2017 Canadian Open
Defending Champ: Jhonattan Vegas
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2017 Canadian Open Picks: Show Index
2017 Canadian Open Field
156 Players | Top 70 and Ties Make The Cut
Much like my hometown, the Canadian Open was once a “traditional stopping place,” except for the world’s best golfers, not just general stopping. However, after years of drawing the TOUR’s shittiest schedule placement, ALLLLLLLLLL the big names no longer make the world’s third oldest open championship (est. 1904) a priority. Still, it’s not exactly the Barbasol in terms of talent. World’s No. 1 Dustin Johnson is back for the second straight year, joined by newly minted No. 12, and Open Championship runner-up, Matt Kuchar. Kevin Chappell, Charley Hoffman, Gary Woodland, Bubba Watson, JB Holmes, Tony Finau, Danny Lee, William McGirt, James Hahn, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry, Jim Furyk, and defending champ Jhonny Vegas will all be catching Ubers to the Toronto suburbs as well. Great news for Mike Weir’s bank account.
Brandt Snedeker is expected to play despite withdrawing from the British Open because a rib injury. UPDATE: Snedeker has withdrawn.
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Twitter darling Patrick Cantlay is teeing it up for the first time since The Memorial, along with a few young guns looking for a breakthrough victory: Ollie Schnierdejans, Curtis Luck, Trey Mullinax, JT Poston, Sebastian Munoz, Michael Kim, Ryan Ruffels, Bobby Wyatt, Sam Horsfield, Brian Campbell, and Richy Werenski. A vast majority of whom are actually older than Jordan Spieth. Think about that for a moment.
Finally, it wouldn’t be the Canadian Open without a slew of Canucks populating the field, trying to become the first maple syrup bleeder to claim their national championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954. There has been a spattering of close calls over the years, Weir lost to Vijay in a 2004 playoff when Vijay was actively trying to blow it, an, at-the-time, nobody Adam Hadwin lingered at the incredible Shaughnessy G&CC in 2011, and David Hearn was simply outclassed by Jason Day and Bubba in 2015. Fortunately for us seal-fuckers, this is best crop of Canadian golfers in some time: Hadwin, Hearn, Graham DeLaet, MacKenzie Hughes, Nick Taylor lead the way while Weir, Matt Hill, Brad Fritsch, Austin James, Hugo Bernard, Bryn Parry, along with last year’s rando Jared Du Toit attempt to end the drought. Fresh off his T14 at Royal Birkdale, Austin Connelly has been extended a sponsor’s invitation too. No word yet whether he’ll be on the course at Glen Abbey.
2017 Canadian Open Key Stats
2017 Canadian Open Course
Glen Abbey GC | 7,252 Yards | Par 72
While the Canadian Open is supposed to use a series of courses in a rotation, a combination of easy travel from the UK and attendance concerns has etched Glen Abbey into the host venue three of the past four years. That tradition will likely come to an end this time around, though. The Jack Nicklaus design is expected to make way for the pinnace of our free market society… HIGH PRICED HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS!!!!! I say, good riddance. Not that I have anything specifically against Glen Abbey, but there are plenty of better host courses across the world’s second largest country. Seriously, despite being logistical nightmare with no capacity to lodge patrons or players, how awesome would Cabot Cliffs look on TV, especially a week after the British Open? Although, that’s probably just more propoganda for my home province. If it must be in-or-around Toronto, the city itself has two or three more legitimate courses for a PGA event. Hopefully the Canadian Open can unwedge itself from the post-British Open slot so it can start taking advantage of the beautiful west coast courses which are simply too lengthy of a flight to attract the larger names competing at the year’s third Major. Turns out, few enjoy completing in a lesser golf event having to adjust to an 11 hour time zone shift. Who knew?
Anyway, that’s irrelevant to the task at hand, figuring out which type of player can tame Glen Abbey. If we let the past assist in this effort, we’ll be directed towards a a bunch of different skill sets. DJ, Bubba, and Vegas, who’d all be something in one of those long-drive contests, have all experienced success at this course, but so have shorter hitting, ball control mavens like Kuch and Furyk. There is a common thread between both types of players, though. The reason we’ve witnessed both bombers and accuracy guys do well here over the years is these specific players’ ability to get the ball to their preferred spots. Glen Abbey is all about angles, and the course is short enough to allow either type of player to get to their most comfortable iron range. As long as a player gains strokes off the tee, it doesn’t really matter how far he hits it. Figure out which side of the fairway (or even the first cut) gives you the proper angle to attack with your preferred shot shape to that day’s pin and fire away.
