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RBC Canadian Open tips: Sahith Theegala ready to pounce if hot favourite Rory McIlroy falters

The PGA Tour makes its annual pilgrimage north of the border for the Canadian Open, which should provide another wide-open contest for golf pundit Martin Colwell to dissect for us.

Canadian Open key stats:

  • When: May 30 - June 2 2024
  • Where: Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Ontario, Canada 
  • How long: 7,084 yards - par 70
  • What to expect: Old-style course, tee accuracy key, severe bunkering, lush rough, tricky sloping greens with run-off areas
  • Who won last year: Nick Taylor (-17) after play-off with Tommy Fleetwood

It won’t be the strongest field teeing off at Hamilton on Thursday, so it’s no surprise to see Rory McIlroy installed as the short-priced favourite as he returns to the course where he won this title five years ago with a course record 22 under par.

The Northern Irishman should outclass this field if he can overcome his ongoing his personal issues, although they were no doubt lurking in the background when he won the Zurich Classic and the Wells fargo back-to-back a few weeks back.

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There’s a noticeable leap in the betting to 16/1 where we find Rory’s pal Tommy Fleetwood, who is a multiple winner on the DP World tour but still a maiden on this one.

One of his nearest misses came in last year's play-off defeat to Nick Taylor, and with his game continuing to look in good shape, that first win surely must be coming sooner rather than later.

A couple of betting points further out, Sahith Theegala is bringing some consistency to his game now, and after resting up last weekend, he could well turn up sharp and refreshed in Canada. 

Although yet to add to his solitary Tour success in the Fortinet Championship last September, Theegala has earned himself several top-10 finishes this year, and his game looked in good shape when finishing tied for 12th at the PGA Championship two weeks ago.

Suggested bet: Sahith Theegala (18/1) in the RBC Canadian Open


Theegala is joined on the 18/1 mark by Shane Lowry, who shared the Zurich Classic pairs prize with McIlroy (to whom he came runner-up here in 2019) and has continued to look in good shape, especially with the putter.

Alex Noren is another golfer who has won on the DP World Tour but, at his advancing age, is still a maiden in the States, and although a solid top-20 finisher, it’s hard to see him winning this. 

Home country hopes rest with Corey Conners, who is striking the ball well, but needs to sharpen up his putting, while reigning champion Nick Taylor will be hoping to overcome a recent slump in form since landing the WM Phoenix Open in February . 

Cam Young is still awaiting his first win on tour. On several occasions the bridesmaid, but never the bride, this represents a good chance for him to get over the line this week, although he might need McIlroy (among others) to falter.

One player that really catches the eye this week is 22/1 shot Sam Burns, who is a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, and he looks to be coming back to decent form, despite having missed the cut at both of this season’s Majors. 

This course looks tailor-made for Burns’ game and if he can get off to a decent start and be in the mix going into the weekend, then he looks capable of muscling his way towards the business end of a leaderboard that is lacking so many of the usual suspects.

Suggested bet: Sam Burns (22/1) in the RBC Canadian Open


Others to watch:

  • Mackenzie Hughes (33/1) - Another Canadian looking to please the local fans, and also force his way into contention for Presidents Cup selection by Mike Weir (who also plays here).
  • Akshay Bhatia (45/1) - Scored his maiden Tour win this season, this excellent ball striker might be suited by this course to make his odds look huge if on his game this weekend.
  • Seamus Power (75/1) - Showing up well on metrics in recent weeks after a poor run of form, and could make a mockery of his huge odds if able to get off to a good start.

Suggested bet summary:

READ MORE: Golf tips and best bets for the European Open

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