From the links of Carnoustie in Scotland, the PGA Tour heads to the Glen Abbey Golf Course in Ontario for the Canadian Open.
This event used to be one of the most stacked on Tour and this week’s field has plenty of class, including five of the world’s top 20 players.
The course is an easy par-72 spread across 7,253 yards with four par fives. It was designed by Jack Nicklaus.
The track will give up plenty of birdies and eagles and your horses will need to go low to be in the mix.
The fairways are forgiving but the greens are slightly small. The feature is the “Valley Holes” from Nos 11-15, so take a look at those if you watch the TV coverage.
Last week: The Open Championship was never going to be easy. The column got chewed up and spat out. Six of the nine leans made the cut but only Justin Rose (T2) finished inside the top 20.
On a personal note, fading Francesco Molinari, who won, proved to be an unwise decision.
This looms as a stars and scrubs week.
There’s so many good players in the $5K range that you can stack some of the game’s elite up top.
I will look at driving distance and par-five scoring as the most valuable measures.
This course yields the most eagles on Tour on the par fives. All four are reachable in two, meaning there will be plenty of big birds this week.
Scoring is a must. Jhonattan Vegas ($6,000) took it to 21-under last year as he claimed his second Canadian Open on the bounce.
If you want to be contrarian then a balanced build would ensure you will have some lightly-owned players.
$8K and $9K Range
Brooks Koepka ($8,600) – Obviously, it would be easy to suggest the No 1 player in the world in Dustin Johnson ($9,400).
But if you can save $800 in salary, why not take DJ Lite in his Bash Brother, Koepka.
Koepka hammers it from the tee, can take it low and is an excellent putter. The US Open champion has played this course before and finished T18 in 2015.
Bubba Watson ($7,700) – I am not alone in believing that Watson is worth playing at tracks he likes.
The shot-shaping lefty was second here in 2015 and has also made the cut in two other appearances since 2013.
Watson is inside the top 18 for par five birdies and eagles on Tour. This comes about from his long-driving; he’s sixth on Tour for average distance with the big stick.
Joaquin Niemann ($7,500) – The Chilean youngster has stood out on courses where he can let his driver roar.
He has made three straight cuts on Tour and also has three top-10 finishes recently.
His Tour card has been locked up for next season so he is playing with freedom.
Brandt Snedeker ($6,800) – Snedeker has played this course three times in the past 10 years and has a win and two top-five finishes. This is despite being a shorter driver.
I am always a sucker for great course history and Snedeker is an elite putter. If you want to go low, you need to make putts.
Kevin Tway ($6,200) – Tway has a habit of letting people down when he is popular so his ownership will be interesting to note this week.
Tway is 13th on Tour for driving distance and 18th for par-five scoring average. This is a nice price for a player who can put it out there from the tee.
This range excites me too much. You could nearly make a roster out of the $5K guys for this week.
Keith Mitchell ($5,900) – Big driving required at a birdie-fest? Then Keith is your man.
The PGA Tour rookie is seventh in driving distance and is also in the same spot for par-five birdie-or-better percentage.
He finished T7 at the John Deere Classic two weeks ago where he made a boatload of birdies.
Bronson Burgoon ($5,700) – The American crushes par fives, where he is T8 on Tour.
Burgoon has flashed plenty of form recently, including a T2 at the John Deere. He has the look of a PGA Tour winner and can make plenty of birdies.
Cameron Champ ($5,600) – If you want to talk driving distance, then you can’t leave out the Champ.
The Web.com Tour stud averages a whopping 342.7 yards from the tee on the second-tier circuit.
To put that in perspective, Trey Mullinax leads the PGA Tour with an average of 319.7 yards.
Champ has been on a tear lately with a Web Tour win two weeks ago and five top-11 finishes prior.
Buyer beware: he will most likely be chalky.
Brandon Harkins ($5,600) – After tipping the chalk, let’s go for someone who won’t be as popular.
Harkins burned plenty of people with an MC at the John Deere. But what I like about him this week is he leads the Tour in eagles on par fives.
For this price, I am willing to take the chance on him making some eagles.
Piece of Chalk: Take the big-driving Cameron Champ ($5,600).
Scrub-A-Dub: I am all about my man Bronson Burgoon ($5,700).