This is a regular tour event with regular tour cut procedures. There will be approx. 150 players in the field and the cut will take place after Friday with the top 70 and ties moving on. With the Open Championship the week prior this event typically does not have a strong field however there are always some stalwarts that prop up the field. Team RBC led by Luke Donald, Jason Day and Jim Furyk will be at the event. There may be some late withdraws this week with the Open spilling over into Monday so keep your eyes open when making lineups.
Update: Brandt Snedeker and Carl Pettersson have withdrawn
Glen Abbey Oakville, Ontario
Par 72, 7200-7300 yards depending on setup
The Canadian Open is played on a rotating set of courses and this year it lands on its most famous venue at Glen Abbey. Glen Abbey used to be the permanent site of the tournament until it started rotating a few years back. It was designed in 1976 by Jack Nicklaus and is relatively easy by modern tour standards, the last two times the event was played here the winning scores were -16 and -18 respectively. In design Glen Abbey is probably more along the lines of older style courses like Hilton Head or Colonial which feature somewhat tighter/tree lined fairways and smaller than average greens. However since it is played as a par 72 it still features four par 5’s and traditionally long hitters have eaten these hole alive. The course has some interesting features to it, one of which is that three of the par 5’s are featured in the final 6 holes (including 16 and 18). Lots of ground can be made up here in a hurry and expect some excitement on Sunday.
Last 5 winners
Tim Clark (Royal Montreal)—2014
Brandt Snedeker (Glen Abbey)—2013
Scott Piercy (Hamilton GCC)—2012
Sean O’Hair (Shaughnessy GCC)—2011
Carl Pettersson (St. Georges)—2010
The weather this week looks perfect. That is a huge change from last week obviously where the weather essentially changed the course of the tournament. There could be a little wind on Thursday although right now it is not forecasted to be strong in the AM or the PM. It might be worthwhile to check the forecast later in the week to see if it changes.
What will it take to succeed at Glenn Abbey?
There’s a variety of skill sets likely to be on display this week. The course is not long and therefore accurate hitters, specifically those who can hit the smaller than normal greens with regularity will have an advantage. Players like Brandt Snedeker, Jason Bohn and Jim Furyk have all had success at this course and are all known for their accuracy (not their distance). Still, this course is ripe for the picking for big hitters as well since it features four quite reachable par 5’s. All in all players will need to be striking the ball well regardless and I’d look for players who have been strong in that area recently. A good ball striking week can overcome a lot of short game deficiencies on this course.
What statistics are important?
As mentioned above a good starting point is par 5 scoring but it’s not the only stat I would rely on this week. With smaller greens comes more pressure on one’s approach shots. Players who are hyper accurate coming in should have a stronger chance against the field and give themselves more birdie opportunities. Considering the easy nature of this course I feel like accurate approaches will be much more key than distance or accuracy off the tee (although neither of those hurt either). The final stat I would mention this week is scrambling. Scrambling is going to be key for the entire field this week as it can help players on the harder holes should they need to save par but also on the par 5’s where getting up and down for birdie will be key just to keep pace with the field.
Who has had success at the Canadian Open?Keep in mind that the course for the Canadian Open moves around and so success at the event does not mean that a certain player has had success at Glen Abbey (this year’s course).
- William McGirt has one of the best records at this event bar none, he’s made the cut in 4 out of his last 4 attempts and has finishes of 25-2-2 in his last three visits to Canada.
- Jim Furyk has a very solid record at the Canadian Open, on top of making numerous cuts, in the past two years his accurate style has yielded results of 2nd and 9th.
- Matt Kuchar is another very accurate player with a great short game and a very great record at this event. In his past four attempts his results read 4-2-34-4.
- Scott Piercy loves Canada. He’s a former winner of the event and has now made four of his last four cuts here. He’s coming in hot and could be in contention this week.
This course can be had and I expect a lot of birdies to be made. Look for players who have been in good form recently and will be ready to take advantage of a relatively easy course. While course history might be somewhat important, more important will be whether a player is ready to keep pace with the field. I’d rely more on recent form this week and really try and target some under the radar players who have been raking up the solid finishes.
My Pick to win: Kevin Chappell
This one falls a little bit in the wildcard category but in a weaker field, at an event that has seen some outside shots come through as winners, this could be a week where a good young player like Chappell makes his mark. He’s been very solid of late and he’s my pick to win this week.