RBC Canadian Open Power Rankings
Patrick Cantlay kicked things up a notch Sunday to outrun the field, and poor Martin Kaymer, by two shots. A charging Adam Scott fell just short and has to wonder what else he could have done to win his first event since 2016. Cantlay was flawless, firing an eight-under, bogey-free 64 to win his third PGA Tour event and vault up to eighth in the OWGR. Things are looking up for the California native headed into next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Peach.
The last week to shake off any rust prior to the year’s third major will come at the RBC Canadian Open, which is contested at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario for the first time since 2012. The course is 6,966 yards and a par 70. Dustin Johnson won by three shots last year. This week’s event will feature a top-heavy field in advance of the U.S. Open with Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Brooks Koepka all teeing up.
10. Justin Thomas
Thomas is a late entrant into this event after missing the cut with a horrific back nine Friday at the Memorial. He looked fresh, however, coming off of his recent wrist injury and actually had it to one-under before blowing up a little late Friday afternoon last week. He comes in this week ranked fifth on tour in SG: Total and SG: Tee to Green and sixth in SG: Approach the Green. All of those numbers should prove helpful during his first trip around a track that requires precision.
9. Henrik Stenson
Stenson has been grooving as of late as well, having not missed a cut since The Players Championship and starting to pose a threat week in and out like we are accustomed to. He is the best approach-shot player on tour, currently gaining over 1.2 shots per round so far this season. His ability to drive the ball straight and hit accurate approach shots will be important this week on one of the tour’s shorter tracks. Look for him to gear up for the U.S. Open with a steady week north of the border.
8. Sergio Garcia
With top 10s in three of his last five events, Garcia is sure to be a popular pick in Canada this week. And for good reason, too. The Spaniard has turned things around dramatically since starting the year out skidding. He’s second on tour in SG: Approach the Green, 11th in SG: Around the Green, 13th in SG: Total, and 12th in scoring average. Look for the good times to roll for Garcia up in Ontario this week.
7. Webb Simpson
Simpson has missed only one cut since last year’s Travelers Championship. He has never played in Canada before but has been feeling it this season on the PGA Tour. He also possesses the stats necessary to succeed on this track. Webb is 18th in SG: Total to go along with ranking 20th in SG: Tee to Green, 11th in SG: Around the Green, and eighth in scoring average. Call this a hunch, but this course should fit his eye nicely.
6. Jim Furyk
Furyk loves the Great White North. The Canadian Open’s all-time money list leader won this event in 2006 and 2007. This will be his ninth consecutive appearance here and record 17th total. All of his course history aside, the soon-to-be Ryder Cup captain has been having a renaissance season highlighted by a second-place finish at The Players Championship. Look for him to add to his winnings at the RBC this week.
5. Scott Piercy
Piercy continues to have an absolute resurgence of a season on the PGA Tour. He won the last time this tournament was played at Hamilton in 2012. He will be looking for his seventh top-10 finish of the season, and he will do so on a course where he’s played four times and finished in the top 25 once. Piercy checks in at eighth on tour in Greens in Regulation Percentage as well as 21st in Driving Accuracy Percentage, stats that will serve him well this weekend.
4. Matt Kuchar
Kuchar is starting to move up the elite top-10 class into the tier of players who possess great tournament history and recent form. Despite another controversial weekend, Kuchar continues to lead the FedExCup. He had four consecutive top 10s here between 2013-2016, highlighted by a second-place finish in 2013. He’s seventh in SG: Around the Green, 12th in SG: Total, and first in Greens in Regulation Percentage. Kuchar checks all the boxes this week despite last week’s missed cut in Ohio.
3. Brooks Koepka
I am hesitant to pick Kopeka to win this week since he seems to have a hard time getting up for non-major events, but his form is just too good to ignore. Although he has only played here twice in 2015 (18th) and last year (MC), he is currently a much different and more confident player. He will use this as a tune-up, but a tune-up from the number one player in the world should still yield a nice result, if not a win.
2. Rory McIlroy
His missed cut last weekend was highly unexpected and is a perfect example of what makes handicapping professional golf such a humbling profession. McIlroy is still the hottest player on the planet and is still looking for his unparalleled 10th top-10 finish of the season. Don’t let one poor result scare you away, as this is still the McIlroy we know and love. He remains ranked first in SG: Tee to Green, SG: Off the Tee, and eagles but fell all the way to second in SG: Total with his deviation last weekend in Dublin.
1. Dustin Johnson
The defending champ is an easy choice in this slot because of his tournament-record-winning score of 265 and 23-under par in Canada last year. The fact that he is having another incredibly consistent season is just icing on the cake. He will bring his number one ranking in SG: Total up north this weekend. Johnson will also be aided by his third rank in SG: Off the Tee and fourth-place ranking in SG: Tee to Green. He’s the favorite this week and should be again the following week if can he meet expectations in Ontario.