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Tom Jacobs makes five picks at 40/1 and bigger for the 2024 RBC Canadian Open.
ANALYSIS

RBC Canadian Open Sleepers and Value Picks: Bet on Rai, Van Rooyen in Canada

We are back at Hamilton Golf and Country Club for the 2024 RBC Canadian Open. This course has hosted the event 6 times before, most recently when Rory McIlroy won by 7 strokes in 2019, one of his finest-ever performances.

McIlroy returns this week to head up what is a relatively weak field, as players opt for additional rest ahead of next month's U.S. Open. This is a championship that deserves more, considering Rory's win here in 2019 and Nick Taylor's dramatic victory 12 months ago. That being said, players need a week off somewhere.

With Rory in the field, there is plenty of value elsewhere if you think the four-time major champion can beaten. Check out the latest RBC Canadian Open odds for more.

Before we get into the Sleepers and Value Picks for the RBC Canadian Open, check out the new DraftKings Sportsbook promotion, where new users can claim an epic bonus betting on golf this week. With the DraftKings promo code, you can claim a $1500 No Sweat First Bet on the golf this week. This means you can back your selections in Canada with more confidence this week.

What Skill Set is Required to Win the 2024 RBC Canadian Open?

This is a shorter course, where plenty of birdies can be made, but it demands all parts of your game to be at their very best. When McIlroy won here in 2019. McIlroy ranked inside the top 6 in all four major strokes gained metrics, including 1st in SG Off the Tee and SG Tee to Green.

SG Approach: You can get away with some wayward drives here, but what you cannot do is miss too many greens. With Rory winning at -22, Lowry finishing runner-up at -15, and Scott Piercy winning here at -17 in 2012, there are clearly many birdie opportunities. To keep pace you are going to need to hit it close a lot. Find those guys hitting their short irons and wedges the best this week.

Bentgrass Putting: This course was renovated following the 2019 renewal and one of the major changes was the putting surfaces going from Poa Annua to Bentgrass. Look for those that excel on this putting surface.

Birdie or Better Percentage: Picking out a guy that is grinding out solid scores, but is struggling to go really low week to week is going to be a mistake here. You need a player who can go lights out and shoot in the low 60s if the conditions suit this week. Find a player that is regularly making birdies and eagles this season.

Do Sleepers and Value Picks Win the RBC Canadian Open?

Let's look at the last 10 winners of this event, to see if there is any reason for encouragement as we look for a winner at +4000 and bigger.

2023 - Nick Taylor +6600

2022 - Rory McIlroy +1000

2019 - Rory McIlroy +1000

2018 - Dustin Johnson +800

2017 - Jhonattan Vegas +12500

2016 - Jhonattan Vegas +12500

2015 - Jason Day +900

2014 - Tim Clark +6600

2013 - Brandt Snedeker +4000

2012 - Scott Piercy +5000

It has been a real mixed bag in terms of results in the RBC Canadian Open. The two times the event has been hosted here, we have had Rory (2019) win at 10-1 and Scott Piercy (2012) win at 50-1. That has been the theme throughout this event. The champion has either been 40-1 and bigger, or simply one of the favorites. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. You either get one of the top guys win or a decent upset, like Jhonattan Vegas at 125-1 in back-to-back years.

RBC Canadian Open Betting Trends

With this event moving courses all the time, I am not going to get too caught up in betting trends.

I would say though, that there is plenty to point to an experienced winner this week. Regardless of the course, the Canadian Open has tended to favor the more experienced player, who is capable of winning.

10 of the last 10 Canadian Open winners had made 148 career starts as a professional.

10 of the last 10 Canadian Open winners had won 2+ times as a professional.

Course Correlation - Look at Harbour Town for Clues

There haven't been many events here in the modern era, but looking back at the 2012 and 2019 renewals of this event suggests there is a great link between this event and the RBC Heritage.

In 2019, four former winners of the RBC Heritage finished inside the top 10 here at this event. Webb Simpson (T2), Brandt Snedeker (T4), Matt Kuchar (T4), and Graeme McDowell (T8) were all former winners of the Heritage and would have contended here, were it not for McIlroy's excellence.

Shane Lowry has posted three top 9 finishes at the Heritage and finished runner-up to Rory in 2019.

Going back to 2012, Scott Piercy won here and finished 3rd and 12th at the Heritage.

William McGirt finished 2nd at this course in 2012 and finished 3rd, 9th, and 9th in the Heritage.

Robert Garrigus was 2nd here in 2012 and 13th at the Heritage.

Bud Cauley was 4th here in 2012 and has a 9th place finish at the Heritage.

Chris Kirk was 4th here in 2012 and finished 7th and 10th at the Heritage in the past.

Going back even further, Jim Furyk won this event in 2006 and was a two-time winner of the RBC Heritage.

Sleeper and Value Picks for the 2024 RBC Canadian Open

Here are my five selections for the 2024 RBC Canadian Open this week.

Aaron Rai +5000 (BetRivers)

Aaron Rai is a two-time winner on the DP World Tour and while he hasn't found a win on the PGA Tour just yet, he has been solid ever since joining and this course looks perfect for him.