Being a Nicklaus design, there are elements of deception set up to confuse the field. Be it swift changes in elevation, water in play off the tee, or 100 bunkers spread littered across the grounds, Glen Abbey only really plays difficult if you get into your own head. Because frankly, it’s not super challenging taken as a whole. With its short Par 4s (six of ten measure between 400-450 yards; another are 452 and 557) and proclivity at producing eagles (157 the last two years), scoring can go extremely low. Sure, wind can wreak havoc at times, and venturing beyond the first cut can be problematic, but I’ll be leaning on bombers, primarily those who don’t have crippling short games. A cross reference of the numbers from the past few years has revealed a troublesome chipping is one of the areas where the field actually bleeds strokes back.
2017 Canadian Open Picks (Yahoo Game)
Dustin Johnson & James Hahn – The No. 1 player in the world, against a weak field, with a pair of runner-ups in his past two trips to Glen Abbey – YUUUUUUPPPPPP… HAAAAAHNNNNNNNNN, a different story. He’s collected two Top 10s in his past five starts while gaining strokes off the tee in four of the five and around the green in the quintet. Usually, it’s his putting which hamstrings his upside. After losing an almost inconceivable 7.2 strokes putting at Colonial, Hahn has quietly been the 22nd best putter against the field over the past 12 rounds. He’s two-for-two in his pair of appearances at Glen Abbey, with a T11 in his last start in 2015.
Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar, Danny Lee,
Keegan Bradley, & Chad Campbell – Feel free to replace Campbell with Snedeker if he reveals the ribs are feeling fine, but Campbell is no slouch entering play. Once dubbed the “Next Big Thing” by Sports Illustrated, Campbell never lived up to that hype, unless they were referring to his waist size, I suppose. But seriously, he’s been quite solid over his career, more so lately. Hefty Chad has made four of his last five cuts following a string of four straight early exits out of town, finishing no worse than T18 in any of those finishes. He’s 13th in SG: T2G over his past 12 rounds, with positive numbers versus the field in both SG: OTT and ATG. Plus, Campbell is always more comfortable at birdiefests, as evidence by his three Top 30 results in three starts at Glen Abbey… I’m not too concerned about Kuchar following his near-miss at the Open. We all know Kuchar loves paychecks, and that’s been highlighted at this course: T9/T7/T2… If he can just putt around field average and not bleed away tournaments with his putter, Keegan should pop in Toronto. He’s third in this field Off-The-Tee the last month and 19th around-the-green. He’s the perfect statistical fit, JUST MAKE A PUTT KEEGAN, OKKKKKKKK… Charley’s always iffy, but that’s mainly because of his irons. They can be as dialed in as anyone in the field, like we saw Rd 1 at The Masters, or a disaster, like we saw Sunday at The Masters. Fortunately, his driving and chipping are top notch, so he’ll avoid crooked numbers should his irons decide not to show up in a given round… Totally messed things up and thought Keegan was a B-List player on Yahoo, when in fact, he is a C-List player. Use Danny Lee and his scorching irons in his place.
Tony Finau & Patrick Cantlay – Finau’s got to win at some point, right? RIGHTTTT?????? I hope so, cause I’ll continue blowing my bankroll finding out. He’s seventh in Par 5 efficiency over his past 24 rounds, fifth off-the-tee in last past 12 rounds, and certainly not disgraceful from just off the green (64th). Finau’s reeled off seven made cuts in a row and 14 of 17 in 2017 with eight Top 20s. He’s been close to a breakthrough for some time, much like Vegas was this time last year… I mentioned Cantlay was an internet darling, and as someone with an internet presence, I am a contributor to this. And why not? The guy is legit. He’s six-of-six in cuts this year, with a pair of top five finishes. He hasn’t played since the Memorial at the beginning of June, where he cranked out a T35 finish despite losing 4.4 strokes to the field with his putter; the only time all season he’s generated negative SG: Putting. So, it was an aberration. He lines up perfectly and has the talent, he just needs to keep himself out of the green side bunkers. That part of his game, not so legit. Although, if his irons are clicking, it won’t matter. If that scares you off, if Luke List can manage to keep his three-putt count to under 15, he’ll be in contention.
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