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Sunday, July 21, 2013

RBC Canadian Open - Preview

The RBC Canadian Open returns to Glen Abbey Golf Course, the most played venue in the rotation. We can use the term rotation a bit loosely, since Glen Abbey hosted every year from 1977 to 2000, with only two exceptions. The most recent two trips to Gen Abbey were in 2008 and 2009. In '08, Chez Reavie hoisted the hardware and Nathan Green followed suit in 2009.

While this is one of the oldest tournaments in the world, it's a tournament that has lost some luster over the years. Some of it is due to the spot on the schedule, played the week after The Open Championship and the week before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. It's the perfect time to for elite players to take a break. That is, unless you wear the RBC logo on your sleeve; in which case you'll show up for at least two rounds.

If you look back at the winners at Glen Abbey over time, there are some big names. Lee Trevino won here in 1977 and '79, Greg Norman in '84 and '92, Curtis Strange in '87, Nick Price in '91 and '94, Mark O'Meara in '95, Hal Sutton in '99, Tiger Woods famously in 2000 and Vijay Singh in 2004.

Perhaps more telling are the wins of Reavie and Green. Both of these guys were probably a step below the rank-and-file when they won. That's due in large part to the strength of the field.

Since a high percentage of players teeing it up this week have never played Glen Abbey, my vote would be to factor form heavily. I'll make one exception. As tempting as David Hearn will be this week, back off. This is a major for him, with plenty of pressure on winning this event as his national championship. A Canadian hasn't won here since 1954, and you can bet Mike Weir really wanted it.

In my preparation I will see if there are correlations between guys who are hot right now and guys who showed up on the 2008 and 2009 leaderboards. If so, I would expect that you will know about it in tomorrow's power rankings.

Until then, happy research!

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