Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – RBC Canadian Open
Chris will be bringing you weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. As every week in DFS PGA changes with the course setup, field of players and weather, Chris will be providing a range of different picks for cash games as well as upside plays for tournaments. If you have any questions to lineup lock you can reach him a variety of ways. Leave your question/comment below in the comments section, find him in the DFSR Chat room or hit him up on Twitter(@Jager_Bombs9). Chris is also providing his DFS PGA Weekly cheatsheet where he provides stats, course history, current form, fantasy points, and much more. Grab your copy today and edge out the competition.
RBC Canadian Open
"Oh Canada, our home and native land!"
That's right folks! Some people call the PLAYERS the fifth major but as a Canadian, this is my fifth major and one of my favorite events of the year. The history goes way back as the first Canadian Open was held in 1904 and is the third longest running annual tournament on the PGA Tour(Open Championship, U.S. Open are 1st/2nd longest running).
This year is a bit different for a couple of reasons starting with the date change to early June. It is now a week before the U.S. Open which will and has drawn a stronger field than when it was sandwiched between the Open Championship and either the WGC Bridgestone or PGA championship.
Speaking of that field, while it is not strong overall, it is absolutely loaded at the top with four of the Top 5(Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas) players in the world teeing it up North of the border. The field also includes 20 Canadians looking to win their own National event for the first time since Pat Fletcher did it way back in 1954. Leading the Canadian contingent are Adam Hadwin(#79) and Corey Conners(#83) who the only two inside the Top 100 at the moment and they are currently 23rd and 55th in the FedEx Cup standings this season.
Hamilton Golf & Country Club is a shorter Par 70 coming in just under 7,000 yards. It has tree-lined fairways that are very narrow and generated under 60% driving accuracy back in 2012. This combined with some thick, punitive rough, and there will be a ton of emphasis on hitting the fairways to have a shot at hitting these smaller than average greens. This will, in turn, make it tougher to hit the greens overall which will bring scrambling into play as well.
Let's now take a look at some course information, previous winners, top stats, then jump into the picks.
Hamilton Golf & Country Club
Par 70 - 6,966 Yards
Greens - Bentgrass with Poa
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown and flyover from the Hamilton Golf &Country Club website**
Previous RBC Canadian Open Winners
- 2018(Glen Abbey) - Dustin Johnson(-23)
- 2017(Glen Abbey) - Jhonattan Vegas(-21)
- 2016(Glen Abbey) - Jhonattan Vegas(-12)
- 2015(Glen Abbey) - Jason Day(-17)
- 2014(Royal Montreal) - Tim Clark(-17)
Top Stats in the Model
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Fairways Gained
- Par 5 Birdie or Better %
- Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Top Tier Targets
The field is loaded at the top and will be, in my opinion, where you make or break your DFS week. I am starting my GPP builds with DJ but don't get me wrong, the others are right there ranked #2-#5 in my model this week. He is likely disappointed they moved venues in 2019 as he tore apart Glen Abbey with a runner-up in 2016, T8 in 2017, and won the event last year. I still feel he can succeed here at Hamilton as he ranks 2nd in SG: Ball Striking, 15th in SG: Around the Green, 3rd in SG: Putting, 1st in Par 4 Scoring, 8th in Par 5 BoB%, and he is also 1st in Bogey Avoidance. Like Brooks, Rory, and Thomas, DJ is going to likely use driver more than the rest of the field and it makes sense as they can all bomb it and even in the rough will have two or three clubs less than others missing the fairway or going with a "less than driver" gameplan off the tee. Using Fantasy National and looking at DJ's stat engine on short Par 70 courses, he has gained fairways in six of his last nine rounds and has gained strokes off the tee in 16 straight and 22 of his last 25 rounds with that filter. All in all, he is my favorite pay up this week and will be my core GPP play in the top tier.
