What is up everyone? It is good to be back here previewing my country’s national championship – the Canadian Open. As usual, before digging into this week’s tournament, let’s recap our performance last week at the Open Championship.
First off, what an amazing performance by Jordan Spieth over the final 5 holes to snatch the tournament away from Matt Kuchar. That was one of the most exciting finishes to a major championship in a long time. In terms of picks, I did pretty well in this space, though I did very poorly with lineup construction and was down for the week. 8 of my 9 main recommendations made the cut, including picking the winner in Jordan Spieth and other top finishers Marc Leishman, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Zach Johnson. Hopefully someone used my preview to make the money that I did not make.
On to this week — for the 3rd consecutive year, the Canadian Open will be played at the Jack Nicklaus designed Glen Abbey golf course. This course is a par 72 measuring 7,250 yards and featuring 4 par 5s, 3 of which are extremely short. I have actually procured a research assistant for my golf lineups as my brother-in-law dove knee-deep into the stats this week. We focused on strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained approach, birdies gained, strokes gained par 5 and strokes gained on difficult par 3. Let’s see how we did.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Dustin Johnson ($12,200 DraftKings/$10,600 FanDuel) – Dustin Johnson’s form has been fair to middling recently, but he is unquestionably the best player in the field this week. The world #1 leads the field in strokes gained tee to green and birdies gained. Moreover, he has excellent course history as Johnson has consecutive runner-up finishes in his last 2 appearances at Glen Abbey. I would start him with confidence.
Matt Kuchar ($11,100 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) – Kuchar is the opposite of DJ as his form is absolutely on point at the moment. Kuchar has finished in the top 20 of his last six tournaments, including 4 top 10s and 3 top 5s. And of course, he nearly came away with his first major last week at the Open Championship. On top of his solid form, Kuchar has 3 consecutive top 10 finishes at Glen Abbey. He is 4th in the field in strokes gained tee to green over his last 24 rounds, which might be the key stat of the week. I like him for another great finish.
Upper Middle Class
Tony Finau ($9,500 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel) – Aside from being one of the worst and ugliest putters on tour, Finau has truly turned into the real deal this season. He has made 7 consecutive cuts, with 6 of those finishes in the top 30. And when Finau makes cuts, he makes birdies as he ranks 3rd in the field in birdies gained. Finau’s course history is average, but he is a different player this year and I think he will excel.
Shane Lowry ($8,600 DraftKings/$7,800 FanDuel) – At first glance, I thought that Lowry was a little bit overpriced and was considering a full fade. But as I examine the numbers, he is turning into one of my favorite plays of the week. Lowry is 2nd in birdies gained, 13th in strokes gained tee to green and 17th in strokes gained approach over his last 24 rounds. While he has missed the cut in 2 of 3 events and never played Glen Abbey before, Lowry seems well suited for the course and I think he will be a scoring machine on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Patrick Cantlay ($8,100 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) – Cantlay is my pick to win the tournament this week – and he will be in nearly all of my lineups. The only fear that I have with the young American is rust, as he has not played in 8 weeks, but his form when he has played has been excellent. Cantlay ranks 8th in aggregated strokes gained, 10th in birdies gained, 3rd in par 5 performance and 5th in par 3 performance. He seems like an ideal course fit and I think he finds his way to the top of the table this week.
Gary Woodland ($7,900 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel) – Woodland is an immensely talented guy who has not found his form recently as he has not had a top 35 finish in 4 months. Be that as it may, I like the course fit for Woodland here as he ranks 10th in strokes gained tee to green and 5th in strokes gained on par 5s. Woodland is very easy to fit into DraftKings lineups, and I will have more than my fair share. I think this will be a week where he turns his game around.
Bang for your Buck
Kevin Tway ($7,700 DraftKings/$6,700 FanDuel) – Tway is another guy that I love on par 72s, as he is dynamite on par 5s. Tway ranks 26th in the field in strokes gained tee to green and 24th in strokes gained on par 5s. Tway’s form is also good as he has made 8 of his last 9 cuts, including 5 top 20s. I think he will be a source of points in many lineups.
Daniel Summerhays ($7,000 DraftKings/$6,700 FanDuel) – Summerhays always burns me, so I was a bit apprehensive when I saw his name near the top of many stat categories. But when playing DFS you have to take your emotions out of it and try to pick optimal lineups. Summerhays has been in good recent form, making 6 of 7 cuts with 3 top 20s sprinkled in. He also excels in my stats of the week over his last 24 rounds ranking 12th in strokes gained tee to green, 21st in strokes gained approach and 9th in strokes gained on difficult par 3s. I can’t ignore these stats and Summerhays will be a lineup staple.
Rory Sabbatini ($6,800 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel) – The 41 year-old has started to find his form with 3 straight made cuts, including two top 20 finishes. That nearly mirrors Sabbatini’s course history as he has made 2 of his last 3 cuts at Glen Abbey with two top 20 finishes. On top of those solid historical numbers, the stats point to Sabbatini as a good play as he ranks a solid 15th in strokes gained on par 5s between 500 and 550 yards – of which there are many on this course. I like Sabbatini as a dark horse play.
Brandon Hagy ($6,900 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) – Hagy is another guy that I think will play great this week. The young American has been pretty solid recently, with 5 made cuts in his last 6 events. But where I really think Hagy stands out is in par 5 performance as he leads the field in strokes gained on all par 5s and is 3rd in the field in strokes gained on par 5s 500-550 yards. I think Hagy will be in the winning lineup on DraftKings and FanDuel this week. Don’t get left behind.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
Here are some other guys that will make their way into my lineups:
Jhonnatan Vegas ($7,000 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel) has been in poor form recently, but is the defending champion at this event and is priced quite reasonably. He also ranks 2nd when I aggregate my two favorite strokes gained par 5 categories.
Ricky Barnes ($7,400 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel) is on a roll recently, making cuts in 10 of his last 12 events and finishing in the top 25 4 of his last 8 tourneys. He also has good course history with a 5th place last year and an 11th place the year previous.
Robert Garrigus ($6,600 DraftKings/$4,900 FanDuel) is a cheap dart throw, especially on FanDuel. His numbers pop for a guy this cheap as he ranks 29th in strokes gained tee to green, 33rd in strokes gained approach and 31st in birdies gained.
Ollie Schniederjans ($7,200 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) is really talented and seems to be priced way too low on DraftKings. I will have quite a bit of Ollie in my lineups.
Hudson Swafford ($7,800 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel) is my father-in-law random play of the week. He did finish in 14th at this event last year and has made his last 3 cuts.
Good luck to all of you this week!