Golf Bets

Canadian Open First-Round Leader Tips: Focus on local stars

Canada's c
Mackenzie Hughes is Dave's headline pick

The PGA Tour crosses the border to Canada and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets to be first-round leader at Oakdale Country Club...

  • 80/181.00 Mackenzie Hughes can start fast again at home

  • 28/129.00 Corey Conners has been opening events strongly

  • 50/151.00 Taylor Pendrith can add to the early home surge


Weather forecast for Thursday

It's a mix of sunshine and cloud in the morning while rain could join the battle for the skies later in the day. Temperatures are fairly constant at about 60-65 degrees and wind-speeds are predicted to be steady throughout the day at 7-8mph although it could gust at times. Overall, there doesn't seem to be any a.m./p.m. bias.

Mackenzie Hughes @ 80/181.00

Imagine being a Canadian player this week and finding out your home tournament has once again been disrupted.

In 2020 and 2021, there was no Canadian Open due to the pandemic.

Last year, the tournament became rather overshadowed due to it running alongside the very first LIV event.

And just when it seemed the 2023 edition was going ahead without any distractions we got the bombshell news on Tuesday that the PGA Tour was merging with LIV.

Here's a theory then. The Canadian players will be pretty miffed and therefore extra determined to turn heads and minds back towards the action between the ropes.

So, let's go for a trio of home first-round leaders.

I'll start with Mackenzie Hughes, who was in the top 10 after 18 and second after 36 holes of the recent Byron Nelson Championship.

A month earlier he'd finished 29th at Augusta - adding to a Majors record which shows sixth in the 2021 Open and 15th in that year's US Open - and made the last eight of the WGC-Match Play.

As for his last three goes at this event, he finished eighth in 2018 and has opened with 66s in the last two runnings, the latter putting him fifth on the Thursday leaderboard at St George's.

A winner of October's Sanderson Farms Championship, 80/181.00 Hughes can thrive from his 12.59 tee time.

Back Mackenzie Hughes each way @

80/1

Corey Conners @ 28/129.00

Corey Conners is the obvious Canadian to land on but rightfully so.

The World No. 29 was the first-round leader in the Texas Open at the start of April thanks to a 64 and he rode that all the way to victory.

Three weeks ago he was second after the opening round of the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill and was still in the top two with 18 to go before slipping to 12th.

After a hardly surprising missed cut at Memorial in the wake of being in the heat of contention for Major glory, he should be ready to go again here.

This was an event Conners had struggled in but last year represented a real breakthrough as he shot a final-round 62 to finish sixth.

That turning point and recent strong form could add up to a fast start from his morning tee time of 07.55.

Back Corey Conners each way @

28/1

Taylor Pendrith @ 50/151.00

It didn't work out for Taylor Pendrith at the Presidents Cup - he lost four matches out of four - but clearly just being a part of that team shows the levels he can achieve.

He's not done an awful lot since but despite the slightly flat results he's produced a couple of fast starts.

Pendrith was third after day one of The Players Championship after posting a 67 and a Thursday 65 at the Mexico Open put him fourth.

He also sat eighth at the midway stage of the PGA Championship after a 70-69 start so there are some better signs.

Pendrith has hardly played this event but does show two wins from his last five starts in Canada, both on the Canadian Tour in 2019.

Hopefully he can get the home fans going again. The 50/151.00 shot is an afternoon starter at 13.21.

Back Taylor Pendrith each way @

50/1

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