We have an extremely top heavy field this week for the RBC Canadian Open, with five of the top 10 players in the world teeing it up, and very few else to speak of. St. George’s Golf and Country Club is a short par 70 that features five par 3’s and three par 5’s.
Scottie Scheffler was extremely close to claiming his fifth victory of the season at the Charles Schwab Challenge two weeks ago, but uncharacteristically lost 1.82 strokes putting in his final round. For the week, Scheffler gained 11.9 strokes tee-to-green, which was 4.5 strokes more than the winner — Sam Burns — gained. The man is on another planet right now and playing a different sport than everyone else. Scheffler currently has zero weaknesses in his game, and even on a shorter course where his distance off the tee will be mitigated, can still rely on his elite iron play and short game. He ranks No. 1 in this field in SG: Approach over his past 24 rounds and will remain in No. 1 in the rankings as well until further notice.
Rory McIlroy checks in at No. 2 for the second week in a row, getting the slight nod over Justin Thomas for me. This is virtually splitting hairs, but Thomas did miss the cut his last time out at the Charles Schwab Challenge and may be on a slight hangover after his PGA Championship win. McIlroy finished T18 last week despite an awful display of iron play over the weekend. He should bounce right back and is the defending champion at this event, albeit at a different course.
I think it’s officially time to put some respect on Sam Burns’ name. He won the Charles Schwab Challenge after shooting a final round 65, which was his second victory over his previous five starts and the fourth of his career. The man is a stone cold killer and closer. He ranks fourth in this field in Total Strokes Gained over his past 48 rounds, which actually is one spot higher than Scottie Scheffler in that time frame. We know he can light up a scoreboard like few others can thanks to his elite putting (fourth in SG:Putting across his past 48 rounds), so if this event turns into a birdie-fest, watch out.
I am willing to forgive Matt Fitzpatrick for his abhorrent putting performance last week at the Memorial and simply chalk that up as an extreme aberration. He lost over 7.5 strokes putting in two rounds, which I would venture to say is the worst two-round stretch of his career. The good news, however, is that he looked incredible with his ball-striking, gaining over 2.3 strokes both off-the-tee and on approach. He normally bounces right back after a missed cut, so he will check in at No. 6 in the rankings this week.
A couple of long shots who jump into the top-25 this week are Brendon Todd and Pat Perez. Todd ranks No. 1 in this field in SG: Putting over his past 48 rounds and tends to do his best work on shorter par 70 tracks where his lack of distance does not hinder him. Perez has been on a nice run of late, making nine of his past 10 cuts with good recent finishes at both Colonial and the Memorial. Perez also ranks 16th in this field in both SG: Tee-to-Green and Total Strokes Gained over his past 16 rounds.
PGA TOUR Power Rankings
|Harold Varner III
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