What’s going on Playmakers? Welcome back to another post-major edition of the Weekly Wedge. This week we will be looking into the 2018 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Course and it’s surprisingly strong field. You usually don’t see a field this stacked the week after a major, especially after traveling back from the UK, but we got lucky this time so let’s get ready to take full advantage.
Last week at the Open we saw the hottest player in the world – Francesco Molinari – continue his dominant run by taking home the Claret Jug and finishing in the top 2 for the third straight week. However, it definitely wasn’t anything like his last two starts. Finishing at right around 20-under in his previous two outings, we’d probably be talking about Molinari’s third straight win if it wasn’t for Michael Kim’s absolutely dominating performance at the John Deere Classic. But last week at Carnoustie was much different, as the Italian superstar had to grind it out and fight his way through a stacked field on a major championship final round. But he was able to go toe-to-toe on Sunday against some of golf’s best – Spieth, Woods, McIlroy – and secure his first major victory. Congrats to Francesco, he certainly deserves it; but with all due respect, I am more than ready to move onto this week in Ontario, Canada.
Although it would have been great to see Koepka take it home last week and have the opportunity at golf’s triple crown by taking home all ‘Open’ tournaments, we’re going to have to settle with seeing if Jhonattan Vegas can complete the three-peat here at Glen Abbey. But although his course history absolutely suggests he’s a lock here, I am not too confident in that idea with some of the guy’s participating this year. With guys like DJ, Koepka, Fleetwood, etc. headlining this event; I just don’t know if someone like Vegas is going to be able to keep up with scoring, let alone for the third year in a row.
At just under 7,300 yards, this par 72 course with fairly good-sized fairways is extremely gettable for guys who can drive the ball. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course definitely sets up well for the bombers. But with that being said, the greens are fairly small so players will also have to gain strokes off the tee by leaving themselves in a good spot for a solid approach onto the green. The approach shot is just as important as the drive here at Glen Abbey, but guys who can get some distance off the tee will certainly have a leg up on the competition.
Already, the weather is looking a bit problematic for Thursday’s expected start time. It has been raining all week up there and it’s not supposed to let up until Thursday night, but we will have to see what happens in terms of when it’s going to start. Whether it starts on Thursday or Friday, the rain will definitely help most of these guys as it will soften up the greens and allow for some real tight approaches towards the flag stick. I will be targeting guys that will hopefully be starting on Thursday afternoon and will also get the first crack at the softened-up course on Friday morning before it dries out in the afternoon. As always, continue to monitor the weather through lock to determine who you think will have the best opportunity to gain advantage.
Enough of the tournament breakdown, lets get into some key stats and plays that I will be looking at this weekend at the 2018 RBC Canadian Open.
- SG: Off-the-Tee – the amount of strokes gained on the field generated from hitting the fairway off the tee
- Driving Distance – the average number of yards per drive
- SG: Approach – measures the amount of strokes gained from shots not off the tee and more than 30 yards out
- Birdie or Better % – the percent of time a score of birdie or better was made
- DK Scoring – the amount of Draftkings points a player produces per tournament
$10,000 and Above | Dustin Johnson | $11,700
His price is a little crippling this week, but DJ is easily the best and safest play in this top tier of players. He’s one of the best – if not THE best – bombers on tour and in a week where scoring will be at a premium, DJ makes for a fine play in GPPs. Over the last 50 rounds, he ranks 2nd in the field in SG: approach and 1st in the field in SG: off the tee, SG: tee to green, total SG, and Draftkings scoring. Not to mention he ranks 8th in driving distance and has the longest drive of the year at a whopping 430 yards. He’s an absolute beast and if it wasn’t for his steep price every week, I would be paying him every single time he steps on the course. After missing the cut last week at the Open Championship, I think DJ is poised for a big comeback this week in Ontario and is always in the conversation when talking about players with the best chance to win.
Pivots: Brooks Koepka ($10,800) | Tommy Fleetwood ($10,500)
$9,900-$9,000 | Tony Finau | $9,800
I am finally jumping on the Finau bandwagon this week and for good reason. In past weeks, I was really trying to avoid the chalk that is always Finau in hopes that he would implode and I could gain an edge on the competition. But this guy is hungry, and he’s not going to stop until he finally wins one. The big question mark for me with Tony has always been his putting. But he clearly has the power and the skill to overpower that, and all it takes is one week for his putter to get hot and he’s going to put on a dominant performance and win one of these things. Much like DJ, Finau is an absolute bomber who shortens pretty much every hole he plays. He ranks 3rd in driving distance on the year; and over the last 50 rounds he’s ranking 18th in SG: off the tee, 10th in SG: approach, and 2nd in DK scoring behind none other than Dustin Johnson himself. Like I said before, it’s only a matter of time before he wins one of these tournaments and when he does it it’s going to be in spectacular fashion.
Pivots: Matt Kuchar ($9,500) | Joaquin Niemann ($9,400)
$8,900-$8,000 | Charley Hoffman | $8,700
His price is definitely a little inflated this week, but I like him a lot this week and I think that will only deter ownership away from him. From the surface, Hoffman might not be the sexiest play in the world. But if you dig a little bit deeper, he’s a guy that has fantastic course history who also plays extremely well at Jack Nicklaus-designed courses over a fairly large sample size. In his career at Jack’s courses, Hoffman ranks 12th in the field in Draftkings scoring, 9th in total strokes gained, and 5th in SG: off the tee over 34 rounds of play. His last two finishes here at Glen Abbey have been tied for 7th and runner-up just last year. Hoffman is a ball striker who is very proficient off the tee and should see some suppressed ownership at this price.
Pivots: Brandt Snedeker ($8,500) | Keegan Bradley ($8,100)
$7,900-$7,500 | Byeong Hun An | $7,800
This guy has been a go-to value for me all year long and I am loving him more than ever this week here at Glen Abbey. Although he’s never played here before, BHA is in relatively good form going into this week and definitely has some of the skills needed to succeed here. He’s made three straight cuts and before that, went on a streak of being in the top 30 three weeks in a row – including a 2nd place finish at Memorial back in May. Over his last 50 rounds, BHA ranks 20th in SG: approach, 11th in SG: off the tee, 10th in total SG, and 8th in DK scoring. Those are stats you love to see from a guy who is only priced at $7,800. There’s not a lot to love in this range this week so if you land somewhere around him, definitely don’t be afraid to leave a couple bucks on the table and fire him up in all formats.
Pivots: Jamie Lovemark ($7,800) | Chris Kirk ($7,600)
$7,400 and Below | Stewart Cink | $7,100
This is a lot like the previously mentioned Charley Hoffman play, a guy who historically plays well at Jack Nicklaus-designed courses and has a fairly good course history here. Although he hasn’t performed quite as well at Glen Abbey as Hoffman has, Cink comes into the weekend playing extremely well right now. Over his past three starts this season, he’s finished T24-T23-T2, respectively. Although he might not be a favorite to win this weekend, Cink is fantastic ball striker who has a great chance at making the cut and playing through the weekend.
Pivots: Rory Sabbatini ($7,100) | Jim Furyk ($7,100)
Anthony is the DailyPlayAction’s resident DraftKings PGA expert, and shares his thoughts and opinions at his own discretion. Anthony plays DraftKings himself, and although he shares his opinions, he is free to implement other players in his rosters without notice. Anthony nor the DailyPlayAction are responsible for losses accrued by using DPA rosters.