2022 RBC Canadian Open Overview and Betting Strategies

After a three-year wait, Canada’s national championship will finally crown a new champion. It’s the 2022 RBC Canadian Open from St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto, ON. As always, here’s your first look at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open and an overview of how to bet. Plus, listen below to the Golf Game Podcast for more information on golf betting.

2022 RBC Canadian Open Preview – The Field

Headlining the field is defending RBC Canadian Open champion Rory McIlroy. Rory has qualified as the defending champion for the past 3 years as COVID canceled the 2020 and 2021 RBC Canadian Opens. He won his title at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. That week, it was widely believed that a Bomber couldn’t win there because the golf course was both short and required focused golf strategies. Instead, Rory fired a final round 61 to bomb the field and run away with the win. While St. George’s Golf & Country Club will require a similar strategy, it could master it again.

Other notables in the field include Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Cameron Smith, Sam Burns, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry and Tony Finau.

While the field has quite a few big names at the top, overall this field is really weak. The RBC Canadian Open has a few things against it. For starters, next week is the US Open. But the LIV Golf League also kicks off this week in London. While that champ isn’t great either, it has robbed some of the upper middle class of PGA Tour players. This could be how the middle and lower tier in this area is a disaster. Some of the successful names are guys who haven’t been relevant for over 5 years. This won’t make it easy to fill DraftKings queues.

For the full field, Click here.

2022 RBC Canadian Open Overview and Betting Strategies

2022 RBC Canadian Open Preview – The Golf Course

As mentioned earlier, this is the first RBC Canadian Open since 2019. In 2019, it was played at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ontario. For three years, St. George’s has been waiting for its chance to shine. In 2022, he will have this chance.

St. George’s Golf & Country Club was built in 1929 and designed by Stanley Thompson. While Thompson isn’t exactly a household name in golf architecture in the United States, he is a legend in Canada. He has designed dozens of private and public golf courses in Canada. He also worked closely with Robert Trent Jones, including training his son Robert Trent Jones Jr. With Jones and Donald Ross, he founded the American Society of Golf Architects.

As for the work done at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, it is impeccable. It is consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses not only in Canada, but in the world:

The golf course is on beautiful grounds. Although just minutes from downtown Toronto, the golf course features dramatic elevation changes from tee to green. From elevated tee boxes to harsh uphill approach shots, players will have to rely on their caddies to ensure they have an accurate adjusted number. There are also several blind approach shots to several greens due to changes in elevation on the golf course. Like next week at Brookline, this golf course has some quirks.

For more details on St. George’s Golf & Country Club, watch this video:

In addition, YouTube channel Beyond the Contour features flyover videos of the first 8 holes of the golf course. Hopefully the other 10 will be added to the channel later this week.

St. George’s Golf & Country Club has hosted the RBC Canadian Open five times. It last hosted the tournament in 2010. Since then, the golf course has undergone several changes. Changes include a transition from Bent/Poa greens to Bentgrass, as well as significant tree removal, especially around the greens. In addition, Tom Doak and Ian Andrew have rebuilt all the greens on the golf course, including an expansion to recover some pin positions.

2022 RBC Canadian Open Overview and Betting Strategies

2022 RBC Canadian Open Preview – Betting Strategies

As previously mentioned, this is the first time since 2010 that St. George’s Golf & Country Club has hosted the RBC Canadian Open. Not only is this an extremely small sample, but the game of golf has changed significantly since that time. Still, there might be a few takeaways from this tournament to apply for the 2022 RBC Canadian Open that could preview how it will play out.

First, let’s start with some golf course nuts and bolts. The golf course plays at just over 7,150 yards. However, most of the length of the golf course will be in its Par 3s. Although it has five Par 3s, all will play over 200 yards. However, none of the Par 5s play over 550 yards, although the actual distance may vary with changes in elevation. And only two (maybe three) of the Par 4s will play 475 yards. It’s not a very long golf course at all.

In terms of agronomy, the golf course is Ryegrass and Bluegrass tee-to-green in fairways and rough. All Poa Annua were removed from the greens during the 2014 renovation, making them true bentgrass greens. The greens are also quite small, despite some expansion. Players will shoot small targets this week.

Next, let’s try to find clues from the 2010 tournament on what types of players to target this week. Here’s how the players split in the leaderboard (per DataGolf):

2022 RBC Canadian Open Overview and Betting Strategies

From this chart, performance off the tee didn’t seem to matter much (more on that in a minute). But the players separated themselves much more in the standings thanks to their iron play, scrambling and putting. This would hint that players might want to put a heavier weight in these categories.

But is this the type of player profile that ended up filling the Top 10 at the 2010 RBC Canadian Open? Absolutely yes. Almost everyone in this Top 10 placed quite poorly in Strokes Gained – Off-the-Tee leading up to the 2010 RBC Canadian Open. Only Charley Hoffman placed in the Top 50 of Strokes Gained – Off-the -Tee one week before the tournament. And nearly all ranked outside the Top 100 in driving distance and accuracy, or mostly both.

But the strength of this Top 10 was in his iron game, his scramble and his putt. Eight of the Top 10 Ranked in the Top 70 in Strokes Gained – Approach Leading to the Tournament. Six out of 10 made the Strokes Gained – Around-the-Green Top 70 before the event (including #1 player Luke Donald). And only Bob Estes was outside the Top 75 in Strokes Gained – Putting ahead of the tournament (including 2010 RBC Canadian Open winner and PGA Tour No. 1-ranked putter Carl Pettersson).

To dig deeper into approach game stats, where these players excelled with their irons was within 175 yards. Although I anticipate players will have around 7 or 8 approach shots over 200 yards, most of them will occur when a player has the ball on a peg on the Par 3s. But several of these players have ranked highly in several close stats within 125 yards, 125-150 yards, or 150-175 yards.

In terms of competition courses, here are some shorter courses where iron play, scrambling and putting are better than average, and performance off the tee is almost irrelevant:

  • pebble beach
  • Monterrey Peninsula
  • TPC Southwind
  • PTC Craig Ranch
  • PTC Summerlin

These could be useful golf courses to see who does well on these types of tracks.

So to sum up, what am I looking for this week?

    • Players whose strengths are with a combination of their irons, scrambling and putting (especially on bentgrass)
    • Players who do well on approach shots within 175 yards
    • Players who thrive on targeted golf courses, including some of those listed above.

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