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History is on the line at the RBC Canadian Open 2018 as Jhonattan Vegas tries to become the first golfer since 2011 to win the same event three times in a row. He’ll contend with a challenging 2018 RBC Canadian Open field that includes the world’s top-ranked player, Dustin Johnson, the favorite at 12-1. Nine golfers are going off at 30-1 RBC Canadian Open odds or shorter, including major champions Brooks Koepka (25-2), Sergio Garcia (30-1) and Bubba Watson (21-1). Before you make your 2018 RBC Canadian Open picks or enter a daily fantasy tournament on FanDuel or DraftKings, you need to see what the team at SportsLine is predicting.
The 16th of 24 contributing events for PGA TOUR Champions One & Done presented by SERVPRO is this week’s Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex. It begins at 2:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, which is 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday on the West Coast. Scroll for tournament notes, 22 notables and five wild cards from the field of 144 in Scotland.
With The Open Championship in the books, we can focus on the last nine tournaments of 2017-18 as a singular frame. They present a sample size small enough for us to maintain thoughts about all of them in our heads at once – at least in theory – but let’s dissect it properly.
Most of the usual suspects will be in our crosshairs for next week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the following week’s PGA Championship. They will then reappear en masse for most of the four FedExCup Playoffs events.
If you pencil in your favorites for each, you should have some morsels for this week’s RBC Canadian Open and the Wyndham Championship in three weeks. I’m holding my breath that Martin Laird commits to next week’s Barracuda Championship where golfers who qualify for the WGC cannot play because the Barracuda is contested concurrently. (Gary Woodland and Brendan Steele also would present strongly in Nevada, but both will be at Firestone.)
The field of 156 at Glen Abbey includes cornerstones Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar. All reside inside the top eight of my Power Rankings. I wouldn’t talk you out of any assuming you’ve mapped out the remainder of the season accordingly. Only Snedeker remains available to me, but I’ve earmarked him as a possibility for the Wyndham.
Brooks Koepka is back after a two-year hiatus since his close call as a debutant in 2015. He’ll have zero issues with the challenge, and he’s still on my board, but I’m saving him for one of the next two tournaments. Among the elite, he’s as electrifying as any on the biggest stages.
This opens the door – finally – for Joaquin Niemann. After cementing his TOUR card for 2018-19 via the non-member route, he received a special invitation for the PGA Championship on Tuesday of this week. The 19-year-old from Chile has been as quick a study as Jon Rahm two years ago, but Niemann went about his craft competing in professional events in his homeland regularly as an amateur. His unintentional transition from attending and playing collegiately at USF to instant success at the highest level of professional golf is the kind of mythical twist reserved for legends. But for now at Glen Abbey, he’ll attack a vulnerable par 72 that has yielded the most eagles of any course in each of the last five seasons it’s hosted the tournament.
I’m advising sitting out Kevin Kisner, Ian Poulter, Tommy Fleetwood and Bubba Watson in favor of spots in the last eight events. Two-time defending champion Jhonattan Vegas has course history on his side, naturally, but even those swinging for the fences are unlikely to connect, much less threaten the warning track.
SportsLine’s proprietary golf projection model, built by predictive data engineer and DFS pro Mike McClure, has called four of the last seven majors heading into the weekend, including Patrick Reed’s career-defining victory at the 2018 Masters.
McClure was also all over Tiger Woods’ stunning run at the 2018 British Open, saying it was the major he had the best chance to contend in this year. Woods hadn’t finished in the top 10 in a major since 2013, but he held the outright lead at the British Open and finished with an impressive sixth-place finish.
One surprising pick from the model for the RBC Canadian Open 2018: Ian Poulter, a 40-1 longshot, makes a serious run at the title.
Poulter missed the cut at the British Open last week, but finished in the top 25 in five of his six previous events, including a win at the Houston Open. And he played Glen Abbey Golf Club extremely well last year, firing four rounds under 70 on his way to an impressive 20-under par and a third place finish. He’s a strong value you should be all over for the RBC Canadian Open 2018.
Another shocker: Brooks Koepka, the back-to-back U.S. Open champion, fails to finish in the top three even though Vegas gives him the second-best odds in the entire 2018 RBC Canadian Open field.
Koepka fell out of contention at the British Open with a third-round 75, eventually setting for 39th after being in the hunt heading into the weekend. He has played this course competitively just once in his career in 2015, finishing 18th. Despite his past achievements, there are far better values than the 25-2 RBC Canadian Open odds he’s getting.
The model has also identified four other sleepers with odds of 30-1 or longer who are set to make a serious run for the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins the 2018 RBC Canadian Open? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full RBC Canadian Open projected leaderboard from the model that has nailed four of the last seven majors heading into the weekend and was all over Tiger Woods’ surprising run at the British Open, and find out.