Kuchar saw his ownership peak last week hitting the 30%+ range across many DK contests and those people(including me) got burned as he missed the cut. I am going right back to the well with Kuch for a couple of reasons starting with the fact he hasn't missed back to back cuts since the 2011 season. He doesn't just need to make the cut at these prices, however, and I do believe he is not just a cash-game play this week, but also has upside for GPP's. He has flashed big upside already this season winning twice(Mayakoba Classic, Sony Open) and finishing with a runner-up at the WGC Match Play and RBC Heritage. He also fits the mold of what we are looking for to succeed here at Hamilton. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks 11th in Fairways Gained(via FNGC) and is the only $10K+ golfer ranked inside the Top 90 in that area. In that same 24 round sample size, he is also 6th in SG: Approach, 7th in Par 4 and Par 5 Scoring, and while he ranks 39th in Birdie or Better Gained he is 9th in Opportunities Gained. With a price increase combined with the 30%+ burned by him last week, I feel Kuch is a great play in all formats at a projected much lower ownership than last week.
Mid Tier Targets
I think the first place people will go in this mid-tier is Jim Furyk and that is backed up by the early tag counts on FanShareSports. He leads all golfers in the mid-tier of pricing and while I will have some exposure as he is elite on the short, old-school courses, I will be pivoting most of my GPP exposure to Bud Cauley. He not only has half the tags as Furyk but ranks 8th in my overall model on my sheet(Furyk-18th) and is coming off a season-high T9 at the Memorial where he ranked 22nd in SG: Approach, 10th in SG: Around the Green, and 16th in SG: Putting. While he ranks much lower in Fairways Gained(62nd) he makes up for it with his elite Scrambling(3rd in SG: ATG last 24 rounds) and he also ranks 11th in Opportunities Gained, 31st in Birdies Gained, and 10th in Bogeys Avoided(last 24 rounds). Not that it really matters when projecting results this week, but if you are looking for another reason to feel warm and fuzzy about Cauley he finished T4 here at this even in 2012 the last time it was held at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. *insert shrug emoji*
World Golf Ranking (#83)
Vegas Odds (80/1)
There are two Canadians in the field I am focusing on this week and it starts with Adam Hadwin. He is more of the cash game play for me over Conners and it is simple. He has been much more consistent making 13 of 16 cuts while Conners has made just nine of 18 on the season. The lack of upside for Hadwin can be directly tied to the iron game as he ranks 106th in SG: Approach over the last 24 rounds(85th on my sheet) which has hurt his par 4 scoring and overall birdie opportunities but the good news for cash games is that he ranks Top 20 in Fairways Gained, SG: Off the Tee, and Birdies Gained in that same sample size.
For Conners, I love the discount on DraftKings for a player who has shown us winning upside with a win at the Valero Texas Open and runner up at the Sanderson Farms Championship earlier in the year. Looking at the 24 round sample size, he ranks Top 10 in both SG: Approach and Off the Tee, 29th in SG: Total on shorter Par 70 courses, 26th in Fairways Gained, and while his only 54th in Birdies Gained he is 15th in Opportunities.
World Golf Ranking (#144)
Vegas Odds (80/1)
The first thing that stands out for Watney this week is his form as he is coming off a T8 at the Charles Schwab Challenge and a T22(could have been much better after starting out with a 74 in round 1) last week at the Memorial. He has gained strokes off the tee in 12 of his last 14 rounds and gained fairways in seven of his last 10 rounds overall. He also ranks 21st in this field when looking at Strokes Gained: Total on shorter, Par 70 courses. Statistically, he really pops when looking at approach shots as he is Top 15 in Proximity from 175-200 and 200+ yards on my sheet(full season sample). He is a player I will be considering in all formats at these prices.
World Golf Ranking (#137)
Vegas Odds (140/1)
I am definitely not looking for a ton of upside with this pick but Gay checks enough boxes to be in consideration this week. While he is coming off a missed cut at the Memorial, he has only missed three all year in 19 events(84% cut rate). What stands out the most this week is his accuracy as he is 4th in this field in fairways gained which has also helped him to a 20th rank in Bogeys Avoided in that time. On top of that, he also ranks 14th in SG: Total on shorter Par 70 courses over the last 50 rounds. With his consistent cut making ability, I am leaning more to using him in cash games.
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for six years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in college football, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, NHL and of course PGA. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @Jager_Bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any PGA questions and how he copes with the winters up north.