The RBC Canadian Open returns to its regular spot on the PGA TOUR in 2022. Canceled the last two seasons due to COVID-19, the Canadian Open again takes place in early June the week before the US Open, and will be played this year at St. George’s G&CC, a Stanley Thompson designed course that last hosted this event in 2010. The venue features bentgrass greens and is set to play as a short par 70 at 7,014 yards.
One thing we should expect this week is low scoring. St. George’s may have only yielded a 14-under par winning score in 2010 but that event was played in a different era of golf and featured a weaker field. Carl Pettersson won that season and did end up shooting a 60 in round three, which shows the potential for low scoring this week. Don’t be shocked if someone challenges for a 59. Pettersson ranked 137th in driving distance on the season in 2010 and 3rd in strokes gained putting, so distance shouldn’t be a huge factor in decision making at St. George’s for betting. This will be a short to mid-iron target-fest with the player who gets hottest with his putter taking home the trophy.
From a setup perspective, St. George’s features fairly simple routing and a quirky design that sees five par 3s and four par 5s in play on the Par 70 design. None of those par 5s are expected to play long at all (likely under 550 yards) and there are also at least three par 4s that will play under 400 yards. Scoring chances should be abundant this week, and rain in the forecast means strong iron play should be even more essential with easier to hold greens. Look to short iron proximity stats from 100-125 and 125-150 yards and recent strokes gained approach data to be good indicators this week.
From an odds perspective, The Canadian Open has given us elite winners each of the last two times it was seen on the PGA TOUR. Rory McIlroy won at +900 in 2019 while former PGA TOUR member Dustin Johnson won at +800 in 2018. Both men were the betting favorites in the week of their win. Jhonattan Vegas won in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017 and at much bigger odds, going off around +10000 in 2016, the year of his first win. Last year, the week before the US Open, we saw a long shot winner prevail at the Palmetto Championship in Garrick Higgo, so looking down the board for a few players longer in odds this week certainly isn’t a bad idea either.
For a full course preview, key statistics breakdown and additional players to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook, refer to the DraftKings Preview on DraftKings Playbook. Here are the bets we should be considering this week.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Matthew Fitzpatrick to Win (+1600)
I won’t fault anyone who scoffs at the idea of betting Matthew Fitzpatrick to win a golf tournament at +1600. The Englishman has seemingly wilted whenever he’s been near or at the top of a leaderboard on a weekend since joining the PGA TOUR, and T6 finishes look nice but don’t put profits in our pockets. Fitzpatrick does know how to win though and has done so numerous times on the DP World Tour (former European Tour), grabbing wins there in each of the past two years. He’s coming off a missed cut from last week but did gain over 2.0 strokes on approach and off the tee at the Memorial. He’ll be better rested than the field and has bounced back from missed cuts nicely over his career, grabbing top-5 finishes on two different occasions this season after missed cuts in his prior start. He’s a player who looks ready to win on the PGA TOUR soon and someone I’m prepared to take a shot with this week, even if the odds aren’t what we want.
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Chris Kirk (+5000) | Top 5 +900
In much the same way Fitzpatrick is a touch overpriced, Chris Kirk actually feels a touch underpriced given the field this week. Like Fitzpatrick, he struggled last week at the Memorial but will be coming to a much more favorable setup for his style of game. Kirk has typically done his best work on these classic Par 70 designs where power gets deemphasized and touch on and around the greens are needed for a big week. He’s got two runner-up finishes in his career at Waialae Country Club (host of the Sony Open) and wins at the Charles Schwab Challenge and RSM Open, two other events that also feature shorter Par 70 tracks. The veteran has been all over leaderboards this year but his odds this week are very similar to last week, when he was going against a much deeper field, on a much more difficult track. Kirk is a good value at these prices and a player who also looks ready to break through again given how consistently he’s played this year.
David Lipsky (+13000) | Top 10 (+750)
I’ve discussed David Lipsky a couple of times in 2022 as a player who is good enough to potentially win at some point on the PGA TOUR. The American has won a couple of times as a pro on different Tours already and is playing some of the most consistent golf of his life at the moment. He’s made four of his last five cuts but has also featured with top 10 finishes in two of his last eight PGA TOUR starts as well. Those top finishes came on easier setups in Mexico and Punta Cana and the shorter Par 70 in play this week should be much to Lipsky’s liking too. He’s top 40 in driving accuracy and ranks 12th in strokes gained approach stats over the last 24 rounds. The top 10 play on Lipsky is one of my favorites of the week but don’t discount his chances of actually winning. At the very least, +13000 looks a little too big for a player who has trended well against his baseline over the last two months and sets up perfectly for a shorter course that will likely yield low scoring this week.
Adam Svensson Top 10 (+1400) | Top 20 (+500) | Top 40 (+170)
It’s the Canadian Open, so we need at least one full-blooded Canadian on our roster. Adam Svensson is a player who has looked ready to make a bigger leap forward at various points in 2022 and was sniffing the lead for much of the weekend at the Honda Classic in March — before settling for a T9 finish. One of Svensson’s biggest strengths is his iron and approach game and he should set up perfectly for St. George’s, which is less demanding off the tee and requires good accuracy into the smaller greens. If we look at Svensson’s track record over his career on the PGA TOUR, it is worth noting that he’s grabbed the only two top 10’s of his career (this year) on Par 70 setups at PGA National (T9) and the very comparable Waialae Country Club (T7), host of the Sony Open.
Svensson comes in showing some consistency with the putter, finally (gained strokes putting in three straight starts), and has made three cuts in a row. With a weaker back end to this field, the Canadian should have a great shot at hitting on the top-40 portion of our bet and is at big enough odds to dabble in both the top-20 and top-10 markets as well.
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