The countdown is on ahead of next week’s US Open, but not before the 2019 Canadian Open tees off from the famed Hamilton Golf and Country Club on Thursday night (AEDT).
The par 70 tournament was first established in 1904 and holds over $7.6 million in prize money. It is the third oldest tournament on Tour with a long list of famous Aussie winners including Greg Norman (1984, 1992) and Jason Day (2015).
This year defending champ Dustin Johnson opens as the favourite followed by PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka. In the aftermath of a thrilling Memorial Tournament last week, we could be in for another upset from the field.
Here’s a look at all the top hopefuls in this year’s 2019 Canadian Open Preview.
2019 Canadian Open Best Bet
Sergio Garcia – $29.00
Garcia looks to recapture some of the form that saw him finish second at the Zurich Classic and fourth at the Wells Fargo last month. The Spaniard is a big time sleeper at big-time odds, and although he missed the cut at Bethpage a fortnight ago, Garcia ranks 11th in tee-to-green and 12th in adjusted scoring. Missing the cut in back-to-back majors is one thing, but Garcia has been money so far in 2019 with five Top 10 finishes to date.
2019 Canadian Open Top 5 Finish
Brooks Koepka – $2.63
There’s no doubting this year’s PGA Championship winner has his sights set firmly on winning his third US Open. In the meantime, Koepka could help his cause by accomplishing something he’s never done before: finish Top 10 at the Canadian Open. Koepka, like Johnson, is among the PGA’s elite when it comes to off-the-tee statistics. His putting continues to let him down in events that aren’t Majors, but after a handy two weeks’ off, the American must be included in the Top 10.
2019 Canadian Open Top 10 Finish
Scott Piercy – $3.75
The 2012 champion returns to Hamilton with some strong form on his side after finishing inside the Top 20 at the Charles Schwab Challenge. The American hasn’t won on Tour since April last year, but he’s certainly come close to claiming top honours in recent months. Piercy tied for third at the RBC Heritage and second at the Byron Nelson two tournaments later. With six Top 10 finishes to his name this year, the 16-year PGA veteran is worth a look.
Dustin Johnson – $6.50
The stage is set for Johnson to defend his title after finishing outright second at the PGA Championship last month. Johnson has enjoyed an extended break following his success at Bethpage, and after winning this event comfortably at Glen Abbey by three strokes in 2018, it’s hard to look past the defending champ. The 34-year-old will make his first appearance at Hamilton ranking Top 10 in the PGA’s putting, off-the-tee and tee-to-green ratings. He’ll hope to recapture the form that saw him win the World Golf Classic in Mexico back in February.
Rory McIlroy – $11.00
Three Top 10 finishes in his last five tournaments has McIlroy looking like a chance this weekend. The Irishman will make his Canadian Open debut after missing the cut at Muirfield last week, but he certainly has the skills to cope with Hamilton’s notoriously narrow fairways and doglegs off the tee. McIlroy ranks first in the PGA’s tee-to-green rating, making him a great bet to dodge the deep bunkers and pick up a win on debut.
Justin Thomas – $15.00
Thomas looks a little under the odds at this price after missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament last week. A sore wrist has bothered the 26-year-old over the last few weeks, but don’t be surprised if he bounces back on debut at Hamilton. The American strung together three consecutive Top 10 finishes earlier in the year before injury concerns caught up.
Matt Kuchar – $23.00
Kuchar was a popular pick to win last week at Muirfield, only to disappoint by missing the cut after a pair of ugly rounds. The 21-year Tour veteran has still been around the money though in the lead up to next week’s US Open, stringing together five consecutive Top 20 finishes including an outright second at the RBC Heritage back in April. If you’re looking for a stat to hang your hat on, make sure it’s this: Kuchar hasn’t missed back-to-back cuts in the last eight years.
Webb Simpson – $23.00
It’s been over a year since Webb Simpson tasted success at The Players Championship, but with some improved putting over the last few weeks, the American is in with a chance this week. Simpson has consistently been one of the better short game specialists this year ranking 11th around-the-green, and with plenty of precision, his short irons should suit this course nicely.
Bubba Watson – $34.00
Missed the cut at the PGA Championship, a similar fate to the one he suffered at last year’s Canadian Open. A two-week break after the shortcomings at Bethpage should leave Watson fresh for the weekend ahead though, and with a little experience on this course, the 40-year-old is still a strong chance. Watson tied for 14th at Hamilton back in 2006.
Brandt Snedeker – $41.00
Back-to-back Top 20 finishes leaves the 2013 Canadian Open champ at nice odds to pull off an upset. Snedeker currently ranks second in the PGA’s around-the-green rating, while he’s also been efficient with the putter all year. The now 38-year-old Tour veteran owns five Top 10 finishes at the Canadian Open, so expect big things this weekend.