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Sunday, July 20, 2014

RBC Canadian Open - Preview

The RBC Canadian Open returns to Royal Montreal (Blue) for the first time since Scott Verplank's 2001 victory. That in and of itself would suggest that course history can be thrown out the window. Add to that, the course was touched up by Rees Jones in 2004 and 2005. The only action we've seen at Royal Montreal since was the 2007 Presidents Cup.

So what do we know about the course? It's a 7,153 yard par-70 layout with a pair of par 5s and four par 3s. Simple math means there are 12 par 4s, thus heightening the importance of par 4 scoring average. While there are some photos on the course's website from each hole, there is not a flyover tour that I've seen. The greens are Bentgrass, and the rough is Kentucky bluegrass.

In terms of research, my approach is to keep it simple this week. I will focus on standard stats such as Greens In Regulation, Strokes Gained-Putting, Par Breakers and Par 4 Scoring average, but will put the most weight on current form.

An interesting dynamic in play this week, there are many players on TOUR currently on the bubble of the top 125 or well outside of the magic number for full status in 2014-15. Those players are now down to three starts, and in some cases two, to keep a card. That's added pressure on at least half the field this week.

A little change of schedule, this week's Power Ranking will publish on Tuesday evening rather than Monday due to a personal schedule conflict.

Until then, happy research!

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