The RBC Canadian Open has come and gone, and now we only have two more PGA-affiliated events until the FedEx Cup begins, and they are not even full PGA events… This week is the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, hosting around 75 of the best players in the world, and then the fourth and final major will follow, and then it is FedEx Cup events. So its gut-check time for those on the outside looking in (including Mr. Tiger Woods). But first, let’s talk about the RBC Cananadian Open.
Sunday was not short for drama at the Canadian Open, nor for rain. Play began early because of impending weather, and there was a delay for about a half an hour in the afternoon, and all the while, Tim Clark was trying to chase down Jim Furyk and his three stroke lead. Clark did so, tying him at 15 under par on the 14th hole, right before the rain delay. Once back on the course, Clark immediately sank a birdie putt to take the outright lead on 15. Furyk was able to birdie the par 3 17th, but only following a birdie from Clark. With one chance left, Furyk hit his approach on 18 to 12 feet, but could not convert to force a playoff. For Furyk, the win would have ended a near four year winning drought, and would have put him in the rare, three-time winners club at the event. For Clark, however, the win did mark his second on the PGA Tour (his first coming at the 2010 Players), and his second win on Canadian soil (1998 Canadian PGA Championship).
The main story line headed into the week was the 60 year drought for the Canadians in winning this tournament. Now, as Tim Clark heads back to South Africa to celebrate his win, the drought will continue for at least another year. However, the Canadians did have their chances. Canadian favorite, Graham Delaet, tied the course-record 63 on Friday to put himself in second place, but played out of contention with an even-par 70 on Saturday. Brad Fritsch, picked by our own Mike McKenzie as a dark horse, made the cut on the number, then battled back with a 67-64 on the weekend to notch a top 10 finish. Perhaps the most surprising was Canadian amateur, Taylor Pendrith, shooting an opening round 65 to put himself in a tie for second, but reality set in and he shot a 75 on Friday to also make the cut on the number. Overall, there was hope for our northern neighbors, but they will have to channel that hope for another year. As for our picks, the safe bets in Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar helped Dave and Jon’s foursomes, but overall we too will be channeling our own hope – to this week in Akron, and seeing if we can get some better results. See below.
Tom: Dustin Johnson (74-68, Cut)
Dave: Jim Furyk (-16, Solo-2)
Jon: Matt Kuchar (-11 T4)
Dark Horse for the Week
Tom: William McGirt (-6, T25)
Dave: Hunter Mahan (68-75, Cut)
Jon: Jason Bohn (66-78, Cut)
*Mike McKenzie: Brad Fritsch (-9, T9)
Unlikely Player to Miss the Cut
Tom: Graeme McDowell (-9, T9)
Dave: Brandt Snedeker (-6, T25)
Jon: Hunter Mahan (68-75, Cut)
Favorite to Win
Tom: Graham Delaet (-10, T7)
Dave/Jon: Matt Kuchar (-11, T4)
Tom: Graham Delaet,
Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel, Carl Pettersson (Total Earnings: $200,811)
Dave: Matt Kuchar, Jim Fuyrk,
Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson (Total Earnings: $851,200)
Jon: Matt Kuchar,
Aaron Baddeley, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk (Total Earnings: $851,200)