Canadian Open: Be wary of the weary, says The Punter

Can Patrick Reed and Justine, his caddy wife, bag a tournament win in Canada?

Fresh from bagging the Open winner, our man takes a look at this week's PGA Tour action in Canada, where many of the leading lights could be suffering from Muirfield fatigue. Read Steve's preview here...

"Patrick and his caddie, wife Justine, make a great team and they've been showing up on leaderboards with regularity just lately. I'm fed up with missing them from the off and cursing the fact so on a course where a fast start is hugely beneficial, I'm not going to risk missing another one from the Reeds."

Tournament History
Dating right back to 1904, the RBC Canadian Open is one of the oldest tournaments in the world. It used to be a really big event but now wedged between the Open Championship and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational the fields aren't as strong as they once were - although this week's is far from weak.


Venue
Glen Abbey Golf Course, Oakville, Ontario


Course Details
Par 72, 7,253yards
Stroke Index in 2009 - 70.82
Glen Abbey was the first course Jack Nicklaus designed on his own and it opened for business in 1976. It has staged this championship on 25 previous occasions and the last time was in 2009.

The fairways are of average width and the bentgrass greens are of average size, and they'll be running at around 11 on the stimpmeter.


Useful Sites
Event Site
Course Details
Course Map
Hole by Hole Guide
Twitter Link
Tee Times
Weather Forecast


TV Coverage
Live on Sky, starting at 8.00pm on Thursday


Last Five Winners
2013 - Scott Piercy - 17
2011 - Sean O'Hair -4 (playoff)
2010 - Carl Pettersson -18
2009 - Nathan Green -18 (playoff)
2008 - Chez Reavie -17


What will it take to win the RBC Canadian Open?
No stats stand-out around Glen Abbey, though I'd slightly favour accuracy over power. Billy Andrade ranked first for driving accuracy and putting in 1998, Woods topped the driving distance stats in 2000 and nobody hit more greens in regulation than Vijay Singh when he won in 2004. The last three winners at Glen Abbey have all ranked inside the top-ten for putting 


Is there an angle in?
It's never easy to know what to make of those appearing in an event the week after playing in a major but I think a lot depends on how tough the major was. Muirfield was certainly tough last week and anyone that played all four days must be feeling jaded both physically and mentally and I'd be inclined to think twice about backing anyone that made the weekend at the Open.


In-Play Tactics
On the back of what I've just written, I was sorely tempted to lay all the market leaders from the off and take it from there, as I really can see an outsider winning, but I was put off by the thought that I may not be able to get out of a muddle if I'm wrong and a number of the market leaders start well...

Glen Abbey is definitely not a catch-up course and a fast start looks essential.  There have been six renewals at Glen Abbey since 1998 and Tiger Woods (in 2000) is the only winner to have been further than two back at halfway. 

After analysing the hole averages from 2008 and 2009, the toughest section of the course is at the start of the back-nine and in both years, the 14th was the hardest hole. After that, the players can pick up a few shots.

The 15th is a simple enough par 3 and the 16th and 18th are now both par 5s (the 16th played as a par 4 in 2008) and they ranked as the two easiest holes on the course in 2009. 


Market Leaders
There's been early money for favourite, Brandt Snedeker, and I'm not in the least bit surprised. He was in fine form at the Open last week and but for a disastrous back-nine on Friday he'd have been fighting out the finish with Phil. He's played Glen Abbey once, in 2009 and he finished 5th. His chance his obvious but his price isn't generous now.

After his runner-up finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and his win at the Memorial Tournament, Matt Kuchar has gone off the boil a little. He finished 4th in the event back in 2010 but he missed the cut on his only visit to this venue.

Hunter Mahan is surely going to struggle to lift himself after Sunday's weak finish at Muirfield and I'd be very surprised if he figures - although he did finish 4th here on his only Glen Abbey appearance in 2004.

Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Bubba Watson all trade below 30.029/1 but all five played last week and I'm more than happy to swerve them before the off.


Selection
As highlighted earlier, a fast start appears essential at Glen Abbey and I've decided to wait until the end of round one before getting involved properly but I have backed one player - Patrick Reed.

Patrick and his caddie, wife Justine, make a great team and they've been showing up on leaderboards with regularity just lately. I'm fed up with missing them from the off and cursing the fact so on a course where a fast start is hugely beneficial, I'm not going to risk missing another one from the Reeds.

Selection
Patrick Reed @ 150.0149/1

I'll be back on Friday morning with a look at the state of play after round one.


*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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