RBC Canadian Open: Bubba can blast rivals

Bubba Watson could be in for a big week
Bubba Watson could be in for a big week

Dave Tindall, who landed more each-way profits with 55/1 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar and T6 Alex Noren last week, previews the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey...

"T6 at Memorial (a Jack Nicklaus design, as is Glen Abbey) was a reminder of his talents and he's made all three cuts in July."

Main Bet: Back Bubba Watson @ 31.030/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 7 places


Main Bet: Back Bubba Watson each-way @ 30/1

The position of Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar at the front of the betting prompts an obvious first question: can you win the Canadian Open a week after contesting the Open Championship?

As well as being mentally drained, those teeing it up in Canada have a time difference to deal with too. On first glance, participation at Royal Birkdale would seem an obvious negative.

And yet, two of the last three winners at Glen Abbey - this week's venue - had played in The Open. And, what's more, the two players in question lifted the trophy in Canada having finished fourth and T11 respectively on the links a week earlier.

Jason Day had come within an inch of making a play-off at St. Andrews before he made amends in Canada a week later so Kuchar shouldn't be ruled out on the grounds of mental letdown or heartache after he led The Open with five holes to play before being Spiethed.

Kuchar could well run into a place this week but the Open player I like best here is Bubba Watson.

With the weather turning horrid at Royal Birkdale on Friday, it was quite a surprise to see Bubba have so much fight in him.

The left-hander has never managed a top 20 in an Open and had missed four of his previous eight cuts so it clearly was an event which troubled him.

But Watson battled away to finish T27 and I think he can take the positives from that performance to Glen Abbey this week.

He's still not found anywhere near the form which won him two Masters titles in three years but T6 at Memorial (a Jack Nicklaus design, as is Glen Abbey) was a reminder of his talents and he's made all three cuts in July and shot six of his last 12 rounds in the 60s.

I have a feeling that if Bubba gets the right course, he could do something big again. He'd finished third at Memorial on his last but one start there so had a comfort level at Muirfield Village and his last appearance at Glen Abbey resulted in him finishing runner-up to Day in 2015.

Add in a decent performance in 2013 and Bubba has form of 21-2 at the par 72.

He should be able to demolish the four par 5s and, in fact, there's no need to speculate on that. In 2015 he played the four gettable long holes in a combined 16-under, the best in the field by three shots.

Surprisingly, Bubba topped the Putting Average stats at Royal Birkdale so the signs are good that he can cash in on the big-hitting and hole the eagle and birdie putts at Glen Abbey that will turn a contender into a winner.

Similar arguments can be applied to DJ, who has finished runner-up on his last two starts at this venue. He played the five pars in a combined 26-under across those two events but he still didn't look right at Royal Birkdale and obviously his price is 6/1 compared to Bubba's 30s.


Next Best: Back J.B. Holmes e/w @ 50/1

Another big hitter that looks value this week is JB Holmes at 50/1.

He's played in just three Canadian Opens but finished T16 and T15 in two of them, the former coming at Glen Abbey even if it was back in 2009.

Holmes got three rounds in here in 2015 after making the first cut line with 69-70 before a Saturday 76 did for him.

Checking back through the stats, he ranked 3rd in the Par 5 stats (-12) in 2009 so, again, there is evidence he can smash into this easy set of par 5s.

The American didn't really wow anyone at Royal Birkdale but he plugged away to finish T54 and before that had finished in the top 10 at the Greenbrier Classic (T9).

Two starts earlier, Holmes was T12 in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills so he's dropped recent hints that he'll thrive somewhere soon.

After his 66 at the Greenbrier, he said: "Played great really. Left a few out there. Didn't make as many putts as I would've like to, but I hit it great. I hit almost all the greens, and when I didn't hit the green I hit it close."

At the US Open, Holmes noted: "All aspects of my game are pretty solid. I've been putting really good. Irons have been good, and driving well."

Overall, the 50/1 seems a very fair price for a player who could easily be 33/1 in a field of this strength.

At the same price, also Chad Campbell makes appeal.

The former Ryder Cup star's T18 at the Barbasol last week was his third straight top 20 and fifth in seven starts. The only problem is that the best of those is T9 so he's become slightly frustrating.

It's a similar story with his Glen Abbey form - close but no cigar.

He's played the course four times and finished 26-11-16-26 so he'll be good for fantasy teams but may just fall short again for punters.


Final Bet: Back Charley Hoffman e/w @ 25/1

I can't pretend the 25/1 about Charley Hoffman is a great price but the bottom line is that I think he'll win soon and there's every chance it'll be here.

Hoffman is another of those flying back across the Atlantic after four rounds at Royal Birkdale.

The shaggy-haired 40-year-old had a good week on the Lancashire links, shooting bookend 68s to finish T20. That's a PB in the Open Championship and means he's now made the top 25 in all three majors this year.

As well as his eighth place in the US Open, Hoffman registered T3 in the Travelers Championship the following week and he's now up to 38 in the world rankings.

It's not a surprise to find that he boasts course form too at Glen Abbey.

Hoffman was T28 on his first visit in 2008, added T16 in 2013 (fifth with a round to go) and improved again to T7 on his last start there two years ago.

In 2015, Hoffman was -13 for the par 5s (third best) so he'll have a similar gameplan this time and, given his current form, there's every chance he'll act it out the way he wants to.

At three-figure odds, a couple of veterans could get involved.

Retief Goosen was a runner-up in Puerto Rico earlier this year and took T12 in the Barbasol last week. He was second at Glen Abbey in 2009 and also T10 (2012) and T12 (2014) in more recent editions of this event elsewhere.

Alex Cejka was T15 at the Barbasol and T9 in the Greenbrier two starts before. Add that to his T5 at Glen Abbey last year and the 150/1 quickly becomes appealing.

The pair are also worth a look in the top 10 market at 12/1 and 16/1 respectively.

As for the locals, David Hearn was T3 in 2015 and has some solid recent form.

He makes more appeal than Adam Hadwin (gone off the boil, shot 83 on Friday at Royal Birkdale) and Graham DeLaet, whose Glen Abbey form reads: MC-WD-MC-46.

Dave's 2016/17 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £1040
Returned: £2061.68
P/L: +£1021.68

(After the Open Championship)

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