Another (solitary) place last week means we made a profit which is, after all, the name of the game, though with the US Open next week it’s a little bit more hushed this weekend so we shall see if we can continue to rustle up a few quid.
Luckily for me, horse racing is my first sport (though if you listened to last week’s podcast you might disagree), which means I will discuss the politics of the racing game until the cows come home – but I refuse to get involved with the Saudi tour, player bans, and all the manure (I’m sure you know the word I meant to use), that goes with it, and that leaves me to try and focus on finding more winners.
This week we head off to Canada for the (you guessed it), the RBC Canadian Open, live on Sky Sports from the St. George’s Golf And Country Club in from Islington, West Toronto, and where Rory McIlroy has held the title for the last three years (thanks to Covid), and is more than capable of blowing this field apart – but we all know I can never get him right and I’ll overlook him here – which possibly makes him odds-on to win.
On to the course, and the players can look forward to a short par 70, weighing in at about 7000 yards (different websites give different measurements which is interesting as well as confusing), though as they haven’t played the tournament here since 2010, recent course form is hard to come by. For a focused professional golfer getting to the green isn’t that tricky, but once you get there, putting certainly can be, and the short stick will clearly decide the winner by Sunday evening. The dance floors here are severely contoured and in many cases multi-tiered – getting on them may be one thing, but getting on to the right part of the green will be all important.
Selections with reasoning:
***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here accurately as they differ by the minute. Betfair prices quoted are as indicators only and were correct at the time of writing.
1pt each way Adam Hadwin 33/1 top 8 places William Hill (42.0) Betfair) I won’t suggest he has the best chance of success but the Canadian will have the majority of the support around here and has been in good form this year with four top ten finishes including a fourth in the Texas Open, a sixth in the Shriner’s Children’s Open, and a seventh in the Valspar Championship, meaning we would have collected the place part of our bet on each of those occasions. He doesn’t seem to let the pressure of the home crowd affect him negatively (it can happen) finishing fourth in 2011, seventh in 2015, and 6th last time it was played in 2019, and I will be delighted settle for any of those this year as well.
1pt each way Cameron Smith 12/1 top 8 places William Hill (13.5 Betfair)
Those of us of a certain age can’t help but shout out “get your hair cut” when we see Cameron playing on the tour, but he isn’t there for his sartorial elegance and can hopefully let his clubs shut me up once again this week. Possibly reaching his peak at the age of 28, he has already won the Players Championship, the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and finished third in the Masters so we are not asking him to do anything he hasn’t done before in this field, and he hasn’t headed up the ranking to World Number Four because he can’t play the game. It won’t be a massive surprise to see where he sits in the statistics with a first for scoring average, first for birdie average, eight for strokes gained putting and (the one I really like), second for strokes gained on approach. I see that as key – he can certainly putt when he has a chance to sink something, but if he can keep his shots in to the green nearer to the flag he will have more chances than any other player here, and that has to give him every hope.
1pt each way Scottie Scheffler 9/1 top 8 places William Hill (10.0 Betfair) I doubt any player will dominate the game like Tiger did in my lifetime, though whether that was down to his skills – or his rivals – is something I will let you all think about. For some reason it is seen as close to sacrilege to even suggest a dominant player any more, but if there is one then Scottie Scheffler is your man. He appeared from almost off the radar (if I knew who his coach was, I’d love to book some lessons), and has risen to the number one spot in next to no time. It fascinates me that I cannot find another tipping page going for the 25-year-old and Yes, I accept his price is skinny but a 9/1 winner will do me as opposed to a 50/1 chance – who fails to make the cut. So far this season he has won the Masters (when I tipped him) as well as the World Matchplay Championships, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with eight top ten finishes this year, and I still think he has improvement to come. His average drive is 316 yards but (and this is interesting) his drives have an accuracy of 58.59%, ranking him 125th on the tour – can you imagine how good he will be if he boosts that stat? He does sit second in green in regulation stats and that is where this course will play to his strengths – is 9/1 good value, of course not – but is he the likeliest winner – absolutely so.