The Tour heads North of the border to Ontario in one of my favourite events of the year (because I’m Canadian). Also, this is one of the best fields in recent years and a lot of the big names have come out. As usual, people think a Canadian will do it, but I don’t think it will happen this year. However, it’s a very fair playing field as the tournament moves from Glen Abbey to St. Georges, so no one has an advantage from the playing the event in previous years. However, I think Matt Hill and Nick Taylor have the best shot of the Canadian’s as some Canadian Amateur events have been held there. St. Georges is the #1 Course in Canada and one of the Top 100 in the world, so don’t think it’s a cake-walk.
This is Event 13 of the season and the 4th week of Month 3 of the NG Nation Fantasy Four and it’s never too late to join. For a refresher on the rules, hit the link — Contest Guidelines and leave your Fantasy Four below.
NIKE GOLF: Four to Watch
Casey is obviously playing great golf, I’m just worried that he’s tired from The Open and travelling from Scotland to Canada. However, he’s probably used to it from playing on the European and PGA Tours. He’s the favourite to win this week and he should be. The neutral course favours him even more as it’s his first trip to this event.
He might have the most appearances on this Fantasy Four and maybe because I’m pulling for him. Hill has won so many Ontario provincial and national events in Canada that it’s ridiculous. I think it’s finally his week to break though and I HOPE he’s the Top Canadian. Sure, he’s disappointed a little since turning pro, but the former #1 Amateur in the world should feel right at home here.
Ames hasn’t played in a tournament in a month. However, he had a T8 at this event last year, T7 in ’05 and has a couple Top 25’s. I don’t know if he’s hurt, but he doesn’t have an advantage as it’s at a different course. However, Ames says that the course suits his eye very well.
Immelman impressed me at The Open and also when I met him at this event last year, however, he still wasn’t %100 healthy. I think he’s on a mean comeback trail and he should finish well after picking up a Top 25 at St. Andrews.
Other Nike golfers in the field: David Duval and Carl Pettersson
THE FIELD: Four Who are Hot
Recent starts – 6th at The Open, T5 at Travelers
It’s not often the runner-up in the previous year wins the next year, but maybe playing on a different course will help Goosen this year. He’s playing great golf and he needs a win this year.
Recent starts -T7 at The Open, T11 at AT&T National, T12 at US Open, T12 at Memorial, T12 at Byron Nelson
O’Hairsy has been Mr. Consistency since May, with only 1 missed cut in his last 7 events. Of those 6 events he made the cut, he’s never finished worse than T12, except for a T22. In my mind, he’s right up there with Donald as the one to beat.
Recent starts – T27 at The Open, T6 at US Open, T8 at Memorial
The Kuch-man is back and looks to keep the hotness alive. Kuchar took a month off between majors and still finished T27 at The Open. He’s been incredible this year and I hope he makes the Ryder Cup team. He’s solid.
Recent starts – T11 at The Open, T11 at French Open, T47 at US Open, T3 at Celtic Manor, 1st at Madrid Masters, 2nd at BMW PGA
I don’t have to say anything, just look at his recent starts. The kid is ridiculous right now. Also a T25 at this event last year.
THE FIELD: Four Who Have History
*again, don’t put a lot of stock in this section. This is the first time they’ve played this course since 1968*
*another history note, it’s been 56 years since a Canadian has won this event*
Best finishes – T5 in ’09, T7 in ’07
Brandt seems to play well in Canada and I think the attitude of the event suits him. Brandt started the year very hot, and seems to have found his form again after a T16 at AT&T.
Best finishes – 1st in ’09, T20 in ’06
He was the most unlikely of champions last year, winning after missing three straight cuts prior to the event and missing the cut here in ’08. However, he played well at the event, but I don’t give him much of a chance to contend this week.
Best finishes – T24 in ’09, T10 in ’07, T5 in ’06
Villegas started well at The Open with a -4. He hung around and didn’t quit and he should be more comfortable here.
Best finishes – T4 in ’04, T24 in ’05, T5 in ’07,
I’m still looking for Mahan to really rebound from his 4 straight missed cuts prior to The Open, where one bad round of 76 hurt him. He went 71-71 on the weekend which was great. Did we all forget that he won earlier this year? Doesn’t feel like it, so I’d love to see him win again.
Other notables in the field: Mike Weir, Danny Lee, Fred Couples, Tim Clark, Alex Cejka, Ricky Barnes, John Daly, Scott Verplank
FINAL FOUR: Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Sean O’Hair and Paul Casey
Tough not to pick a Canadian. I was really wanting to take Ames over Casey, since Ames is well rested and Casey is probably uber-tired. But Graham DeLaet has been playing well, Matt Hill’s partner-in-crime, Nick Taylor is also in the field, along with another great Canadian amateur, Eugene Wong. It’s tough not to include Mahan and Goosen. I think Goosen should really get his first win of the year so I could even see that as a reason to leave Donald off, but we’ll see where we end up!
Check out the full field here >> RBC Canadian Open Full Field
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