stats I decided to use in my research (once again over the past 12 weeks – thank you fantasynational.com) were: strokes gained tee-to-green, bogey avoidance, driving distance, GIR gained, strokes gained putting, birdies gained, par 4s (400-450 yards), in addition to 2015 and 2016 RBC performance.
As always, I will highlight some high-priced “studs”, some mid-range picks, and some value options and hopefully provide enough information to get some solid lines built.
Dustin Johnson: Big surprise right? Though he hasn’t made any huge waves as of late, we all know what he’s capable of. He made the cut and was in the hunt at The Open last week, and has two wins this year. He remains #1 in the OWGR and for good reason. He finished 2nd in the Canadian Open here last year and is keeping up in the past-12 rounds stats. Johnson currently sits in 3rd for SG tee-to-green, 9th in bogey avoidance, 7th in driving distance, 9th in GIR gained, and 19th in our par-4 look this week. There is absolutely no doubt that DJ is a top-10 finish barring a horrendous Thursday or Friday. He is due for another win, and this field combined with last year’s finish leads me to believe this week could be the one.
Matt Kuchar: Kuch is not quite as enticing as last week for one reason and one reason only – his massive price bump. I would consider him a near must-play this week even with the price bump. He’s cheaper than DJ, and if you have to pick between high-priced guys here – he will give you some space for some extra value down below. Plus, he’s hot and DJ’s not. To further drive this point home, Kuchar finished 7th here in 2015 and 9th last year. In our 12-week stats, he sits in 1st for SG tee-to-green, 2nd in bogey avoidance, 1st in GIR gained, 24th in birdies gained, and 9th in 400-450 par 4s. The last two weeks’ performances bumped him to 12th in the OWGR and if he can get the putter fully working – he’s the man, again.
Tony Finau: Coming in at the top of the stats previously mentioned, with a decent tournament history and a very solid year so far, Finau is a good play this week. He is modestly priced when considering how consistent he really is (13 cuts made in 15 starts and 5 top-10s). He also finished 20th here in 2015 and is coming off a solid Open Championship, finishing 27th. For the past 12 weeks, Finau sits in 15th in SG tee-to-green, 2nd in bogey avoidance, 8th in driving distance, 12th in GIR gained, 19 in SG putting, 12th in birdies gained, and 24th in 400-450 par 4s.
Ian Poulter: Also very modestly priced for how he’s been performing is Ian Poulter. He was dominating the 12-week stats last week and is again this week after finishing 14th in The Open. Poulter remains in 1st for SG tee-to-green, while backed up by a 4th in bogey avoidance, 3rd in GIR gained, and 3rd in 400-450 par 4s. He’s made 16 cuts in 18 starts which would make some wonder how this guy was legitimately seconds away from losing his tour card just a couple months ago. He should be giving half of his earnings to the guy that caught the miscount…He may have saved Poulter’s career. Poulter is another strong play likely to be in the hunt this Sunday.
Keegan Bradley: This man has been quietly climbing his way back up the rankings, having made 13 cuts in 18 starts and starting a little streak with 4 cuts in a row. He finished in 8th in the Travelers and 5th in the Quicken Loans National and has been looking good. His price is just OK this week – people may be starting to catch on.
For 12-week stats, he is currently in 4th SG tee-to-green, 28th in bogey avoidance, 35th in driving distance, 8th in GIR gained, and 14th in 400-450 yard par 4s. He has three top 10s this year, two of which were in the past month. He also didn’t play last week and should be well rested.
Danny Lee: He burned me two weeks ago and he probably burned you two weeks ago. After a WD one round in at the John Deere Classic, playing him here is a little risky on one hand, but on the other hand, could contribute towards a low owned (and very cheap) contender. Lee is trending towards the inconsistent side of my mind, but has 4 top-10s so far this year and has played seemingly flawless golf since May. With that being said, he has missed 8 cuts in his 22 starts. For 12-week stats, Lee is 6th SG tee-to-green, 8th in bogey avoidance, 2nd in GIR gained, 15 in SG putting, 9th in birdies gained, and 17th in 400-450 yard par 4s. He has made the cut in the RBC the past two years and finished 32nd last year. All in all, if I had to guess, you won’t be seeing Lee at this price again for a while.
Update: Danny tweeted: “My injury is getting better and I’m ready to go guys” – it’s official, this is his opportunity to make up for the JDC.
Value Plays: Rapid Fire Version
Chez Reavie: 14th here last year, 41st the year before. 10 cuts in 17 starts, but 5 consecutive and 2 of those 5 were top-20s (and one was the US Open). 6th in bogey avoidance, 4th in GIR gained, 8th in birdies gained, 19th in 400-450 par 4s. Hasn’t done anything overly amazing lately, but this could be his week based on these stats.
Chad Campbell: 11th here in 2015, 26th in 2016, and 18th in last week’s Barbasol Championship. He’s made 12 cuts in 20 starts, has three top-10 finishes, and 4 of his last 5 starts resulted in a top-20 finish. For 12-week stats he is in 13th in both SG tee-to-green and bogey avoidance, 6th in GIR gained, and 24th in 400-450 par 4s.
Ricky Barnes: Never thought I’d say this but I really like Ricky Barnes this week. He has only made 13 cuts in his 22 starts and has no top 10s this year, but he’s been playing well and has good course/tournament history, coming in 11th in 2015, 5th in 2016, and coming off a 15th in last weks Barbasol Championship. He also shows up top 30 in the 12-week SG putting and bogey avoidance.
Cameron Percy: RBC history includes 18th in 2015, 26th in 2016. Percy has come in 12th of both of his last two starts, though he has only made 10 cuts in 17 starts. He has one top-10 and that was quite some time ago. If you trust the recent performance here, he is a very cheap option.
Jared du Toit: This 22 year old Canadian may look like some guy with no history in your DraftKings app, but there is more to him. I admittedly do not know much about the guy, but according to pgatour.com he has two top-10s on the year, came in 9th in the GolfBC Championship, and 7th in the Mackenzie Investments Open. What caught my eye was where this guy I have never heard of came in on the stats I looked at: 20th in bogey avoidance, 5th in SG putting, 38th in birdies gained, and 10th in 400-450 yard par 4s. To make his play even more enticing, he finished 9th in last year’s RBC at Glenn Abbey. Keep an eye out for him – he could provide some real variance for a GPP line.
Daniel Summerhays: Finished 11th in the 2015 RBC. 12-week stats include 1st in bogey avoidance, 9th in SG tee-too-green, 10th in GIR gained, 29th in birdies gained, and 16th in 400-450 yard par 4s. He’s made 5 cuts in a row and has one top-10 on the season. He is looking consistent but is yet to truly impress.
Alex Cejka: He has made the cut at the last two RBC’s and came in 5th last year. He finished 15th in last week’s Barbasol Championship and 9th in the Greenbrier in early July. He is capable of finishing atop the leaderboards and has good course history – and he is a very cheap option.
Others to keep an eye on: Scott Stallings, Steve Wheatcroft, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Hudson Swafford, Kelley Kraft, James Hahn, Stewart Cink, Camillo Villegas, Patrick Rodgers, Cameron Tringale, Johnson Wagner, Ben Crane
Canadians to keep an eye on: Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, Graham DeLaet, Jared du Toit
Good luck this week & make some cash!
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