Two of Rai's best finishes on the PGA Tour have come in this event over the past two years, as he finished T3 last year and T13 in 2022, so that's a good sign on its own. Sure, these came at a different course, but these Canadian Opens have tended to demand the same thing over the years.

In one start at the RBC Heritage, Rai finished 48th, but he was the first round leader and was still inside the top 5 going into the weekend, so from a correlation standpoint he stacks up as well.

Another course of interest is potentially the BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour, the tour's flagship event, held at Wentworth Country Club. Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry finished 1-2 here at Hamilton in 2019, and in the 2022 BMW PGA Championship, Lowry edged out McIlroy, returning the favor from 8 years before, when Rory did the same to him.

Danny Willett is also a winner at Wentworth and Henrik Stenson has finished 3rd there, so that's four players inside the top 8 here in 2019 who have won or contended at the BMW PGA.

Rai finished 2nd in last year's BMW PGA Championship, and that added to 14th and 26th place finishes there in the past. A shorter course that demands excellent approach play suits Rai to the ground, so it is no surprise he's played well here and I suspect he will do the same this week.

The Englishman has ranked inside the top 10 in SG Approach in 3 of his last 8 starts and inside the top 30 in his last two.

Bentgrass has also ranked as Rai's best putting surface, so I like his chances of competing this week and adding to his two top 10s already this season.

Erik Van Rooyen +5500 (FanDuel)

Erik Van Rooyen returns to a course that he finished 20th at five years ago, and where he was better placed after rounds 1 and 3. After opening with a round of 64, the South African sat in 2nd place and he was still inside the top 10 going into Sunday.

With three top 8 finishes in his last 9 starts, Van Rooyen is clearly playing some of the best golf of his career, and now it is time for him to add a 3rd PGA Tour win to his record.

His best effort came when 2nd at the Cognizant Classic, but just two starts ago he finished 4th at the Myrtle Beach Classic and I am happy to chance another big performance from him this week.

Like Rai, Van Rooyen has also put together solid performances at both the BMW PGA Championship and the RBC Heritage, two courses I like as pointers for this. He is 3/3 for made cuts at Wentworth, finishing 27th or better each time, which is really tough to do on a course like that. Add in three finishes of 33rd or better at the Heritage, where he was twice within two of the lead going into Sunday, and Van Rooyen looks a great fit, based on his course and correlative form.

We know he loves a birdie-fest, you only need to look at his two wins for evidence of that, and he can keep it rolling here with another big performance.

Seamus Power +10000 (FanDuel)

Seamus Power has been very inconsistent in 2024, but there have been plenty of good signs, most recently when finishing T16 at the Wells Fargo Championship, where he ranked 3rd in SG Approach. That was the second time in three events he ranked inside the top 10 for Approach Play, and I am encouraged by this improvement.

When you also factor in Power's form at the Heritage, where he's finished 6th (2019) and 12th (2023), and his previous top 10 in this event at a different course, there's even more reason to get on board.

The Irishman thrives when the course is shorter and easier, and while he missed the cut here in 2019, he returns in better ball-striking form, and that might be enough to make all the difference.

There was a lot of interest in betting Power a couple of starts ago and that has all but died down, which means we can get a triple-digit price on a two-time PGA Tour winner, who by all accounts should be suited to this test.

Kevin Tway +15000 (FanDuel)

His form has gone on too long now to consider this return a flash in the pan, and as a result, I am really interested in Kevin Tway this week.

His form figures in recent weeks read 3-11-9-43-24 and while the 11th came at the Zurich Classic, he has shown enough on his own accord to warrant another look here.

Tway has largely relied on his short game in recent weeks and that will be enough to put off plenty of people, but I trust that he can put together a better week with his irons and wedges here, to set up ample opportunities to score.

He finished 44th here five years ago, but Tway opened with a round of 67 and closed with a 66 at Hamilton in 2019, and a year earlier he had a chance to win this event. Tway was the 54-hole leader in the 2018 Canadian Open, but he could not hold on finishing 17th, so he will certainly feel like he has unfinished business with this event.

His career is littered with positive results on easy-scoring, shorter courses, and I think he can take advantage of his good form at this one.

Hayden Buckley +35000 (FanDuel)

One extra for me this week as I couldn't resist a small play on a 350-1 shot, Hayden Buckley, who finished 5th last week in Texas.

Buckley has struggled for most of 2024 so it was a bit of a shock to see him at the top of the leaderboard, but he's now made 3 cuts in a row. He gained in Approach, Off the Tee, and Putting last week, and while it was largely down to his performances on the greens last week, his iron play was better than it has been in a long time.

5th last week at Colonial, 5th at the RBC Heritage in 2023, and 2nd in the Sony Open in the same year are all encouraging finishies, when you consider the fact they are shorter courses.

It was more than likely a flash in the pan but at such a big number, I thought it was worth chancing someone who is coming off a top 5 and has history on course layouts similar in length to this one.

Article Author

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Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!

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