The PGA Tour tees it up at the RBC Canadian Open just two days after their shocking merger with LIV Golf. Some of the top players in the world will have to put the off the course distractions out of their minds to attack Oakdale Country Club in Toronto.
Rory McIlroy is the favorite to win the tournament with odds of +550. McIlroy will have some good vibes in his favor since he won this event in 2019 and 2022. He's also likely to be playing with a chip on his shoulder after the merger news.
Need some help dissecting this event from a gambling point of view? Here are the 7 bets we're making for the 2023 RBC Canadian Open. Good luck with your selections!
Lowry has dominated here at the RBC Canadian Open over the past 3 events. In 2018 he finished 12th and followed that up with a runner-up finish in 2019. With no tournament being held in 2020 and 2021, Lowry came to the 2022 event fresh as ever and nabbed another Top 10 finish.
He is coming off a 16th place finish at the Memorial and a 12th place finish at the PGA Championship. He is Top 15 on Tour in strokes gained on approaches.
He faces fellow European, Tommy Fleetwood, who did not participate in the Memorial and is coming off a missed cut at the Schwab. He had been playing well to that point, but something was off there, and we are banking that he has not fixed it enough to take down the charging Lowry here.
We are playing this matchup with an abundance of caution. With the PGA/LIV merger news breaking this week, you would have to believe that Rory is the one that must feel most betrayed by the Tour.
They made him their spokesman only to pull the rug out from under him with no prior notice. That said, he still is the back-to-back defending champion here. And to take him at a small juiced priced in a matchup is worth the risk.
He faces Tyrrell Hatton here who has only participated in the event once, that came last year where he failed to make the cut. Who knows, maybe the merger motivates Rory to win again and stick it to the PGA and Jay Monahan.
Mitchell finished a respectable 48th last week at the Memorial and has made 14 cuts in his 17 starts this season. He has been strong off the tee where he ranks 4th on Tour in strokes gained from that category.
Last year, Mitchell finished 7th here at the RBC Canadian and will be primed for another strong showing this year. He faces Adrian Meronk in this matchup. Meronk will be making his RBC Canadian Open debut.
He has missed 50% of the cuts this season and has not participated in enough events in order to rank in any statistical categories. We believe there is a stronger chance Meronk misses the cut here than Mitchell and that could take care of this matchup by Friday afternoon.
Hughes has had a rough go of it as of late. He has missed the cut in 4 of his last 5 starts. However, in 8 of his last 10 starts in which he made the cut, he finished inside the Top 40.
We like Hughes' track record here at the RBC Canadian Open. He has finished inside the Top 40 in all 4 of his recent starts here. Last year was a 28th place finish while in 2018 he grabbed his best finish which was 8th.
He has leaned on a strong putting game in his strong finishes. He ranks 40th on Tour in strokes gained from putting.
S.Y. Noh has gone 4 straight starts making the cut. Like Hughes, Noh has been strong on the greens. He ranks 24th in strokes gained from putting.
He has not played in a Tour event since early May when he shot 14 under at the AT&T Byron Nelson. He shot -11 on Thursday and struggled down the stretch to finish in 74th.
Last year, Noh finished 35th and has a best finish of 23rd in 2017 here. At more than 3 to 1, Noh is worth the stab here.
Sam Burns is coming off a 16th place finish at the Memorial and was even better at the Schwab where he finished 6th. Like both Hughes and Noh, Burns is even better on the putting greens where he ranks 9th on Tour.
His 44th ranking off the tee and 33rd in total strokes gained has Burns sitting inside the Top 15 in both FedEx standings and OWGR.
His lone start here at the RBC was last year and he played extremely well and finished 4th. We expect Burns to be in the mix late on Sunday and a Top 20 finish to be an easy task.
Shane has gone back-to-back tournaments with Top 20 finishes at both the Memorial and the PGA Championship. While Lowry has struggled with his putter, his work off the tee and on approaches have saved him.
He ranks 28th and 14th in those categories, respectively. He has not finished worse than 12th in his last 3 starts here at the RBC and we believe he will be able to play well once again here.