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RBC Canadian Open: Expert Picks

Matt Kuchar, the star of the Canadian Open

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

RBC Canadian Open
When: July 21st -€” 24th

Where: Glen Abbey Golf Club
2015 Winner: Jason Day (-15)

The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.

Glen Abbey Golf Course -€” Designed by Jack Nicklaus in 1976, this course utilizes Bent Grass with some Kentucky Bluegrass and perennial Rye Grass in the Roughs. It has just under 100 bunkers and 12 water hazards. Being a Nicklaus course, it behooves players to play well approaching the greens. The roughs can be difficult and the Valley Holes are lined with trees on both sides. The famous part of this course are the "Valley Holes (11 through 15) which travels a valley through the Sixteen Mile Creek. Accuracy more than distance is a must here.

Tony Finau -€” He finished 22nd here last year. On top of that, in his last 7 tournaments he has: 3 finishes in the top 15, 2 finishes in the top 35, one 74th place and a missed cut. That's not bad at all.  Some golfers get fatigued and their game begins to struggle late in the season, but Tony is the opposite. Last year he netted ten top 25 finishes in his final 14 tournaments. He's showing a similar pattern here, he gets comfortable and his swing is much or of a natural stroke then a regimented one. Once he gets in his comfort zone his natural skill does all the work. 

William McGirt -€” It's no coincidence that you will see a trend at this course. Some players have become adept at Jack Nicklaus courses ensuring you can't cheat the course. The Memorial tournament provides an excellent foresight into which players know how to play a "Golden Bear" course and with William McGirt's win there, he proves he can. His recent track record has been up and down with two top ten finishes and two missed cuts but his familiarity here where he's finished 43rd, 25th, 2nd and 2nd over his last 4 years bodes well.

David Hearn -€” It's always fun to pick a home-country pick right? David has finished in the top 30 in 5 of his last 6 tournaments including a 12th place finish at Quicken Loans and a 17th place finish at Dean and Deluca Invitational. He was 3rd here last year and has a Greens in Regulation in the top 30 on the tour.

Matt Kuchar -€” Tough not to pick Kooch here. He has 4 top ten finishes in his last 6 tournaments. He has back to back to back top ten finishes here. His game is tailored to a Jack Nicklaus course, less focus on distance and more on accuracy, picking targets, accurate shots and solid putting. I'd put him as a lock for a top ten finish.

Sleeper Pick:
Emiliano Grillo -€”
He's been making quite the name for himself over the last 2 months.  Since the Memorial Tournament where he finished 11th, he has 3 top 15 finishes in 4 tournaments including a 12th place finish at the Open Championship amidst difficult conditions. He has shown resolve and his 22nd place finish here last year shows he's comfortable with Glenn Abbey. His Putting isn't the best but he's 30th on the tour in Greens in Regulation and 13th in driving accuracy.

Last tournament results -€” Quicken Loans National (150 total) -€” Picks: Scott, Z. Johnson, Chappell, Grace, and Molinari
A: 43rd place
B: 12th place; 53rd place
C: 72nd place
Dark Horse: 36th place

YTD Avg: (Average field of 132 people)
A: 33rd place 
B: 37th place
C: 52nd place
Dark Horse: 49th place

Fun factoid about this tournament: Up until the early 2000's this tournament used to be played in September but due to inclement weather in Ontario around those times they lobbied to have it placed more in the middle of Summer.