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The PGA Tour heads north of the border this week for the 2023 RBC Canadian Open at the Oakdale Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Ontario. This will be the first PGA Tour event at this course.
There is a watered-down field this week since the RBC Canadian Open is sandwiched between two “elevated events.” The 2023 Memorial Tournament this past weekend and the 2023 U.S. Open next week.
Reigning back-to-back RBC Canadian Open champion Rory McIlroy returns to defend his titles. The other notables in this field include the 2022 U.S. Open champ Matthew Fitzpatrick, Sam Burns, and Tyrrell Hatton.
Viktor Hovland improved from No. 7 to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings after winning the 2023 Memorial Tournament. Hovland wasn’t on my Memorial bet slip and I dropped -1.02 units (u) last week.
My PGA Tour 2022-23 betting balance sits at -3.27u and the recap of my 2023 Memorial Tournament is at the bottom.
2023 RBC Canadian Open ‘Horses for the Course’
- All stats courtesy of FantasyNational.com unless otherwise noted.
Pro Tip: Look for sportsbooks that offer full payouts for placement bets instead of applying “dead heat rules”. Also, always shop around for the best number.
According to my key stat model, Conners is the best player over his last 36 rounds. He ranks 11th or better in this field for Strokes Gained (SG): Ball striking (BS), Good Drives Gained, SG: Approach (APP), Birdies-or-Better (BoB) Gained, and Greens-in-Regulation (GIRs) Gained.
Conners’ biggest weakness is on the greens. But, over the last 24 rounds, Conners is 19th in SG: Putting on Bent grass greens. He is 5th in total SG over the last 36 rounds at comp courses to Oakdale.
Last year, Conners finished T6 in the RBC Canadian Open while picking up +8.2 SG: Tee-to-Green (T2G) and +4.7 SG: Putting. Conners is a native Canadian so he’s not overlooking this event.
Also, Conners is playing the best golf of his PGA Tour career. Conners won his second Tour event (Valero Texas Open) at the beginning of April.
He has a T8 at the Wells Fargo Championship in early May, and T12 at the 2023 PGA Championship two weeks later. Conners was in the 2nd-to-final group entering Sunday at the PGA Championship before shooting +5.
1st thoroughbred for the Canadian Open: Corey Conners
- 0.5u on Win: +1800
- 0.5u on Top-5: +360
- 0.75u on Top-10: +190
The Canadian Open is going to be a “birdie-fest” and Theegala is one of the best scorers on the Tour. Over the last 36 rounds, Theegala is second in BoB Gained. He’s 7th in birdie average on the PGA Tour in 2022-23.
Theegala has struggled in his last three starts despite making the cut in each. He finished T58 in last week’s Memorial, T40 in the 2023 PGA Championship, and T56 in the Wells Fargo Championship.
But, those three events were played at tougher courses than Oakdale and Theegala randomly spikes in tournaments. This season, Theegala has six top-10 finishes including a T9 at the Masters and a T5 at the RBC Heritage.
Finally, you need to hit putts to win “birdie-fests”. Theegala is 16th in this field for SG: Putting on Bent greens over the last 24 rounds and 7th in SG: Putting on the Tour this season.
2nd thoroughbred for the Canadian Open: Sahith Theegala
- 0.25u on Win: +3000
- 0.25u on Top-5: +650
- 0.75u on Top-20: +140
The main reason why I’m betting on Åberg is so I can use the cool “Å” in his last name. Just kidding. I’m betting Åberg because he’s one of the most decorated amateurs ever.
Åberg earned his PGA Tour card for the rest of this season and next after being the top-ranked U.S. amateur golfer. Also, the Texas Tech alum joined Jon Rahm as the only two-time Ben Hogan Award winner ever.
Åberg was T10 after 36 holes at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational, which is played on a much tougher course than Oakdale, and finished T24. I don’t have much analysis on Åberg other than his collegiate dominance.
However, Rose Zhang went into her 1st career LPGA Tour start last week with similar hype and won it. I’d hate to miss out on Åberg doing the same this week at the RBC Canadian Open.
3rd thoroughbred for the Canadian Open: Ludvig Åberg
- 0.25u on Win: +5000
- 0.6u on Top-20: +225
Here’s how good of a ball striker Bhatia is … He ranks 165th on the PGA Tour this season in SG: Putting but 17th in birdie average. The only explanation behind that difference is Bhatia being a pin hunter.
Bhatia is 15th in my RBC Canadian Open power rankings due to his struggles with the putter and poor play at comp courses to Oakdale. He ranks 130th in this field for total SG at comp courses.
I’m willing to excuse Bhatia’s comp course performance because this is his rookie season on the Tour. But, Bhatia is 5th in total SG at Par 72 courses with easy scoring conditions over the last 36 rounds.
Finally, Bhatia is 7th on my key stat model. Bhatia is 11th in Par 4 scoring, 20th in SG: BS, 7th in Proximity 125-150 yards out, and 15th in GIRs Gained.
4th thoroughbred for the Canadian Open: Akshay Bhatia
- 0.15u on Win: +10000
- 0.5u on Top-20: +350
2023 Memorial Tournament Recap: -1.02 units (u)
- Hideki Matsuyama : +0.84u 💰
- Win & Top-5
- Rickie Fowler: +0.84u 💰
- Win & Top-5
- Xander Schauffele, T24: -1.25u ❌
- Win & Top-5
- Tyrrell Hatton: -1.25u ❌
- Win, Top-5 & Top-10
- Emiliano Grillo, T48: -0.6u ❌
- Win & Top-20
Head-to-Head Tournament Matchups
- Matthew Fitzpatrick > C. Young (+0.5u) 💰
- Shane Lowry > Tom Kim (+0.5u) 💰
- Harris English > J.J. Spaun (-0.6u) ❌
Round 4 Head-to-Heads
- Jon Rahm > Scottie Scheffler (-0.5u) ❌
- Luke List > Matthew Wallace (+0.5u) 💰
Check out the Hot Links golf gambling show hosted by Geoff Clark on the OutKick Bets podcast feed. New episodes drop Tuesdays for most full-field PGA Tour events in the 2022-23 season
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.