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RBC Canadian Open 2024: Best Bets and Course Preview

May 29, 2024

Table of Contents

Last week was a doozy of a golf tournament. Fresh off a newborn baby and an arrest outside of Valhalla Golf Club, Scottie Scheffler entered another tournament and finished tied for second, while Davis Riley finally won his first individual PGA Tour event at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Colonial Country Club was revamped and tested out to much aplomb, with plenty of the field noting that the renovation was a massive plus in terms of testing their skill level.

We head from Dallas, Texas to north of the border now, as the RBC Canadian Open will take us to (you guessed it) Canada, specifically Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Nick Taylor is your defending champion here, but Rory McIlroy is the player who won this event the last time it was hosted at Hamilton in 2019, so he, in effect, is the man to beat.

Let’s dive into my inaugural Rithmm Best Bets & Course Preview for the RBC Canadian Open and get ready to hit some golf wagers.

RBC Canadian Course Preview

Hamilton is one of the beautiful tests of golf, a course that has been featured plenty on lists of Canada’s best courses. It’s a Par 70, sitting at 7,084 yards but offering plenty of difficulty tests to make up for its lack of severe length. I encourage everyone to check out this tweet from Eric Patterson, who played Hamilton recently and compared the new course to 2019, pre-renovation:

The course offers an intriguing mix of elevated tee boxes, with holes playing both downhill and uphill to challenge players. Adding to this, the strategy is not just simple as you have one club you’re supposed to hit for each shot, you can have a mix of strategy ideas off the tee, given the narrow fairways that rank as the tenth-narrowest on the PGA Tour.

Since the renovation after the 2019 tournament, one thing has been clear: there are a lot more tight runoffs surrounding the greens. Now, every single hole is surrounded by short grass, to make hitting the green in regulation even more paramount. The greens have been changed from a Bentgrass/Poa blend to 100% bentgrass that should run about a 12 on the Stimpmeter, so golfers need to be accurate on approach.

The renovation also sought to add to the difficulty of the course while opening things up a bit, so tree removal, as well as the additions and subtractions of bunkers around the property, serve as ways to spice things up. The rough was lengthened for this reason, so with the fairways being as narrow as they are, you really need to strategize your way around.

Rithmm Models used for RBC Canadian Open Best Bets

In every tournament preview, we’ll be diving into Rithmm’s proprietary model to help you build the best betting model for that week’s course! Rithmm has its own AI model that it generates based on thousands of sims, but you also might want to build your own model, so that’s what this section is for.

When we get into Rithmm’s modeling aspect, it has five customizable sliders that you can mess around with: Recent Performance, Par 5 Performance, Par 4 Performance, Par 3 Performance, and Course Fit. You can adjust these to your heart’s content, and make it reflect the way you see the important stats.

My model for the RBC Canadian Open is below:

When we look at Hamilton GCC, the first thing that stands out is that there are only two Par 5s on this Par 70 track. That, coupled with both of them being under 600 yards and relatively reachable means that we’re putting very little emphasis on Par 5 Performance this week.

On the opposite side, Par 4 Performance is very important here. With 12 Par 4s ranging from 346 yards to over 500 yards, you want to find some places to score on these, especially that 340 yard one that could definitely be driveable for some of the bigger hitters. 

Par 3 Performance should definitely be noted as three of the four Par 3s are over 205 yards, so you want guys that can get it close on these bigger greens. 

Lastly, we have Recent Performance and Course Fit both in that medium-high bucket, as we always want to target golfers who are in solid form entering the week and you need to find the golfers who fit this course the best. Whether that’s based on previous performance (looking at 2019 results) or whether their metrics work, it’s very important.

Best Betting Picks for RBC Canadian Open 2024

It’s time to build our Rithmm betting card for this week. We’re going to go into each of Rithmm’s favorite picks for Top 20/10/5 based on my model, and whether I agree or disagree with it.

Top 20: Aaron Rai +150 (53.0% Rithmm Win Probability)

Rai has been playing some inspired golf lately, with two top-30 finishes as well as a T4 in his last three events. He’s my model’s second-ranked player in this field and he also finished T3 at 2023’s RBC Canadian, albeit at a different course. Rai is a solid bentgrass putter, and although he tends to struggle with undulated greens and tight chipping lies, I’ll agree with this play given his run of form and the odds we’re getting.

Top 10: Maverick McNealy +330 (30.7%)

McNealy has proved to have a solid floor when playing in fields that aren’t stacked this season, so I’m relatively tempted to take him at this number when Rithmm is backing him so staunchly. However, much of how he finishes will depend on his approach play, which has tended to be a bit iffy on a weekly basis. McNealy is very solid around the greens, and I think that will help him here, but if he wants that top 10, he needs his irons to be on point. With him only gaining on approach in 4/14 tournaments this season, I’m going to fade this play.

Top 5: Adam Hadwin +1000 (12.9%)

Hadwin finished sixth here in 2019 and might be one of my three favorite plays this week, so I’m agreeing with this pick and will be taking it as well as an outright on him, which you can currently find at 55/1. The last time Canadian golf fans saw him, he was getting full-on tackled by a security guard after Nick Taylor won last year. How awesome would it be if his latest memory for fans was hoisting a trophy as the second Canadian in a row to take home this title?

Outright Winner Pick for Canadian Open: Corey Conners +2500 (5.6%)

This is Rithmm’s recommendation, and I’m going along with it as well. Conners hasn’t had the most sparkling history at this event, and he did miss the cut here in 2019, but I believe he’s been warming up the last few weeks.

He has three top 25 finishes in his last three starts and he’s been gaining an absurd amount of strokes to the field on approach lately, nearly two per round in his last three events. Just eight players rank above-average in SG: Ball Striking, Driving Accuracy, and SG: T2G on Comp Courses, per John Haslbauer, with Conners being one of them, and I do believe this is the site of his next victory.

Best Round 1 Pick (AI Caddie)

The AI Caddie is an awesome Rithmm tool that allows you to go hole by hole with any player you choose and it will show you a chart of how likely that player is versus the field to get any score on a hole.

Closing Remarks

The RBC Canadian Open promises an exciting challenge at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. I hope that my best bets & course preview gives you all the insights and predictions needed to make informed wagers.

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