PGA Canadian Open Picks & Props: Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry Worth A Punt This Week

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Matt Fitzpatrick is still in seach of his first PGA Tour victory. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Welcome to Canada.

This week’s stop on the PGA Tour, the RBC Canadian Open, comes just one week before the season’s third major–the U.S. Open.

That means some top players will not take part as they take the week off to prepare for the U.S. Open while others will use this week’s tournament as a warmup event.

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This RBC Canadian Open will be played at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto. But before we look at this year’s event, we need to take a quick look back at the 2021 tournament.

Oh wait, last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID.

OK, well, let’s go back and check out the 2020 event.

Nope, also cancelled because of…you guessed it…COVID.

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Hmm…guess we have to go all the way back to 2019 to find the defending champion is Rory McIlroy. Now, a lot has changed since that win by McIlroy. In fact, just in McIlroy’s play, he’s added four more PGA Tour wins in that time and was the No. 1 player in the world rankings when he won.

There have been a total of nine lead changes in the world No. 1 rankings list between RBC events. Scottie Scheffler is the current No. 1 while Jon Rahm has been atop that list on four separate occasions with Dustin Johnson in the No. 1 spot twice.

But what hasn’t changed is this is the national championship of Canada and it has been a staple on the PGA Tour forever…well, almost forever.

It’s been held since 1904 (with eight exceptions including interruptions for war and the last two years with COVID). That makes it the third longest event in PGA Tour history behind The Open Championship and the U.S. Open.

While the tournament keeps growing in status, so does the prize purse. The inaugural winner, John Oke, won the 1904 event and pocketed $60 of the $170 purse. This week’s winner will pocket a cool $1.57 million out of the $8.7 million purse.

With that much money on the line, it’s no wonder the tournament is drawing more than its fair share of talent including PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas.

One name that won’t be on the entry list is Dustin Johnson, who withdrew last week after signing to play in the new LIV Golf Invitational Series under the direction of Greg Norman.

But the tournament isn’t worried about Johnson not being in the field as there is still plenty of firepower including the likes of Sam Burns, Scottie Scheffler, Cam Smith, Justin Rose, and many, many more.

With McIlroy still in possession of the trophy from 2019 (well, a replica anyway), let’s see who looks like a winner when the tournament heads outside the United States.

Odds To Win The RBC Canadian Open (DraftKings)

Scottie Scheffler +700

Justin Thomas +700

Rory McIlroy +800

Cameron Smith +1000

Shane Lowry +1600

Matt Fitzpatrick +1600

Sam Burns +1800

Tyrrell Hatton +2000

Corey Conners +2200

Harold Varner III +2200

As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.

Big Names Mean Low Odds

As usual, the big names in the field are high up on the oddsboard meaning low payouts. That includes the favorites, Scottie Scheffler and Justin Thomas, at +700.

But that’s OK. We’re going to look down the list and see which players are looking at this event and maybe, just maybe, not thinking ahead to next week’s U.S. Open.

Now these guys are pros, so most will be able to bear down and play this week without peeking ahead. But for others…well, it will be the third major of the year.

How About Another First-Time Winner?

We’ve been on the hunt to try and pick the next first-time winner on the PGA Tour. So far, we’re 1-for-however-many-choices-we’ve-made-to-win-for-the-first-time. We refuse to go back and count them up but the one we did hit was Collin Morikawa’s first win at the Barracuda in 2019.

But here we are, ready to give it another shot with Matt Fitzpatrick at +1600.

We’d like to say he’s due…but he’s way, way overdue. And he’s been in the hunt more than his share of times with four top-five finishes to show for it since the calendar changed to 2022.

We’re thinking (hoping?) that changes this week. He missed the cut at the RBC Heritage Classic in April but this RBC event gives him a chance to bounce back at a tournament sponsored by RBC.

Add in the fact he’s coming off two straight top-five finishes (T-2 at the Wells Fargo and T-5 at the PGA Championship) and he’s poised to pick up his first PGA Tour victory.

OK, now that we have made that pick, we have officially jinxed him and he probably has no shot.

One For The Memory Banks

It was tough to think back and remember that McIlroy won the title the last time this event was held. What’s even tougher to remember is the fact Shane Lowry was the runnerup. It was also the same year Lowry won The Open Championship.

He seems to be back in the groove in 2022 considering he’s had top-three finishes in three of his last four events (including the Masters) and a national championship stage certainly fits his game and mindset.

Don’t be surprised to see him in one of the final groups on Sunday with a chance to hoist the trophy.

Props To Ponder

The five-man matchups have always been intriguing and this week is no different. The one that sticks out the most for us is Luke List to win his group at +275. He’s in the grouping with C.T. Pan (+300), Jhonattan Vegas (+300), Justin Rose (+330) and J.J. Spaun (+350).

Looking at List’s recent play, this one’s a solid choice…with one caveat. List is coming in off a T-26 in last week’s Memorial Tournament. But that finish included a final-round 77 that saw him drop out of a chance for a top-10 finish.

We’re looking for a four-round solid effort this week.

One other prop to keep an eye on is Sahith Theegala to finish in the top 10 at +225. The rookie is starting to find his way on the PGA Tour.

Like many others, he’s had his stumbles and has five missed cuts on his resume. But, he’s made 18 cuts and in those made cuts he has seven top-25 finishes.

We’ll take those odds.

Also read: US Open Betting Guide

About the Author

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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