The Confidence Factor: 2019 RBC Canadian Open Preview

New track this year as the event returns to Hamilton Golf & Country Club for the first time since 2012.

Scott Piercy is the defending champion on this track but big, bad Dustin Johnson won last year at Glen Abbey Golf Club.

110th RCB Canadian Open

Hamilton Golf & Country Club

Hamilton, Ontario

Yards (per official scorecard): 6,967
Par: 70 (35-35)
Greens: 5,000 square feet; Poa annua/Bentgrass
Stimpmeter: 11.5′
Rough:  Poa annua, Kentucky bluegrass at 3.5″.
Bunkers: 88
Water Hazards: 9
Architect(s): HS Colt (1916).
Purse: $7.6 million; $1.368 winner plus 500 FedExCup Points.
Defending Champion (course) Scott Piercy (-17).
Defending Champion (event): Dustin Johnson (-23).
Notes: Hamilton hosted in 2003, 2006 and 2012. Any other course history is worthless this week.

Previous Winners:

Year Winner   Comment
       
2012 Scott Piercy -17 Set the course record in Round 1 and never looked back.
2006 Jim Furyk -14 Posted the round of the day on Sunday (65) as he came from off the pace to win.
2003 Bob Tway -8 Defeated Brad Faxon in a playoff as only 22 player broke par for the week.

2018-19 Winners

Event Winner
   
Safeway Open Kevin Tway**
CIMB Classic Marc Leishman
CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES Brooks Koepka
Sanderson Farms Championship Cameron Champ**
WGC-HSBC Champions Xander Schauffele
Shriners Hospitals for Children Bryson DeChambeau
Mayakoba Golf Classic Matt Kuchar
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III
Hero World Challenge* Jon Rahm
Sentry TOC Xander Schauffele (2)
Sony Open in Hawaii Matt Kuchar (2)
60th Desert Classic Adam Long**
Farmers Insurance Open Justin Rose
Waste Management Rickie Fowler
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Phil Mickelson
Genesis Open J.B. Holmes
WGC-Mexico Championship Dustin Johnson
The Honda Classic Keith Mitchell**
Arnold Palmer Invitational Francesco Molinari
THE PLAYERS Rory McIlroy
Valspar Championship Paul Casey
WGC-Match Play Kevin Kisner
Corales Punta Cana Graeme McDowell
Valero Texas Open Corey Conners**
83rd Masters Tournament Tiger Woods
RBC Heritage C.T. Pan**
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Ryan Palmer & Jon Rahm (2)
Wells Fargo Championship Max Homa**
AT&T Byron Nelson Sung Kang**
PGA Championship Brooks Koepka (2)
Charles Schwab Challenge Kevin Na
Memorial Patrick Cantlay

(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)

Facts and Figures:

Poa Poa Poa and away we go go go.

This is four weeks running on that surface and next week will make five.

This is just the fourth event this century on this track. The results from the other tracks are of no interest to me.

Tournament Record: 263 (-17); Piercy, 2012.
Course Record (last): 62; Piercy and Tim Clark, 2012.
Defending Champions: N/A.
Multiple Winners (entered) N/A.
First TOUR win (recent): N/A.
First Appearance: Piercy.
Margin of Victory (recent): 1; 2012, 2006; playoff 2003.
Low Rounds 2012: 62; Piercy, Clark highlighted 10 rounds of 63 or better for the week.
Odd Fact: Lift, clean and replace was in effect for the first two rounds in 2012.
Odd Fact II: 1,000 trees have been removed since the TOUR last visited in 2012.
Odd Fact III: This is first time in the event is being played in June in 30 years.

The Confidence Factor was the weekly column I wrote for PGATOUR.COM. It has evolved into Horses for Courses. I’ve included the link here for you.

Trend or Not a Trend?

Stats 2012 2006 2003
  Scott Piercy Jim Furyk Bob Tway
Score 263 (-17) 266 (-14) 272 (-8)
       
All Drives 21 53 T26
Accuracy T30 4 T41
GIR T53 T34 2
Ball-Striking T25 T22 7
Proximity T12 54 T21
Putting: Birdie or Better % 2 2 T50
SG: Off-the-Tee 11 19  
SG: Approach-the-Green 34 30  
SG: Around-the-Green 4 30  
SG: Putting 4 1  
SG: Tee-to-Green 9 19  
Scrambling T24 T16 1
Bogey Avoidance T19 T7 1
Par-3 Scoring T8 T14 T18
Par-4 Scoring T8 T2 T4
Par-5 Scoring T1 T4 T3

Horses for Courses

Each week I’ll put the major players in here. There are always exceptions to rules and “new” players every year so use this as a guide or tiebreaker.

     
2012 Results   2006 Results
(entered this year)   (entered this year)
     
Win Scott Piercy   Win Jim Furyk
T4 Josh Teater   T5 Jonathan Byrd
T4 Bud Cauley   T14 Bubba Watson
T7 Scott Stallings   T20 David Hearn
T15 J.B. Holmes   T41 Alex Cejka
T19 Will Claxton   T44 Bill Haas
T19 Brian Harman   T60 Zach Johnson
T19 Brendon Todd    
T19 Cameron Tringale   MC
T28 Brian Gay    
T28 Jimmy Walker   Jimmy Walker
T34 Matt Kuchar   Brian Gay
T34 Brandt Snedeker   Ryan Palmer
T37 J.J. Henry   Mike Weir
T48 Ricky Barnes   Nick Watney
T48 Colt Knost    
T61 Matt Every   2003 Results
T61 Chris Stroud   (entered this year)
T71 David Hearn    
T73 Albin Choi   10 Mike Weir
     
MC   MC
     
Scott Brown   David Hearn
Harris English   Brian Gay
Jim Furyk   Nick Watney
Adam Hadwin   J.J. Henry
Danny Lee    
D.J. Trahan    
Chad Campbell    
Billy Hurley III    
Roberto Castro    
Mackenzie Hughes    
Michael Gligic    
Mike Weir    
Nick Taylor    

Thoughts

It’s been seven years since this course was in play so remember that when you’re searching for course history.

