A week before the U.S. Open, the third major on golf’s yearly calendar, many top golfers will look to win the national championship of the United States’ neighbor to the north at the 2023 RBC Canadian Open.
This tournament dates back to 1904 and has been played annually with the exception of breaks during World Wars I and II and in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite being the national championship of Canada, a Canadian hasn’t won the tournament since Pat Fletcher did so in 1954. There are 19 Canadians in the field this year.
Three-time winners in this tournament include Sam Snead and Lee Trevino. Rory McIlroy will look to join that group, given that he’s won this tournament in the last two years that it was contested. He’s also vying to become the first golfer since Steve Stricker (2009-11 John Deere Classics) to win the same event three times in a row.
Aside from three of the four majors, the RBC Canadian Open is just one of two regular PGA Tour stops that is contested on a different course each year. This time around, Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto hosts the event for the first time. The course measures around 7,200 yards and is par 72, but the front nine is 400 yards longer than the back nine. Golfers who survive the front nine will see many birdie chances toward the end of their round. The course is known for heavily sloped fairways and small greens.
While this course hasn’t been in play in the Canadian Open before, the tournament records that stand are McIlroy’s record score of 258 in 2019 and Johnny Palmer’s 25-under record to par in 1952.
While not yet winning on the PGA Tour in 2023, is showing signs of life again. After missing the cut at the Masters and taking a month off, McIlroy gutted his way to a seventh-place finish at the PGA Championship and was the 54-hole leader at The Memorial last week. His final round of 75 dropped him into a tie for seventh, but it was his best performance at Muirfield Village. We know that the Northern Irishman is desperate to return to the winner’s circle at a major—which seemed to work against him at Augusta—but he has great confidence at this event.
Is consistently knocking on the door; will this be the week he breaks through for his first PGA Tour win? The Englishman started heating up in March with a fourth at Bay Hill and a runner-up at The Players Championship. Currently, he’s on a five-tournament streak of top-20 finishes. His stats back up the strong finishes as well. Hatton ranks third in Shots Gained: Overall on the circuit this season, trailing just Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler, who have won a combined total of six tournaments this year.
Will be the defending champion at next week’s U.S. Open, and he followed up his first career win in that major with a victory at Harbour Town in April. At The Memorial, he rebounded from an opening-round 76 to finish in a tie for ninth place.
Is a golfer who has proven to be able to win on any given week. He had a chance to threepeat at Colonial two weeks ago and finished sixth. He followed that up with a 16th at Muirfield Village, so expect him to be in the mix here in Canada.
The top-ranked Canadian in the field is Corey Conners, who is 29th in the Official World Golf Ranking. He only has two top-10s this season, but they have come over his past five starts. He won the Valero Texas Open, finished eighth at the Wells Fargo Championship, and was 12th at the PGA Championship. He hasn’t played since then, so he’ll be well-rested coming into a big week for him. Last year on his native soil, he closed with a final-round 62 to finish in sixth at Royal St. Georges.
Was on a strong run that included five top-20s in a nine-tournament span before he missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge his last time out. But we’ve seen plenty of golfers take a MC and turn it into a strong outing the next time out.
Became a winner again on the PGA Tour at Pebble Beach earlier this year, and his performance since has shown that the victory wasn’t a fluke. He’s on a run of four-straight top 25s, including finishes of ninth and 12th in his last two outings.
Has tested the waters on the PGA Tour this year, but the Poland native has been tearing it up on the DP World Tour. He won last month in Italy (at the site of this year’s Ryder Cup) and was fifth in the Netherlands before returning to North America.
Fought his way back onto the PGA Tour after last winning in 2018. After missing seven of his first nine cuts this season, he’s now made eight of nine weekends and has placed in the top 10 in two of his last three starts.
At the low odds, it’s still tough to ignore McIlroy. We like Hatton, but we haven’t seen him play with a lead on a Sunday or duel down the stretch, so we’ll pass on him. Instead, we’ll back Fitzpatrick, Burns, and the home-country favorite Conners.
|ODDS TO WIN 2023 RBC CANADIAN OPEN
Check here the 2023 Canadian Open Rounds 1 & 2 Highlights + Round 3 Odds