After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RBC Canadian Open returns this week, taking place at St. George’s Golf & Country Club (par 70, 7,014 yards, bentgrass greens) in Toronto, Ontario. This will be the venue’s sixth time hosting this event, with 2010 Canadian Open being the only PGA TOUR tournament at St. George’s in the new millennium. That year, Carl Pettersson took home the top prize at -14.
St. Georges is a tree-lined course that is littered with bunkers — 104 on site to be exact. The fairways are also very tight, and the rough is penalizing. With a doubt, this makes St. George’s a venue that favors accuracy over distance, which was evident in Pettersson’s win in 2010, when he ranked 10th in fairways found and 57th in driving distance. Like any course, being dialed in with your irons and finding a groove with your flat stick will also be essential to contend at St. George’s. When Pettersson picked up his win at this track 12 years ago, he ranked 20th and 3rd in SG APP and SGP, respectively.
It is important to note St. George’s isn’t a traditional par 70. Instead of the classic 12 par 4s and only two par 5s, this par 70 is home to 10 par 4s, three par 5s and five par 3s, four of which land between 200-225 yards. Rarely in fantasy golf do we need to focus on par-3 play, but this week is an exception. Avoiding blow ups on these long par 3s will be pivotal, as we saw during Pettersson’s victory in 2010 when he finished the tournament fifth in par 3 efficiency. Additionally, Patterson ranked second in par 5 efficiency that week, and taking advantage of these scoreable par 5s will certainly be critical to climbing the leaderboard at St. George’s again this time around.
With the U.S. Open beginning next week, the Canadian Open’s field is predictably very weak. Five of the top 10 ranked golfers in the world are expected to compete, but after that, there is a significant drop off in talent for this full field of 156 players. Those high-priced golfers should have a huge advantage considering their competition this week, and to roster some of those studs, we must take some gambles in the lower half of this player pool. So, without further ado, below I break down some of the my favorite DraftKings value plays for the Canadian Open that are priced less than $7.5K.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,400) – Grillo comes into this week as the maker of his last four cuts. During this streak, the professional out of Argentina gained strokes from T2G in every start and shot even par or better in 11 of his 16 rounds. Also, Grillo has been outstanding on 200-225 yard par 3s this season, ranking 16th in efficiency on this specific length of hole. With four of the five par 3s at St. George’s landing in this range, this obviously bodes extremely for Grillo’s chances in Toronto this week, and he needs to be backed at this low price tag.
David Lipsky ($7,300) – After a rough fall swing, Lipsky has been terrific in the new year, making 11 of 14 cuts with five top-25 finishes. The 33-year-old comes into this week gaining strokes with his irons in six of his last seven starts, including a T6 showing at the Mexico Open, in which Lipsky gained a field-best 10 strokes on APP. On top of his impressive work with his irons, Lipsky ranks sixth in SG on par fives, 17th in BOB% and 15th in fairways gained over his past 24 rounds. Lipsky has all the tools to shine at St. George’s and is one of the best values on the board at this soft salary.
Stephan Jaegar ($7,300) – Jaegar missed the weekend at the Charles Schwab Challenge in his last start, but St. George’s is the perfect place for him to get back on track. The 33-year-old boasts positive career putting splits on bentgrass and has been one of the top par-3 players on the PGA TOUR this season, ranking T9 in par 3 performance. Plus, Jaegar was in the midst of a great run before missing the cut at Colonial CC, finishing T15, T6 and T38, in that order, while positively producing strokes from T2G, on APP and ARG in all of these starts. Jaeger is a real threat for a top-20 finish in this weak field and is guaranteed to come with little to no rostership.
Editor’s Note: Adam Schenk has withdrawn from the RBC Canadian Open.
Adam Schenk ($6,900) – Even in the brutal conditions at Muirfield Village this past weekend, Schenk had the best ball-striking performance of his career, gaining 9.2 strokes from T2G and 7.4 strokes on APP, en route to a very respectable T26 finish. Including a T9 at the Wells Fargo Championship last month, Schenk has now advanced to the weekend in four of his past five starts. Furthermore, the Purdue product has quietly been an elite player on bentgrass over the last few years, missing only one cut in his last 16 attempts at venue’s that possess this type of putting surface. At this sub-$7K salary, it’s hard to argue against Scehnk this week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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