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RBC Canadian Open PGA Expert Picks

RBC Canadian Open PGA Expert Picks

RBC CANADIAN OPEN PGA EXPERT PICKS – We are headed north of the border for the Canadian Open this week. My co-host on the Clubhouse Picks podcast wrote up a very detailed preview of the course and field, so I can skip all of that fun stuff.

On the podcast, we discussed the biggest news in the golf world in at least the last couple of years, when the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and the PIF announced a strategic partnership which will drop any pending litigation between the LIV and PGA and, potentially, form a pathway towards a more unified worldwide golf landscape due to a massive infusion of funds from the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund.

Enough about that, we have bets to win before the year’s next major when we will be headed to Los Angeles for the US Open at the L.A. Country Club.

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, June 7, 2023

The Driver (Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton)

These are the guys who are at the top of the leaderboard, usually at +2000 or better. They are the favorites for a reason, and though we don’t always bet them, these are our favorite bets from the top of the board.

Tyrrell Hatton (+1100)

Both of us are bypassing the heavy favorite in Rory McIlroy. The distractions for him are well-documented this week, and if he wasn’t the defending champion, I suspect he would just rest to get ready for the US Open next week.

So we set our eyes on some of the guys who are at least in double digits. We’ve discussed often in this column and on the podcast that there are some guys who just feel inevitable when it comes to collecting a win this season. And that’s certainly the case for Hatton as he’s done all but absolutely kick the door down while having a stellar 2022-23 campaign.

Hatton is 3rd in SG: Total behind only the otherworldly performances of Scottie and Jon Rahm this season, for starters.  He just hits so many solid iron shots and putts so well that it’s easy to see him piling up birdies in a hurry here. He hasn’t finished outside the top-20 since Harbour Town, the week after the Masters, and he’s plugged a couple of top-5s in there for good measure. His season was really good even before that when he was collecting top-5s at both Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass.

The form is there and he’s a guy who can definitely excel on this course if he can maintain some semblance of composure when he doesn’t birdie every hole.


The Irons (Lee Hodges, Sahith Theegala)

Our reliable players. You can usually find these heroes in the 20/1-80/1 range. They’re reliable and often a good bet for top-5, top-10, or top-20 props if you’re not feeling especially frisky.

Sahith Theegala (+2500)

I was probably a little bit ambitious with my decision to slide non-winner, Lee Hodges into this slot, so we’ll discuss Jack’s selection of Sahith.

It’s difficult to quantify Theegala and he’s one of the only players in the game that sort of defies conventional metrics with his results. For a long time, I was of the opinion that he could struggle on courses that demanded accuracy off the tee. But now I’m starting to think that his unorthodox game and, especially his short game, can travel just about anywhere.

Our guy Sahith hasn’t notched a victory yet, but it feels imminent, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens here or next week or at any other tournament he enters this season. He’s just that uniquely talented.

He hasn’t missed the cut in 18 straight events, even though he’s coming off an unremarkable performance at the Memorial. His price is getting shorter as the season wears on, but it will happen for him and soon.

The Wedges (Michael Kim, Keith Mitchell)

We bet on these guys all the time and they never seem to actually win. Nevertheless, we’re enamored with what they bring to the table and will ride with them for as long as it takes. 

Keith Mitchell (+4000)

We aren’t entirely sure how this course is going to play. Most of the early indications are that this is a course that prizes accuracy off the tee because it’s rather short by Tour standards with fairly long rough.

However, if this is a course that can be overpowered, even just a little bit, by someone swinging a hot driver, look no further than Cashmere Keith. He’s elite off the tee, ranking 3rd in total driving which is a stat that averages distance and fairway accuracy. He can be shaky with his irons, but this might not be the course that tests him given that he will rarely have more than a wedge in his hands for most of the par fours.

He hasn’t missed a cut in nearly two months, but he hasn’t posted stellar results either. He’s been erratic of late in that he posts two or three good rounds and mixes in one bad one that absolutely torpedoes his chances. He’s a pretty good price because of that and his results might not be indicative of how good some of his other stats are.

If this course is vulnerable to someone very long and straight off the tee, Keith Mitchell can get it done at better odds than you’ll find other elite drivers.

The Putter (Vincent Norrman, Aaron Rai)

Bet regret. We fired off these bets in the heat of the moment, then we pondered them a little while longer. Now we’re wondering if that money would’ve been better spent on literally anything else. 

Vincent Norrman (+8000)

I do this all the time. I really should learn my lesson and stop falling in love with weird bombers on courses that don’t look to be somewhere they’ll be able to feast. Norrman goes against basically everything that I think will be rewarded at this course.

In some ways, this is a little bit of a hedge because we just have so little information about Oakdale. What you’re getting with Norrman is a guy who is really long off the tee and converts those drives into a lot of greens in regulation.

He’s not a good putter. Additionally, he has great GIR numbers but not great SG: Approach figures which is a little bit of a head-scratcher.

That being said, he’s on a pretty good stretch of golf lately with four consecutive made cuts of which three have been top-20s and two have been top-10s.

Do I think he can win right now? Probably not. At 80/1 am I willing to roll the dice a little bit on talent and recent results alone? You’re damn right I am.

The Hybrid (Aaron Cockerill, Patton Kizzire)

This is our fun long shot that could make us all rich. Or not. It’s tough to hit these, but it’s a damn good time sweating them if they’re in contention. Tread lightly on these guys, but sometimes miracles happen.

Aaron Cockerill (+20000)

This is where I tell you all about a Euro dude that you’ve never heard of. Let us commence. Aaron Cockerill is the Canadian that we had to include to end the nearly century long drought of native winners of the Canadian Open. Sure, there are better choices, but they aren’t listed at odds as awesome as these.

Cockerill is a guy who probably doesn’t have the raw firepower to keep up with the big dogs in many PGA Tour events. He plays mostly on the DP World Tour where the courses are more suited to his style of play.

He’s short but accurate off the tee, which should serve him well here given the length of the course. He’s going to find fairways, and if he can manage to find a green, he’s an elite putter.

He’s stacking a ton of good results on the DP World Tour and hasn’t finished outside the top-25 in a tournament over there since the end of March. Most recently, he’s coming off a t-10 at the Soudal Open.

He’s playing well abroad, maybe he can find something here and show out in front of his countrymen as the deepest of long shots.

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