After a great week of golf at the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, the PGA Tour travels across the border once again as they head north to Canada for this year’s Canadian Open. Our Northern neighbor’s Open is not as well-attended by the bigger names in the golf world but it does bring some intriguing storylines as we come down the stretch toward the FedEx Cup playoffs and the end of the fantasy golf season.
This year’s tournament will be held at Royal Montreal Golf Club which is known for being the oldest golf club in North America. Royal Montreal last hosted the Canadian Open back in 2001 before undergoing an overhaul to get ready for the 2007 Presidents’ Cup. There isn’t much course history for any of the field this week although most signs point to this being a short, shotmakers course that should yield low but not extreme scoring depending on the weather.
Last week, the weather cooperated with Rory McIlroy who hoisted the Claret Jug and took home his third Major Championship. He was on almost everyone’s fantasy golf team and our Fansided & Friends group on Yahoo had a very high-scoring week as a result of many of the favorites strong showing. The week was won by Buffalorange, NEPA Duffers, Hoosier Daddy, and Respect my Authority! who all scored a very nice 248 points. Our overall and segment leader Harbour Dogs put up 202 but maintained their lead in both categories.
Here’s how my roster will look for this week at Royal Montreal:
Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been quiet lately and hasn’t been in the top ten in his last five starts. Kuchar’s win at the RBC Heritage, though, bodes well for this week since this course requires a similar attack. If he’s on his game, Kuchar definitely has the skills to win any week he tees it up despite his recent lack of contention.
Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker won last year’s Canadian Open which doesn’t mean quite as much as some weeks since he won at Glen Abbey which is a different course than he’ll play this week. However, on a shallow A-List, he’s shown enough form to get the nod in my second A-list spot. Before a t58 last week, Sneds had three straight top-25′s including a t9 at the U.S. Open.
Jim Furyk: Furyk has won the Canadian Open twice and is coming off yet another top five finish last week at Royal Liverpool. In his 14 events this season on the PGA Tour, Furyk has four top five’s but has yet to get a win. He finished last week with a blistering 65 and will try to ride that momentum to get the win this week.
Dustin Johnson: Johnson finished tied for second at last year’s event and has been outstanding again this season. He has top-25 finishes in four of his last five events and a total of six top-ten finishes this season dating back to his win in November at the WGC-HSBC Championships. His length won’t be quite as key as on longer tracks, but Johnson has shown he can compete on a variety of tracks and should have a good week in Montreal.
Graham DeLaet: DeLaet is probably Canada’s best chance of a native taking their Open, but he’s been scuffling a bit lately. He’s missed the cut in two of his last three events, but those two events were the US Open and the Open Championship. His game appears to need more refining before he contends at a Major, but he still has put together a strong season and appears to be building up to a breakthrough win. Could it be in his home country?
Hunter Mahan: Mahan is a bit of a dark horse pick this week but he has made the cut in his last two tournaments and finished with a 69 at Royal Liverpool to get to a t32 finish. Before his two most recent events, though, he did have a rough patch including missing the cut at the Travelers which is usually a very strong event for him. Mahan needs some good numbers to make the Ryder Cup team and was ahead at this event when he had to withdraw due to the birth of his baby girl. Hopefully, he can find his form and finish what he didn’t get to last year and gets a good finish this week.
Graeme McDowell: In contrast to the A-list, the C-list is loaded with very nice options, so make sure you get two good options locked in. I’ll start with McDowell who is coming in playing exceptionally well having won in France and followed that with a top ten last week at the Open Championship. The course should fit his game nicely making him my overall pick to win this week.
Charl Schwartzel: Schwartzel is also coming off a top ten last week at Royal Liverpool and has four top 15′s in his last six PGA events. He’s also had success in Europe when he’s teed it up this season and has played well in his past visits to the Canadian.