Weekly Preview: RBC Canadian Open

Weekly Preview: RBC Canadian Open

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

RBC Canadian Open

St. George's Golf and CC
Toronto, ON

The PGA Tour heads to Canada for the first RBC Canadian Open since 2019.

It's admittedly hard to put all the focus on the PGA Tour when the biggest story in golf is taking place opposite the Canadian Open. So, with that said, I'll discuss LIV Golf this week, but it may be the last time for a while. The main reason? This is a PGA-focused article. The second? I don't think LIV be will be much of a story after this week. The new tour has garnered a lot of interest since the release of its first field, but that was actually the most interesting part of this venture – seeing who is defecting from the PGA Tour. The golf itself will likely be of little interest. I'm not sure many golf fans will tune in after the novelty wears off. The golf may be nearly as good, but on the whole, it's still junior varsity versus varsity. Junior varsity competition is still pretty good, but it's not the top level, and in the States – outside of the NCAA – most fans only care about the best of the best. There will be odds on LIV events, so some interest will follow. However, I'm just not sure there will be much interest if you don't have money on the line. The only way that changes is if the LIV starts pulling in elite golfers who are in their

RBC Canadian Open

St. George's Golf and CC
Toronto, ON

The PGA Tour heads to Canada for the first RBC Canadian Open since 2019.

It's admittedly hard to put all the focus on the PGA Tour when the biggest story in golf is taking place opposite the Canadian Open. So, with that said, I'll discuss LIV Golf this week, but it may be the last time for a while. The main reason? This is a PGA-focused article. The second? I don't think LIV be will be much of a story after this week. The new tour has garnered a lot of interest since the release of its first field, but that was actually the most interesting part of this venture – seeing who is defecting from the PGA Tour. The golf itself will likely be of little interest. I'm not sure many golf fans will tune in after the novelty wears off. The golf may be nearly as good, but on the whole, it's still junior varsity versus varsity. Junior varsity competition is still pretty good, but it's not the top level, and in the States – outside of the NCAA – most fans only care about the best of the best. There will be odds on LIV events, so some interest will follow. However, I'm just not sure there will be much interest if you don't have money on the line. The only way that changes is if the LIV starts pulling in elite golfers who are in their prime. I just don't see that happening, though, as the bulk of the elite golfers are already wealthy and almost none of them have come close to reaching their PGA Tour goals.

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 4:00 PM ET Tuesday.

FAVORITES

Scottie Scheffler (7-1)

Scheffler's incredible run came to an end a few weeks ago, but after advancing to a playoff at the Charles Schwab Challenge, it appears as though he's ready to get back to winning. Scheffler's runner-up a couple weeks ago put him over the $11 million mark for the season. Though he doesn't hold the cache that some other PGA Tour players do, he does deserve to be the favorite at nearly every event he plays. With that said, his odds this week are quite ridiculous. This number should be reserved for a slam-dunk option in a weak field, and there are several other golfers of his caliber on hand.

Justin Thomas (7-1)

I think you know where this is going. If Scheffler isn't a good value, then neither is Thomas. JT isn't even a great bet to play well this week. I'm not worried about the state of his game following a lone missed cut, but with the PGA Championship still fresh in his mind and the U.S. Open on the horizon, I have to wonder if his focus will be on the task at hand. Thomas has often shown the ability to focus in tough conditions, and he was obviously locked-in at the end of the PGA Championship. I'm just not sure he'll be able to flip that switch this time around.

Rory McIlroy (8-1)

If the previous two golfers offer no value, you can figure out what I think about McIlroy at this price. McIlroy has been incredible in certain spots this season, but he hasn't put four rounds together and won since the calendar flipped to 2022. While I do expect McIlroy to record a top-10 result, I can't see including him on a win ticket.

THE NEXT TIER

Sam Burns (16-1)

If it weren't for Scheffler, Burns would be getting a lot more attention for winning three times this season. That's more than anyone can expect in any given season, and we still have four months to go! It's funny that McIlroy is listed where he is and that Burns checks in twice as high. These are odds to win, not play well. McIlroy has trouble closing and Burns doesn't. Why is the latter's price that much higher? I know the answer and it's mostly because of the public, but doesn't the casual fan understand that Burns is much more likely to win?

Corey Conners (22-1)

What a story it would be if a Canadian won the Canadian Open, right? I'm sure we're going to hear about this storyline quite often if Conners plays like I expect him. He got off to a rough start this season, but he's come back with a vengeance and looks ready to win consistently on the PGA Tour. Will the added pressure nullify the home-field advantage? I don't think so, and at these odds, he's got some value.

Harold Varner III (22-1)

I haven't mentioned yet that there's very little course history in play, as this event was last held here in 2010. That means we are going on current form and intangibles. Regardless, it seems like a matter of time before Varner gets his PGA Tour win, and this looks like a spot where he could pull it off. The problem for Varner over the years has been closing, but with each final-round failure comes a chance to learn something about yourself. In that sense, he's learned about everything he can, and one of these times he's going to seal the deal.

LONG SHOTS

Adam Hadwin (45-1)

All Canadians will have extra motivation this week, but Hadwin is one of a select few who could actually pull off a victory. He has played well enough this season to make me think he could have a magical week and maybe pull off a win on his home soil. If he does so, he would be the first Canadian to wind up in the winner's circle since 1954.

Brandt Snedeker (300-1)

I can't recall listing anyone with longer odds in this section, and that's largely due to playing it pretty conservative with my underdogs. However, Snedeker is a fun play at this big number. Snedeker's better days are well behind him, but even so, he's managed to play well at this event. Yes, the courses rotate, but Snedeker just doesn't seem to care. He's somehow taken to just about every course in the rotation.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: Rory McIlroy - I can't imagine many OAD players still have Scheffler available, and I doubt many would want to use JT at this event. As such, McIlroy will probably end up being the most popular pick. As I mentioned, I don't think McIlroy will win, but a top-5 isn't out of the question and a top-10 seems likely.

Moderately-owned Pick: Adam Hadwin - This might be going too far down the list, as there are 11 guys ahead of him on the odds chart. However, there is reason to avoid just about everyone in front of him, and Hadwin has fared well in several previous editions of this event. That makes me think the pressure of playing in front of his countrymates won't be too penal.

Lightly-owned Pick: Mackenzie Hughes - Hughes is an even longer shot to win than Hadwin, but that doesn't mean a quality result is out of the question. Hughes played well in the last two Canadian Opens he appeared in and he's popped up a few times this season, so maybe he can put it all together and pull off a win for his home country.

Buyer Beware: Justin Thomas - I'll reemphasize that Thomas has had trouble focusing during "off" weeks, and now that he has two majors under his belt, perhaps even more focus will be on the big ones. Thomas can win anytime out, but he's not a great option in this format this week.

Last Week: Matt Fitzpatrick - MC - $0

Season Total: $8,135,441

This Week: Rory McIlroy - After plotting out my picks for the rest of the season, I initially had McIlroy pegged for the Open Championship. However, I think this is a better spot, and I have plenty of firepower remaining. McIlroy has trouble closing, but he has had no trouble picking up big checks almost every time out.

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: Rory McIlroy ($11,900)
Middle Range: Adam Hadwin ($10,100)
Lower Range: Cam Davis ($8,000)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

Last Week: Matt Fitzpatrick - MC

Streak: 0

This Week: Corey Conners - With almost no course history in play, I expect motivation will play a large role in determining the outcome, or at least when it comes to making the cut. Conners has no issue with the former, and he's playing well enough to make me think he will have no trouble making it to the weekend.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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