Weekly Preview: RBC Canadian Open

Weekly Preview: RBC Canadian Open

This article is part of our Weekly PGA Preview series.

RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club
Toronto, ON

The PGA Tour heads north for the latest edition of the RBC Canadian Open.

There are some weeks where I sit down to write and I don't have much in the tank. Maybe the previous wasn't all that exciting or there's just not much going on in the world of golf. This is not one of those weeks. As you surely are aware by now, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf have merged. Everything with the transition is still fresh and there is a lot we don't know right now, so it's best to try and reserve judgement, but I can say with certainty this was a completely unnecessary move on the part of the PGA Tour. LIV was withering on the vine. For many reason very few people were interested in that product, be it the source of the money, the number of unlikable players they snagged or the ridiculous gimmicks they were trying. None of it was working. And yet, the PGA Tour caved. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I'm worried where golf is heading. Maybe LIV gets absorbed and the super-tour doesn't resemble it at all -- we can hope -- but one thing is for certain, the PGA Tour is going to lose viewers in this country. There are golf fans staunchly opposed to the Saudi-backed aspect of LIV and if that's a part of this new tour, that'll be the end of it for a lot of people.

This is a tough time to be writing about this as we don't have much to go on, but I'm struggling to see how this is going to help the game of golf. It felt like the PGA Tour was in a good spot with the elevated events and the increase in purses, but rumors of more no-cut events cropped up recently and that idea was almost universally panned, so perhaps misguided leadership has been an issue all along. This move will not be popular with the players, and after all, what is this tour without the players? Maybe it's time for a new golf league, one not ruled by greed and mismanagement. Maybe the top players can start their own league. The fans will follow the best players. There won't be any loyalty to a tour which showed none of it to its players.

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 7:00 PM ET Tuesday.


Rory McIlroy shot a final-round 62 on his way to a two-stroke victory over Tony Finau.


Rory McIlroy (5-1)

It's difficult for me to dial into this event and I'm not even playing. Imagine the PGA Tour players, who were blindsided by the news and now have to focus on playing golf. Let's just say that there might be some strange happenings in the days ahead. As for McIlroy this week, he's a perfect 2-for-2 in this event, not making the cut, but winning! That's right, he's never lost at the Canadian Open. The problem is, this will be the third different course he's played on, and we have no idea if he will take to this track as well as the others. Also, as he was at the front of the stand-off between the PGA Tour and LIV, we have no idea how much of an impact the partnership will have on him. I think it would be best to just take a pass.

Tyrrell Hatton (11-1)

Hatton has played some really good golf over the past month or so, and he's definitely hitting his stride. Hatton finished top-15 in each of his past four starts, three of which were an elevated events or major.

Cameron Young (14-1)

Honestly, this is a little surprising. My "gut" pick from this past week ended up in the gutter, as Young missed his second consecutive cut at the Memorial. He preceded that with two finishes in the 50s, so I'm not exactly sure what the oddsmakers are seeing. Do they set lines with their gut?


Corey Conners (18-1)

Conners also missed the cut at Muirfield Village, but that appears to be a blip on the radar, as his play leading up to that tournament was stellar. Conners won the Valero in late March and backed it up with a top-10 at the Wells Fargo and a T12 at the PGA Championship. Prior to this past year, Conners had really struggled in the Canadian Open, but he finished solo sixth in 2022, so it looks like he figured out how to play in front of his countrymen.

Shane Lowry (20-1)

This stretch of the schedule is "open season" -- pun intended -- and who better to back this time of year than Lowry, who seems to thrive under tough conditions? Lowry played well at the PGA Championship and also at the Memorial. He seems poised for a strong finish.

Adam Hadwin (55-1)

With all that's going on right now with the game of golf, it's not a terrible strategy to find guys you know will be focused on this week's event. That market this week consists of Canadians, and luckily, there are a couple good ones in the field. Hadwin has played well in this event for the most part, and although his form isn't great, you can bet he's determined to play well.


Ludvig Aberg (55-1)

Aberg is new to the PGA Tour, and it sounds like he has a lot of potential, so who knows, maybe he hits the ground running like Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa did a few years ago. These events are always difficult because we have no course history to go off of, so we have to get a little creative. Aberg did make the cut in both PGA Tour events he played in earlier this year.

Mackenzie Hughes (60-1)

Along the same lines as the Hadwin play, we've got Hughes a little further down the list. If you believe that most of the non-Canadian players could struggle to focus, then maybe Hughes is worth a look. His form is not great, but he has won before and he's not far removed from a really strong season, so I could see him making a run as a big long shot.


Highly-chosen Pick: Tyrrell Hatton - McIlroy is going to be a popular pick, but as you'll see in a bit, I'm not in favor of that pick for a couple reasons. As for Hatton, he's trending the right way and is due for a win. He will be popular as well, so if you need to make up some ground, he's probably not your guy.

