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Sunday, July 19, 2015

RBC Canadian Open - Preview

While the stars on the PGA TOUR are spending an extra night in Scotland, it's time for us to push forward and begin our research for the RBC Canadian Open with this week's preview. One big thing to note right out of the gates is that this tournament is on a rotation in terms of venues, so make note of that when considering course history.

This year's venue is the familiar Glen Abbey Golf Club. It's a 7,273 yard par 72, designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus. Fireworks can certainly happen late, as three of the four par 5s occur over the last six holes.

You'll also remember that this was the site of Hunter Mahan's WD with the lead just before the third round due to the birth of his first child. Brandt Snedeker went on to win.

Here is a list of the winners and runners-up in this event at this venue since 2004:

  • 2004: Winner - Vijay Singh (275) over Mike Weir in a playoff
  • 2008: Winner - Chez Reavie (267) over Billy Mayfair (270)
  • 2009: Winner - Nathan Green (270) over Retief Goosen in a playoff
  • 2013: Winner - Brandt Snedeker (272) over Jason Bohn, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and William McGirt
Several things pop to mind when looking at this cast of notables and the course.
  • The length of the course is pretty short by current standards for a par-72 layout. That probably explains why some players not known as bombers are populating this list.
  • Because there are four par 5s, length is still a very good thing. Singh and DJ are both noted for what they can (could, in Singh's case) do off the tee, and both have / had the ability to feast on par 5s. 
  • I'll put the most emphasis on what happened in 2013. That is, class rose to the top of the leaderboard. Throw in Hunter Mahan, who was poised to win before his WD, and the best players in this relatively weak field found their way to the top. 
We will spend the next few days gathering the usual data and putting together a power ranking and one-and-done selection. It will likely be Tuesday night before that posts, due to the Monday finish at the Old Course.

Best of luck with your research!

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