PGA Tour - RBC Canadian Open - 25-28 July 2013
Glen Abbey Golf Club, Oakville, Ontario
This tournament has a rich and long heritage, dating back to 1906 and is the 3rd oldest tournament in professional golf! Glen Abbey hosts for the 26th time.
The Canadian Open enjoyed a very high profile and status until the PGA Tour re-scheduled it to an unfavourable mid-September time slot 15 or so years ago and then, upon the introduction of the bloated Fedex Cup distraction in 2007, to its even worse, and current, late July slot - a week after the Open Championship and a week before Bridgestone!
All three Glen Abbey winners of recent times are back for another shot: Nathan Green (2009), Chez Reavie (2008) & Vijay Singh, who must have felt like he'd killed Bambi when he beat Mike Weir in a playoff in 2004!. Two-time tournament winner, albeit on two other courses, Jim Furyk, also plays.
It's a Jack Nicklaus stadium design that opened in 1976. It'll play a gentle 7250yd par72 for this Open, including some very short par 3's & par 4's & some too-easily reachable par 5's and will thus not present much of a challenge.
This is one of those places where the Tiger Woods legend was created when in 2000, and with his closest opponent Grant Waite on the green with a 30-foot eagle putt to come, he took on and then perfectly executed a magnificent 218yd 6-iron second, over water, from a 72nd-hole fairway bunker! His ball finished on the back fringe from where he chipped and putted for birdie and the win.
Glen Abbey is not so much about driving, with its broad fairways and generous landing areas. It's more about GIR, approach play and putting; the greens are undulating, generally in perfect condition and roll beautifully.
No Canadian has won his national open since 1954 and the early market suggests that seems unlikely to change in 2013 with Graham Delaet the shortest priced Canuck @ 29.00 followed by David Hearn @ 51.00
The early market has Brandt Snedeker the clear 13.00 fave from Hunter Mahan & Matt Kuchar around 19.00, then Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, Luke Donald & Graeme McDowell all at about 23.00.
Bubba, Ernie & the aforementioned Delaet complete the list of those shorter than 30/1.
My top each way selection is David Lingmerth @ 81.00. The diminutive Swede, after missing 8 cuts early season, has since been unobtrusively putting together a consistent, even stellar, first season on the big stage - including: a recent 2nd at The Players, 18th at Colonial, 17th at the US Open & 9th at the Greenbrier.
He's a huge price over here at 80/1 to win in my opinion, and the 20/1 the place is also tempting for my each way doubles! Just celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday and, with over $1.63m in the bank already, he knows he'll be around for the new 2013/14 season!
My 2nd selection is Sang-Moon Bae each way @ 151.00 - 176.00. He's streaky-good, on a fast american learning curve, and could easily surprise at long odds, just as he did in the Byron Nelson at 150/1 a few weeks back. Remember, this is a guy who was beating up Hideki Matsuyama on the Japan Tour a couple of years ago.
My 3rd selection is a Canadian to ride a tide of patriotic support into a place. I like David Hearn @ 51.00 each way, especially in view of his finishing inside the Top30 in 6 of his past 10 PGA Tour starts, incl 21st in the US Open & a close 2nd at the John Deere last time out.
My final selection is another Canadian, 26-y-o late-developer Roger Sloan @ 17.00 for a Top10 finish. He's found his best form in recent weeks with a 6th & a 7th in consecutive WebCom Tour starts and I expect him to give a good account of himself back home and against this shallow a field.
Cheers and good luck with your golf punting!
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