Winner’s Share – $1,026,000
Course – Glen Abbey Golf Course (7,273 yards Par 72)
Our 2014 Picks – Jim Furyk (2nd), David Hearn (T53), KJ Choi (T66), Tim Clark (WIN)
There’s no denying Zach Johnson was a worthy winner of the Open last week but we can’t hide our disappointment at not seeing Spieth do it again. His 4-putt on 8 would have broken the best of us – but not this guy. What a player and what a future he has. We’ve spoken about the Spieth/McIlroy rivalry for a while now but just sit back and imagine those two in a Sunday final pairing at a major.
As ever, we move quickly and swiftly on in golf. The Tour rocks up at Glen Abbey, the Canadian Open’s home if you were. With the odd exception, the tournament was held here for over 25 years until the early 2000’s where appearances became more sporadic.
We have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with this event with Hunter Mahan dropping out while leading in 2013 to attend the birth of his baby girl. But Tim Clark addressed the balance for us last year with a stunning display of putting.
Having read tons about the course, it’s all about the total drivers out there. The rough alongside the fairways won’t hurt you and getting it within wedge distance is key. We’re going to see plenty of approach shots from the 75-125 yard mark.
One thing we also know is the rough gets a lot tougher around the greens. It makes GIR stats more vital than ever. For that inevitable miss around the greens, scrambling is of course going to be key and we’ve definitely factored that into our research. Also worth noting that Brandt Snedeker gave us a putting masterclass in 2013 having been relatively average tee to green.
Arguably the biggest factor coming in this week is the Open. Usually, the Canadian is one where guys who have done well at the Open can continue to do so here but we all know how crazy St Andrews was. A Monday finish and endless waiting around makes preparation for the Canadian tough. Naturally, these guys are good and can certainly go again but we won’t be touching anyone who made the cut in Scotland.
DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.
You can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!
This is the 3rd time we’ve backed Chappell in recent times and rightly so in our opinion. He’s fully fit, settled into family life and striking the ball as good as ever.
His 8th at the John Deere was recognition for the hard work he had put in over the last few months – finally his consistency is starting to pay off. So when we come to Glen Abbey, a place where total drivers thrive, the American is right up there for us.
Negatives would be that he’s only played here once and finished 68th but we know this is a course that suits his eye and when he’s striking the ball as good as he is at the moment, he can transfer that to any track.
Chappell also ranked 3rd putting at the John Deere which is ominous when paired with his tee to green game.
Brian Harman (70/1 Stan James)
On reflection, it was a poor pick going with Harman last time out to defend his John Deere title. Fulfilling plenty of media obligations prior to the week meant the American couldn’t prepare as well as he would want. He was also paired alongside Jordan Spieth for three rounds – and we all know what he did on the 3rd day.
So after a missed cut at St Andrews, Harman will travel to Canada with a lot of weight off his shoulders. He’s expressed in the media how well he is striking the ball and is just waiting for that little spark that would see him win PGA title number 2. Tee to green he’s ideal for Glen Abbey.
It has to be said his T24 as defending champ two weeks ago was very admirable and quite frankly if he had holed some putts, he would have contended. To put into perspective: ranked 2nd GIR but 70th (out of 73) in putting. We’ll put that down to the pressure… It’s a case of getting the putter working this week for Brian, because everything else is firing on all cylinders.
Roberto Castro (175/1 Coral)
We like this one. Castro qualified on Monday for the Canadian, shooting a 65, alongside three other guys. This makes for a good few weeks as we’ve seen a pretty rapid rise in form since two missed cuts in June.
Last week’s T23 at the Barbasol saw him finish T17 GIR and 15th putting – everything seems to be in good order. The final piece in the jigsaw was his 6th at Glen Abbey he recorded in 2013. A couple of rounds in the 60’s saw him finish just 4 shots behind Snedeker, on -12. Roberto is also renowned for his wedge play and currently ranks 5th on tour for approaches from 50-125 yards.
Rory Sabbatini (100/1 Stan James)
We are reluctantly going with the South African purely on the amount of factors he ticked. We can’t say there’s a real passion for Sabbatini but as we’ve shown the last couple of events with Lee and Wagner, stats matter.
His last two appearances at Glen Abbey, seperated by 13 years, were 6th and more recently 12th. Very recent form is nondescript but has recorded two top 10’s in his last six events.
Then we look at stats – 11th scrambling, 24th 50-125 yards and 35th tee to green.
Ultimately he ticks every box from a betting perspective. Our hands are tied, we’re going with him.