By Michael McGill

Jim Carrey, Pamela Anderson, Keanu Reeves and Avril Lavigne call it home. The telephone and AM radio where invented there.

Yes we are talking about Canada, and that is where the PGA tour is heading this week.

The RBC Canadian Open is being played at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario. It was founded in 1904 and it is the second oldest non-major tournament.

Many big names have won this tournament over the years such as Tommy Armour (1927,1930,1934), Arnold Palmer (1955), Greg Norman (1984,1992) and Nick Price (1991,1994).

The last Canadian to win his countries Open was Pat Fletcher in 1954. It has been a long time between drinks for the home crowd.

This will be the fifth time that the Hamilton course has hosted the event.

It has previously been played here in 1919, 1930, 2003 and 2006.

The course is par 70, 6966 yards in length and has 87 bunkers. The greens are considered on the small size while the fairways and greens are bentgrass poa annua.

This week the bookies Top 5 in betting are:-

  • Matt Kuchar 12/1.  Won the Players Championship. Seven Top 10’s this year. Coming off a T9th British Open last week.
  • Hunter Mahan 14/1. Looking for third win of the year after claiming WGC Match Play and Shell Houston Open.
  • Jim Furyk 18/1. Won two Canadian Opens in 2006 and 2007.
  • Ernie Els 25/1. Hot off his win last week in the British Open. Will be full of confidence. Could be tired after celebrating.
  • Brandt Snedeker 28/1. Third in British Open last week after leading for 36 holes. Won the Farmers Insurance earlier this year.

Jim Furyk will be looking for his third title this week and he was successful on this course in 2006 when he saw off Bart Bryant by one stroke with Sean O’Hair a further shot back.  An interesting little bit of trivia for those considering Furyk this week. Hamilton is a sister city with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And where is Furyk from? Pittsburgh! Perhaps he feels at home here.

There are seven past winners taking part this week including Defending Champion Sean O’Hair, Nathan Green (2009) and Vijay Singh (2004).

Fifteen Canadians are teeing it up this week however it has been 58 years since one of them took the title so it would be a national day of celebrations if one of them pulled it off.

There are also many International players making the trip to Canada this week such as Stuart Appleby, Camilo Villegas, Arjun Atwal, Greg Owen, Ryo Ishikawa and Tim Clark.

While the course is not considered long it is known as a shot makers course where a player will need to need to play well from tee to green and be a good ball striker. When you look at the past winners they have all ranked highly in GIR stats.

This week I am going with two selections.

Hunter Mahan  14/1  

The World No.13 is having the season of his life. He has recorded two wins this year already in the WGC Match Play Championship and Shell Houston Open. Add to that high finishes such as:

  • T6th Farmers Insurance-January
  • T12th Masters Tournament-April
  • T11th Travelers Championship-June
  • T8th AT&T National-July
  • T19th Open Championship-July

His stats are second to none and are perfect for this course.

  • 9th in driving accuracy
  • 3rd in GIR
  • 1st in ball striking
  • 9th in par 4 performance
  • 3rd in GIR from other than fairway.

With his current form and the lack of a strong field this week Hunter should be claiming his third Victory of the season. At the current odds of 14/1 he is the best eachway bet so far this season. Come Sunday we should all have a big smile on our face.

 

Roberto Castro 80/1   

If you are after a good long shot this week look no further than Roberto Castro. Last season he played all his golf on the web.com tour however he played in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament and finished a respectable T13th.

This year on the PGA Tour he has had 18 starts and made the cut in 14 of those starts. That is some pretty good golf from the tour rookie.

Notable finishes include:

  • T14th Puerto Rico Open-March
  • T19th Crowne Plaza Invitational-May
  • T7th The Greenbrier Classic-July
  • T18th True South Classic-July

What really made Roberto stand out was his finishes in the Crowne Plaza and Greenbrier. These two courses are considered short tracks much like the Hamilton course.

His last two starts have been Top 20 finishes so he is also in good current form.

Stats wise his game should suit the Hamilton course well.

  • 34th in driving accuracy
  • 15th in GIR
  • 10th in total driving
  • 19th in all round ranking
  • 9th in ball striking

At the available odds of 80/1 we should get a great run for our money on an each way basis.

Who are you on this week? Let us know!

Good luck and good punting

 

 

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