Moderately-chosen Pick: Corey Conners - Conners is the top Canadian out there, so he's going to be the choice of many. However, his missed cut his past week might scare off some OAD players. Conners might be my top play in the OAD format because his form before this past week was solid and his motivation is as high as anyone out there.

Lightly-chosen Pick: Mackenzie Hughes - I thought about putting Hadwin here, but I think there will be plenty of OAD players on him, so Hughes gets the nod. Hughes has not been in great form recently, but I have a feeling he will show up this time around. For what it's worth, my long shot "gut" pick this past week -- McCarthy -- worked out extremely well.

Buyer Beware: Rory McIlroy - There are a couple reasons to like McIlroy this week and a couple not to. For me, the negatives outweigh the positives, so he ends up here. His track record is great obviously, but those wins were on different courses. Second -- and most importantly -- the merger is going to be a big distraction to everyone, but likely no one more than McIlroy, who was at the forefront of the LIV resistance.

This Week: Tommy Fleetwood - Can you believe I've used all the Canadians already? That puts me in a tough spot, and I'm in catch-up mode. While there are some players ahead of Fleetwood that I prefer -- Sam Burns, Matt Fitzpatrick and Hatton -- I have to go this route to make up some ground.

Previous Results

TournamentGolferResultEarningsRunning Total
The Memorial Tournament pres. by WorkdayCollin MorikawaWD$0$9,827,940
Charles Schwab ChallengeJustin RoseT12$178,350$9,827,940
PGA ChampionshipTony FinauT72$26,500$9,649,590
AT&T Byron NelsonAdam ScottT8$277,875$9,623,090
Wells Fargo ChampionshipMatt FitzpatrickT35$99,600$9,345,215
Mexico OpenBrandon Wu3$531,300$9,245,615
Zurich Classic of New OrleansBilly HorschelT11$93,633$8,714,315
RBC HeritageCameron YoungT51$49,133$8,620,682
Masters TournamentScottie SchefflerT10$432,000$8,571,549
Valero Texas OpenMatt KucharT3$525,100$8,139,549
WGC-Dell Technologies Match PlayTyrrell HattonT59$76,500$7,614,449
Valspar ChampionshipAdam HadwinMC$0$7,537,949
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipXander SchauffeleT19$275,000$7,537,949
Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by MastercardKeith MitchellT24$163,000$7,262,949
The Honda ClassicShane LowryT5$288,120$7,099,949
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa2$2,180,000$6,811,829
WM Phoenix OpenJon Rahm3$1,380,000$4,631,829
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmJoel DahmenT41$31,950$3,251,829
Farmers Insurance OpenJason DayT7$282,750$3,219,879
The American ExpressSungjae ImT18$110,000$2,9327,129
Sony Open in HawaiiCorey ConnersT12$138,908$2,827,129
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsRussell HenleyT30$208,500$2,688,221
The RSM ClassicMackenzie HughesMC$0$2,479,721
Cadence Bank Houston OpenTaylor MontgomeryT57$19,236$2,479,721
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaTom HogeMC$0$2,460,485
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipSeamus Power1$1,170,000$2,460,485
THE CJ CUP in South CarolinaRickie FowlerT34$54,180$1,290,485
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPMaverick McNealyT12$222,310$1,236,305
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmithT2$712,000$1,013,995
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthyT39$31,995$301,995
Fortinet ChampionshipSahith TheegalaT6$270,000$270,000


Upper Range: Corey Conners ($10,800)
Middle Range: Adam Hadwin ($10,000)
Lower Range: Mackenzie Hughes ($9,000)


This Week: Corey Conners - I've got all the Canadians at my disposal in this format, so I'm taking the top one. Conners missed the Memorial cut, but that just gave him a couple more days to get ready for this event, which is a big one for any Canadian. Conners will be ready to play and he's not far removed from a nice stretch of golf, so he will make the weekend.

Previous Results

The Memorial Tournament pres. by WorkdaySahith Theegala1
Charles Schwab ChallengeJordan Spieth0
PGA ChampionshipXander Schauffele14
AT&T Byron NelsonK.H. Lee13
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRickie Fowler12
Mexico OpenJon Rahm11
Zurich Classic of New OrleansPatrick Cantlay10
RBC HeritageCameron Young9
Masters TournamentScottie Scheffler8
Valero Texas OpenMatt Kuchar7
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns6
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas5
Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by MastercardTyrrell Hatton4
The Honda ClassicShane Lowry3
The Genesis InvitationalAdam Scott2
WM Phoenix OpenHideki Matsuyama1
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealy0
Farmers Insurance OpenLuke List3
The American ExpressAndrew Putnam2
Sony Open in HawaiiHarris English1
The RSM ClassicJason Day0
Cadence Bank Houston OpenRussell Henley0
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaBilly Horschel4
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipRussell Knox3
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmith2
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthy1
Fortinet ChampionshipChez Reavie0

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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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