RBC Canadian Open: Betting preview & predictions

Memorial Golf
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, looks at his shot out of a bunker on the 17th green during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The 2022 RBC Canadian Open returns after a two-year hiatus and it will take place at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Ontario for the first time in a dozen years. Rory McIlroy won this event the last time out by shooting a tournament record score of 258, the lowest aggregate score for an event that dates back to 1904. McIlroy is one of just five former champions heading north of the border to compete in the RBC Canadian Open 2022, which tees off on Thursday.

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After Billy Horschel put on a clinic to achieve his 7th-career PGA Tour win at The Memorial, the PGA Tour rolls on to Canada for the first time since 2019. Here’s everything you need to know.

The Course

The RBC Canadian Open will be played at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto. Rory McIlroy was the last victor at this event back in 2019, shooting a ridiculous score of 258. Is he primed to do it again?

St. George’s is a par-70 course that rewards accuracy off the tee. It’s a very narrow course with small greens that feature plenty of undulation. It’s hard to see what correlates well here, but accurate ball-strikers and those who favor safer tee shorts over distance are likely to be rewarded.

The Favorites

Scottie Sheffler and Justin Thomas enter the event as joint favorites at +700. They’re two of the very best players in the world right now and it’s hard to pick between them. Both are relatively innacruate off the tee, but rank great on approach and have a sterling run of form. I’d personally favor JT over Scottie, but Sheffler just has a way of being in the thick of the majority of events he’s in, hence the #1 status. However, +700 could be a little too low to bet here.

Interestingly, Rory Mcilroy, who broke a tournament record here in 2019, is cheaper than the aforementioned names and grades out 3 shots better according to my custom model. His short game was abysmal this past week, but Rory is gaining 0.91 shots off the tee to the field over his last 50 rounds, and ranks towards the top of the pecking order in approach metrics around similar courses. At +800, he’s a more appealing play.

Cameron Smith will be a popular choice at +1000, but his form around similar courses has been disappointing and he’s not the most accurate off the tee. That’s not to discredit his level of play, but I won’t be betting him.

Contrarily, I will be playing Shane Lowry at +1600, who in my model garners the same grade as Rory McIlroy. He ranks 27th in fairway accuracy, 18th in approach on correlated courses, and is playing some of the best golf in his career. At that price, Lowry is a very appealing play.

The RBC Canadian Open Field

When browsing the rest of the field here at the RBC Canadian Open, value is the name of the game. Ryan Armour at +25000 is the most accurate golfer in this field off the tee and grades out one stroke better than Matt Fitzpatrick according to my model. He’s absolutely worth a punt at those prices.

Austin Smotherman is another deep-value bet at +15000. He grades out one stroke better than Justin Thomas at this event according to my model, as a player who is not only accurate off the tee, but ranks 2nd in long approach shots, second only to JT himself. If you want exposure to a budget version of Thomas, Smotherman is your man.

As a wildcard pick at the RBC Canadian open, you can’t go wrong with Tyler Duncan at +18000. He’s struggled over the past few weeks, but he’s a streaky player who hits a ton of fairways. He’s had success around correlated courses and this could be a reason to get back on the wagon.

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AP Photo/Darron Cummings

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