The tight fairways, smallish greens and decent rough should be an excellent tune-up for Pebble Beach next week. Colt’s inland links course will have a different feel this time around after the massive tree removal but I’m not sure who will remember.

The green complexes aren’t the defense here; wind and dry conditions handle that. At not even 7,000 yards, target golf should be the order of the day. The best players in the world don’t need a second offer at that distance!

The Chalk

Dustin Johnson: Leads the TOUR in Strokes-Gained: Total; seven top 10s from 11 starts; second in scoring. His “off” weeks are even really good plus I don’t care who his swing coach is. He was a fixture in Memphis most years before the U.S. Open and raked. On schedule.

Brooks Koepka: Last three on his own ball are T2 (Masters), T4 (Byron Nelson) and WIN (PGA Championship). He’s third in scoring and seventh in GIR. Only thing that ever concerns me with him is his GAS tank.

Matt Kuchar: Burnt gamers last week with MC at a course he’s crushed over the years so I expect a big bounce-back. His record at Harbour Town suggests this week should be an excellent fit.

Rory McIlroy: His two worst finishes this year are the Masters (T21) and the Masters of the north (MC).

Webb Simpson: Sits eighth in scoring because of his ball-striking and short game.

Scott Piercy: 2012 champ defends as he sits inside the top 25 in fairways, greens and scoring.

Sergio Garcia: Metrics tee-to-green and approach the green are both in the top 10. Has no problem working the ball both ways.

Jim Furyk: 2006 champ is No. 1 in GIR and 13 in fairways. Keeping the ball out of trouble won’t hurt this week and neither will a short track for the non-bomber.

Brandt Snedeker: The swing changes have yielded results on two ball-strikers tracks (Bethpage, Colonial). I’m not worried about the short game.

Ryan Palmer: One of the few who has a top 25 from 2012, he was sixth at Colonial last time out.

Bubba Watson: His short-course form at Travelers is either going to be a trap or a “duh” moment this week. His wife’s family is local but trying to figure out Watson is anyone’s guess.

Justin Thomas: He’s never played the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Shane Lowry: Not hard to connect these dots after he was T3 at Harbour Town and T8 at Bethpage. He should be on your radar for next week as well.

Next Tier

Henrik Stenson: Steady, yet unspectacular, his 3-wood should give him plenty of chances to attack pins.

Corey Conners: The pressure of performing in front of the home fans is always something. His ball-striking is excellent but his putting numbers are something else.

Jimmy Walker: Steady along, making cuts, but hasn’t popped on yet. Hard to fake it at Bethpage (T23) and Colonial (T19).

Graeme McDowell: The carrot of qualifying for The Open (top 3 T10 or better previously not exempt) pushes me in his direction.

Erik Van Rooyen: With three top-10 paydays in his last five worldwide, including T8 at Bethpage, I’m interested.

Danny Willett: Should remind him and Garcia of Wenworth as Colt designed that track as well.

Daniel Berger: Five straight.

Lucas Bjerregaard: He’s followed his last two MC with T21 (Masters) and T16 (PGA). He MC last week in Denmark.

Brian Harman: Posted a 63 and 64 last time he was here. Also signed for 71 and 74. His T31, T27 in his last two are his best run of form in a year.

Nick Watney: Loves when putting isn’t the key factor. Backed up a top 10 at Colonial with a top 25 at Memorial.

Jonas Blixt: T30, T20 and fifth in three of his last five.

Form/Long Shots/Course Horse/DFS

Bud Cauley: The week I remove his own section he hits the top 10. He was T4 here in 2012. My universes are colliding.

Kevin Tway: Making cuts, hitting GIR.

Tyler Duncan: Five straight because he finds tons of GIR. T5 last time out.

K. H. Lee: Top 50 in fairways and greens and 11 of 12 checks cashed.

Mackenzie Hughes: Big finish at Colonial (T8) and big pressure this week.

David Hearn: He’s gone through every layer of emotions in his national open including holding and losing the 54-hole lead. He’s made the cut in two of three previous here and T20 in 2006 is the best of the bunch.

Adam Hadwin: For my money he’s the best with a maple leaf on the bag.

Michael Gligic: Hot. Won in February and added T18 and T12 in his last two on the Web.com. Plus he’s Canadian.

Nicholas Lindheim: Shot 62 his last time out (T12).

Peter Malnati: #NappyFactor rolls on with paychecks in 11 of his last 13 including T17 at Memorial last week. Was also T16 at RBC Heritage.

Matt Every: All-or-nothing. Caution.

Brandon Harkins: Doesn’t mind a bit of Poa and has rattled off six of seven plus four straight.

Joaquin Niemann: T38 or better in his last three.

Collin Morikawa: Cal player had a massive senior season. He won’t be bothered by the surface either.

Roberto Diaz: T37 is the best of six in a row. Making cuts good. Missing cuts bad.

Fades

Alex Noren: Maybe this will be his week. He hasn’t had a top 25 on his own ball in 2019. Maybe all I need to do is put him in here.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter (@MikeGlasscott) or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

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