Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2022 Canadian Open picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks and provide their one and done strategy for the event from St. George’s.
2022 Canadian Open: Field
156 Players | Top 65 & Ties Make The Cut
First Tee: Thursday, June 9
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy
The world’s third oldest Open Championship returns after a two-year hiatus, this time to St. George’s Golf and Country Club just outside Toronto’s city center—or “centre”, as this is Canada.
The field includes World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Sam Burns, and Rory McIlroy, who continues his commitment to playing the week before the US Open. Justin Thomas also added this to his schedule late, deciding to take a pass on The Memorial for a trek north of the border. Why? I suppose he just wanted to. Or, he’s riding high after his PGA Championship victory and thinks he has a shot to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to win the Open Triple Crown. ORRRRRR, with RBC (the title sponsor) seeing their main attraction, Dustin Johnson, playing in the LIV Tour event this week, they may be ready to take Thomas on board to fill that spot. We’ll see. Either way, it’s a huge coup for this event to attract more star power.
The top group of Canadians who look to win their national open for the first time since Pat Fletcher in 1954 include: Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, Mac Hughes, Adam Svensson, Nick Taylor, Roger Sloan, and Taylor Pendrith, who is playing for the first time since THE PLAYERS Championship after spending the last few months recovering from a rib injury. Mike Weir is also playing. Because this is the Canadian Open, he’ll be playing in this until he’s 121.
Most of the sponsors’ exceptions have been used up on Canadian talent, but World No. 123 Rasmus Hojgaard will be in Toronto this week. Oklahoma’s Chris Gotterup will make his first start as a professional. 2022 Korn Ferry Tour winner Trevor Werbylo is also in the field.
2022 Canadian Open: Key Stats
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Par 3s Gained: 200-225 Yards
- Strokes Gained: Off The Tee + Fairways Gained
- Par 4s Gained: 450-500 Yards
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2022 Canadian Open: Course
- Course: St. George’s G&CC
- Yardage: 7,014
- Par: 70
- Greens: Bentgrass
2022 Canadian Open: Past Winners
- 2019: Rory McIlroy -22 (Hamilton)
- 2018: Dustin Johnson -23 (Glen Abbey)
- 2017: Jhonattan Vegas -21 (Glen Abbey)
- 2016: Jhonattan Vegas -12 (Glen Abbey)
- 2015: Jason Day -17 (Glen Abbey)
- 2014: Tim Clark (Royal Montreal)
*2010: Carl Pettersson -14 (St. George’s)
2022 Canadian Open: Course
Any research on this week’s tournament needs to come with the stark disclaimer that the 2022 Canadian Open is being played at St. George’s, not Glen Abbey. After hosting the event 30 times between 1977 and 2018, most associate Glen Abbey with this tournament. But like we saw with Hamilton in 2019, this course is going to have nothing in common with that bomber’s paradise.
This will be the sixth time at St. George’s for the Canadian Open, first seen in 1933, last seen in 2010 when Carl Pettersson won and set the course record (60). And, the membership, you know they’re serious about golf. In 2020, members of the golf club voted to discontinue curling operations at St. George’s, citing that curling was “no longer a good fit for golf.” That’s a bold statement for Canadians.
Like Twizzlers, or the cop in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, these fairways are long and THIN. And they are well protected by thick tree thins on each side, with bunkers abound. Expect this to be a less than driver course for a lot of the field to maintain their accuracy. If the rough gets cut down, there’s a chance bombers may risk it and just fire away, but currently, pre-tourney, the rough is looking like it’s been using one of those strengthening shampoos for three months.
The course demands accuracy and the winner will have to successfully navigate the difficult final four holes. Taking a gander at 2010, you’ll find fairway finders littered at the top. Now, this wasn’t an elite field in 2010, unlike 2022, but there is plenty of blow-up potential along with ample scoring opportunities. Pettersson won in 2010 at -14 and had a -10 60 in the third round that year. But even over a decade later, when you see Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark, Bryce Molder, and Super Nintendo Chalmers near the top of any leaderboard, you best bet accuracy is a major factor.
For comp courses, St. George’s should be very similar to the Canadian Open in Hamilton from 2019, where one elite talent simply overwhelmed the course difficulty (Rory won by seven strokes at -22), or like an easier version of TPC Avenel, which hosted the Wells Fargo Championship last month. From 2010, many of the talent up near the top also had a great deal of success at Harbour Town over their careers.
Obviously, without seeing the Course in more than a decade, it’s difficult to assess how this will play out. Expect the Par 3s to be the primary issue for most of the field. There is a shorty (No. 6; 146 yards) but the four others measure at least 204 yards. A quintet of 200+ yard Par 3s usually means treading water rather than scoring for the field.
Then there’s the gauntlet of Par 4s. There’s nothing in the mid-range. Three measure below 400 yards, and the other seven are 450+. That’s a pretty unusual split. I don’t want to make a sweeping statement that shorter holes will play easier, as that’s not always the case, but until we get a round of data to work with, it’s a good assumption for DraftKings Showdown purposes. Over the first two rounds, the birdie streak looks far more attainable for players beginning off the first tee as opposed to the 10th. Of the three Par 5s on the course, two come in a two hole stretch (No. 9 and No. 11) with a 372 yard Par 4 sandwiched in between.
Optimally, your pick will play this stretch like Pettersson’s in the third round in 2010: EAGLE/BIRDIE/EAGLE. That’s as good as it gets.
This is all assuming they keep the holes the same as on the current scorecard. This course has a weird 8/10 holes split which can get confusing for us trying to map this out, and the players as well. But we can only go on the information we have at the moment.
2022 Canadian Open: Picks
Rory McIlroy ($10,500)
Rory has simply been lurking too much this year for a breakthrough not to be coming. And that usually happens in a big way when it does. It’s now four events in a row with over 7.5 strokes gained Tee to Green, he just hasn’t caught a hot putter as of yet. Time for that to happen.
C.T. Pan ($8,100)
Pan made a 10 on a Par 5 Thursday at Memorial and still managed to make the cut. You rarely see that. After gaining with approaches in nine straight starts, Pan quietly sits 6th in SG: APP over the past 24 rounds in this field. He’s sustained success at shorter tracks like Heritage and Wyndham in his career, so if he can simply just find fairways, he’ll end up being one of the better values on the board.
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was a finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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