What a final day we had at the Open Championship last weekend. Betting aside, I don't think many people would have begrudged Adam Scott his first major but Ernie Els is a big fans favourite aswell. A Scott win would have been nice as he was our big antepost tip (on Twitter) at 25/1 for the US money list and that would have put him right in the mix
It's been a while since we had a big winner in the golf but places are keeping us ticking over and Luke Donald added to Harman (first round leader) and Noren last week. I'm reverting to the old format with five main outright picks for each event covered and this week focus is on the RBC Canadian Open where plenty of value is on offer. Prices seem to be a little all over the place in the aftermath of The Open.
If you would like an idea of how I go about finalising my shortlist and picks, you can see my thinking behind the RBC Canadian Open market and my estimation of a more accurate version of the fair odds here. Odds are compiled to a 100% book.
Unfortuantely we have a new venue this year but a quick look at the course shows you it bears similarities with recent RBC Canadian Open venues. A tree-lined track at under 7000 yards, focus is predominantly on (but not limited to) accurate players and solid ball strikers this week. Scrambling is likely to be a vital stat on a course not expected to offer up an easy test.
2012 RBC Canadian Open Picks
Pick #1: Kevin Na ew @ 60/1 with Hills (Update: Na has withdrawn. JB Holmes is next on the shortlist @ 80/1) Horses for courses and Na fits the profile here. Generally at his best on shorter layouts where accuracy and scrambling are the premium, Na has posted two top 10s in his last four events (if we take the missed cut at The Open Championship out of the equation) with his worst finish a tie for 29th at the US Open. Na ranks 31st in driving accuracy and 26th in scrambling in 2012.
Pick #2: Tim Clark ew @ 66/1 (Ladbrokes) was showing signs of a return to form before last weeks Open Championship. I expected a better performace from the South African who posted a top five at The Travelers. It's more a Clark type course this week at the RBC Canadian Open though and he looks over priced to continue his progress at 66/1. Clark ranks 6th in driving accuracy and sits top 10 in approaches from 100-150 yards.
Pick #3: Ben Curtis ew @70/1 with Bet365. Curtis was prominent on my radar for the John Deere but decided against playing in that event in preparation for the Open Championship. A huge winner for Nicspicks earlier in the year at 150/1, Curtis, who has two other top fives this season gets the nod again for the RBC Canadian Open despite a missed cut last week. With stats reading 4th in driving accuracy, 3rd in strokes gained putting and 8th in par four performance, Ben could be a good fit this week.
Pick #4: Harris English ew @ 90/1 with Bet365 Very much a standout pick for me this week and one who should be close to the top of the betting IMO. A self confessed lover of tree lined courses, Harris has made 80% of cuts this year on tour and comes into the RBC Canadian Open off a confidence boosting performance at his first Open. English ranks 30th in ball striking and a win this season for the rookie wouldn't surprise.
Pick #5: Jimmy Walker ew @ 125/1 (general) is just one of those underrated golfers who is often priced up at odds a lot bigger than he should be. We've benefited from this a few times now on the blog and hopefully we can again this week. 30th in his last outing at the John Deere with three rounds in the sixties, Walker is one of the top putters on tour from close range and may use this to his advantage. Jimmy often excels on tougher tracks and while course isn't ideal for his game, 125/1 is huge. Both he and English should also be given strong consideration for the FRL market.
Please note that trading the golf can be the most profitable and least volatile strategy longterm - learn more here or go directly to the Canadian Open market on the exchanges
The following are some more long odds players worth looking at in the First Round leader market (ew) or with a view to trading:
JB Holmes as mentioned comes into the staking plan instead of Kevin Na (withdrawal). Holmes is in good form this season after some medical problems, most recently posting a 27th place finish at the Greenbrier after a poor final round 74. The FRL market (ew) looks a good option for Holmes (66/1) who often starts fast. Early tee time on day one.
Heath Slocum (100 FRL) and Jeff Maggert (125 FRL) are two players at huge odds that the course will suit. Slocum ranks 2nd in driving accuracy on tour and posted a top 15 at the True South Classic while solid ball striker Maggert has shot two of his last eight rounds in the low sixties.
All three are decent potential big odds back to lay opportunities, currently trading at 75.0, 140.0 and 320.0 respectively.
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