- Hamilton Golf & Country Club
- Ancaster, Ontario
- Par 70
- 6,966 yards
- Event has been held at this course in 2012, 2006, and 2003 in recent years
- Designed by Harry Colt back in 1914
- Shorter course but the fairways are narrow and the greens are smaller than the Tour average
- Greens aren’t very fast but have a lot of undulation
- Tree-lined course but more than 1,000 trees have been removed since the last time they played here in 2012
- Poa annua and bentgrass mix
- Soft conditions from all of the rain this season
- This week (with a lack of recent course history) I’m not going to read too much into the stats. Short hitters like Piercy and Furyk have wins here in 2012 and 2006 so I think the narrative will be to grab excellent iron players that don’t necessarily hit the ball very far. Golf has evolved over the last 10 to 15 years so it wouldn’t surprise me if some guys successfully execute a bomb-and-gouge game plan this week and mess with that narrative. Realistically I think all skill sets are on the table this week so almost anyone has a chance to win.
The RBC Canadian Open has moved up in the year from one week after the Open to one week before the U.S. Open so the field has slightly changed. Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, and Henrik Stenson are all new comers this year but it is still very much a top heavy field.
Big Dogs ($8,800 and up on DK)
- Dustin Johnson ($11,900 DK – $12,600 FD) – even with the likes of Brooks, Rory, Kuch, and JT heading to Hamilton Golf & CC this week, DJ is still the clear cut favorite to win in my model. He won in this event last year (different course) and hasn’t finished worse than 45th in 13 events this season so I believe many people will start their lineups with DJ; making him a more attractive Cash play this week.
- Scott Piercy ($9,300 DK – $10,500 FD) – the last time the Canadian Open was held here was in 2012 when Scott Piercy won the event with a score of -17. He continues to roll with a top 20 in his last event, the Charles Scwab, so I could imagine him and the next guy on my list will be popular picks this week.
- Jim Furyk ($8,800 DK – $10,100 FD) – Furyk won on this course in 2006, the last time it was here before returning in 2012. He has made his last two cuts in the Canadian Open and is coming off of a 13th and 33rd in the last two weeks as well. Consistent iron players, even if they don’t have great length, will have a good chance at making the cut this week in a depleted field.
- Brooks Koepka ($11,700 DK – $12,500 FD) – last year in this tournament Koepka ended up missing the cut by 7 strokes. Although it is on a different course and in a different part of the season, most people will assume that Brooks is only here to get a warm up in before defending his title at the U.S. Open next week. That mixed with the fact that he is the second highest priced guy behind DJ leads me to believe that Koepka will go highly overlooked this week.
- Justin Thomas ($10,000 DK – $11,500 FD) – the first time JT played since the Masters was last week at the Memorial where he shot an 80 in the 2nd round to miss the cut by 6 strokes. He’s been dealing with a wrist injury and was a late add to this field so that could turn a lot of people off with a possible WD looming. Just like Brooks above, his level of talent going low owned this week might be worth rolling the dice in GPP pools.
- Sergio Garcia ($9,500 DK – $10,700 FD) – I originally had Henrik Stenson here but I think he might go highly owned because his irons have been red hot and he’s 1st on Tour in SG: approaching-the-green this season (despite him not finishing inside the top 15 in his last 12 events). Then I realized that I looked at everyone in this range besides Sergio. He’s missed two out of his last three cuts, dating all the way back to the Masters, and he missed the cut in this event last year so if Sergio is invisible to most people this week… he could end up being a sneaky good play.
Value ($7,300 – $8,700 on DK)
- Bud Cauley ($8,400 DK – $9,800 FD) – Bud Cauley played on this course in 2012 and ended up finishing in the top 5 at -14. He has made four out his last five cuts and is coming off of a 9th place finish at Muirfield last week as well. He’s the best on Tour this season at gaining strokes around the green so I could see him being fairly chalky this week.
- Graeme McDowell ($7,600 DK – $9,100 FD) – in 14 starts this season Graeme has only missed one cut and has one other MDF. His distance off of the tee is what typically hurts him the most but that should be somewhat taken out of play at Hamilton Golf & CC where the yardage is under 7,000. So for $7,600 you’re getting a guy that makes a ton of cuts and could potentially play even better on a short course with narrow fairways.
- Dylan Frittelli ($7,300 DK – $8,700 FD) – Frittelli is coming off of a missed cut (PGA Championship) but before that had made five straight. He’s got a pretty well rounded game and only loses strokes putting (-0.2) out of all of the strokes gained metrics. Dylan’s been playing consistent and has been finding the top 25 at a fairly steady clip in the last year so he might be one of the more reliable options for this price (it gets pretty scarce down here).
