Glen Abbey Golf Club, Oakville, Ontario
Par 72, 7,253 yards
Last Week at St Andrews
Well we came close to winner number 12 yesterday in the final round of The Open Championship with Louis Oosthuizen giving us a run for our money getting into a playoff with Zach Johnson and Marc Leishman. Sadly he missed his birdie putt on 18 to the left and handed the Claret Jug to Zach Johnson, who played superbly well throughout the week. That’s the second playoff loss for us over the last three weeks, lets turn that around here in Canada this week.
Glen Abbey hosts the RBC Canadian Open for the 26th time this year and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. Most recently, the event took place here in 2004,2008,2009 and 2013 so it will be worth checking for players with good course history. It is located near Lake Ontario and has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s. Three of the four par 5’s are on the back nine (13,16,18) which are three of the easiest holes on the course and will offer up some birdies and possibly eagles on the way in.
The opening nine holes are quite flat and shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the players to negotiate. However the back nine could be a little bit trickier with a distinguishing feature of the Glen Abbey course are the “Valley Holes”, numbered 11 through 15. On number 11, a par 4, players tee off a cliff to a fairway that is approximately 60 feet below on the valley floor. The second shot must clear Sixteen Mile Creek to the green. Holes 12, 13 and 14 all use Sixteen Mile Creek as a hazard of one form or another. Number 15 is a short par 3 with a sharply-sloping green, after which players climb out of the valley to the 16th hole.
Key areas of focus here are GIR, scrambling, par breakers, par 4 and par 5 scoring and strokes gained putting. This course is quite short for PGA Tour standards so players with a bit of length along with good putting, scrambling and accurate iron play are worth considering here. The weather forecast is to be mixed throughout the week starting mainly dry with some showers and possibly thunderstorms forecast for Saturday and Sunday.
Jim Furyk 16/1
The two time winner of this event comes here in good form returning to a course he has played well on in the past. Furyk had a respectable T30 finish last week in St Andrews posting a six under total for the tournament. He has been playing well over the last few months and managed to get his first win in a number of years at The RBC Heritage in Hilton Head beating Kevin Kisner in a playoff. He followed that with a solo fourth at The WGC Matchplay and a T5 finish at The Memorial.
Furyk has won this event twice before, 2006 and 2007, and has also recorded two top 10’s in his last two appearances. He was T9th at this course in 2013 and followed that with a solo second last year in Montreal finishing just one stroke behind the winner Tim Clark. Statswise, Furyk ranks ninth in driving accuracy, 15th in GIR and seventh in strokes gained tee to green. He also ranks fifth in approaches from 200 yards and third in approaches from 100 yards, which are two good stats for approaches into the par 4’s and par 5’s. With good current form and a great record at this event, Furyk ticks all the boxes here and could be a big contender.
Luke Donald 22/1
With three top 12’s in his last four events, Luke Donald seems to be back showing some solid form. He had a good week in St Andrews finishing T12 on nine under for the tournament and also played well at The Scottish Open shooting an impressive final round 66 to finish T7. He showed some great consistency at The Travelers shooting 68,68,67,66 on his way to a T7 and nine under total for the week. Donald has played well at this event in the past finishing T24 here in 2009, solo third in 2010 and T17 in 2011.
He is averaging just over 275 yards off the tee hitting around 60% of fairways so far this season and ranks 14th in approaches from 125-150, 13th in approaches from 250-275 and 11th in approaches from 100 yards, three good stats for approaches into the par 4’s and par 5’s. Donald is another player with a great record at the event and comes here this week showing some good form over the last couple of weeks.
Brooks Koepka 22/1
This will be the American’s first visit to Glen Abbey and The Canadian Open and it could prove a pretty profitable one given his current form. Koepka shot an impressive final round 68 in St Andrews last week to finish T10. He also played well at The Scottish Open finishing in a respectable T22 on six under, which included a 68 in round 2 and a 66 in round 3. His form across the pond has also been decent finishing T18 at the very tricky Chambers Bay, T3 at The Fedex St Jude and T16 at the Byron Nelson.
Koepka ticks a lot of statistical boxes here ranking ninth in driving distance, 18th in GIR, ninth in strokes gained putting and fourth in approaches from 175-200 yards. He also ranks 14th in par 4 scoring and sixth in par 5 scoring. He is already a proven winner on The PGA Tour this season with a win in Phoenix and has the power to feast on these par 5’s and make a lot of birdies.
J.B. Holmes 33/1
J.B. has had a pretty good season so far with a win at The Shell Houston Open and a further four top 10 finishes. He lost a playoff to Jason Day at The Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines and followed that with a T10 in Pebble Beach, solo second at The WGC Cadillac and a T9 at The WGC Matchplay. Despite missing the cut at St Andrews last week, he finished in a respectable T22 at The Greenbrier the week before and T27 at Chambers Bay, so his current form is good.
He has played well here in the past finishing T16 on this course in 2009 and T15 in 2012. Holmes also looks good statistically ranking sixth in driving distance, 11th in strokes gained tee to green, third in approaches from 75-100 and 31st in approaches from 125-150, which are two good stats for approaches into the 10 par 4’s. J.B. is another huge hitter and should be another player that can dominate these par 5’s.
Greg Owen – Top 20 Finish 3/1
Owen had a great week at The Open in St Andrews shooting a final round 69 to finish T20 on seven under for the tournament. He has been showing some great form over the last few weeks finishing T6 at The Greenbrier on 11 under for the week and solo second at The FedEx St Jude, which included a superb opening round 64. Owen has played well here at Glen Abbey in the past finishing in a respectable T12 in 2013.
He ranks 25th in GIR, first in approaches from 100-125, second in approaches from 50-125 and ninth in approaches from 150-175. He also ranks 14th in par 4 scoring and 39th in scrambling and comes here this week in much better form than he did in 2013.
Final Selections –
Jim Furyk 16/1 1.5pts EW
Luke Donald 22/1 1.5pts EW
Brooks Koepka 22/1 1.5pts EW
J.B. Holmes 33/1 1.5pts EW
Greg Owen 3/1 Top 20 3 pts win
Total staked = 15 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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