- Ryan Palmer ($8,200 DK – $9,700 FD) – Palmer is the definition of a roller coaster for me this week. In the last two years in this event he has a 22nd place finish (2018) and a 136th place finish (2017). In his last two attempts at this course he has a 19th place finish (2012) and a 134th place finish (2006). In his last two events he has a 6th place finish at the Charles Schwab and a 137th place finish at the PGA Championship. So it would seem that Ryan Palmer is either going to flirt with a top 10 — or wildly miss the cut.
- Erik Van Rooyen ($7,800 DK – $9,100 FD) – in the mid to upper $7,000’s I can’t imagine there will be a lot of ownership spread out so this is a good spot to find pivot plays. Van Rooyen isn’t a very well known name but he did finish in the top 20 in his last two Majors (8th at this year’s PGA Championship and 17th at last year’s) and in his last two WGC’s he has a pair of top 40’s. He doesn’t seem to be afraid of the Big Dogs so he might be one to consider this week.
- Aaron Wise ($7,800 DK – $9,800 FD) – Wise isn’t having the sophomore season that he envisioned but he’s started to trend in the right direction… and most recently hit a bump in the road. Since his back to back top 20’s at the Masters and Wells Fargo he has gone 43rd, 41st, and a missed cut at the Memorial last week. He’s a bomber and on this short course people may overlook him, especially considering his recent regression, but he’s 10th in birdie or better so the scoring potential is certainly there and I expect him to bounce back this season.
Sleepers ($7,200 and under on DK)
- Peter Malnati ($7,100 DK – $8,200 FD) – this is probably my favorite play down in this range this week. Since the Genesis Open Malnati has played in nine events and only missed the cut once, at the Wells Fargo (82nd), with another MDF at the Byron Nelson (72nd). In that stretch he has six finishes of 44th or better including two top 20’s and a 23rd place finish as well. Malnati has also made the cut at the Canadian Open in the last two years so this is about as safe of a play as you can find in the Sleeper category this week.
- Scott Stallings ($7,200 DK – $8,700 FD) – in the last two Canadian Opens Scott Stallings is two for two in made cuts and when it was last held at Hamilton Golf & CC in 2012 he finished in 7th place. Before finishing 48th last week at the Memorial he missed 3 consecutive cuts, but prior to that stretch he made four out of five cuts with a top 10 at the Valspar and a 23rd place finish at the Valero. I’m not really in love with anyone once you hit the low $7,000’s (and under) so instead of having a few Solid (Cash) plays they have mostly been placed in the Risky (GPP) category.
- Cameron Tringale ($7,100 DK – $7,800 FD) – Tringale has made three out of his last four cuts including a 17th place finish at the Valero and 23rd place finish at his most recent event, the Byron Nelson. He also played here in 2012 when the Canadian Open was last at this course and he finished with a top 20. He’s been known for his inaccuracy with driver, which has improved this season, but on a course that takes driver out of play on most of the holes Tringale should have even more success here.
- Talor Gooch ($7,100 DK – $8,600 FD) – Gooch took a long time off after the Players Championship dealing with an injury but has now played in back to back events and is looking to make it three straight in Canada this week. He finished 29th at the Charles Schwab but missed the cut last week at the Memorial. His GIR hit a season low last week so I expect him to rebound with his irons here and return to where he has been which is 13th in SG: approaching-the-green, 19th in GIR, and 21st in proximity.
- Harold Varner III ($7,100 DK – $8,400 FD) – HVIII continues to struggle and has now missed three out of his last four cuts. In his last two years at the Canadian Open he finished 23rd and 17th; even though it’s on a different course this year, that’s still a good sign. He’s certainly a risky pick but if you are looking for someone cheap that has the ability to end in the top 25, Varner might be one of the better options.
- Nate Lashley ($6,700 DK – $8,000 FD) – Lashley fits the build for previous winners on this course averaging only 286 per drive but still reaching the GIR 69.2% of the time (26th). He’s a sharp iron player that has a relatively high floor so it wouldn’t surprise me to see his ownership a little high for being all the way on the bottom shelf.
- Adam Schenk ($6,800 DK – $7,800 FD) – Schenk had missed a pair of cuts coming into the Memorial last week but snapped that streak with a close call on a T65. Before the missed cuts he had made six out of his last eight between the Puerto Rico Open and the Wells Fargo with his worst finish in those made cuts being a 33rd place in that stretch. It might seem like he’s trending in the wrong direction but he was 22nd in this event last year and could certainly right the ship which would make him a steal at $6,800.
- D.J. Trahan ($6,700 DK – $7,700 FD) – we haven’t seen D.J. in three weeks since his WD from the Byron Nelson where he was having back issues; which makes him a scary pick especially considering that he was steadily getting worse before that WD. But he’s still 10th in GIR, 11th in scrambling, 20th in birdie or better %, 9th in bogey avoidance, and 8th in par 4 scoring this season so we know there is room for improvement and he is also one of the few golfers in this field that played on this course back in 2012.
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