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RBC Canadian Open picks 2022: A Rory McIlroy win 'has to be coming, right?'

June 07, 2022
DUBLIN, OHIO - JUNE 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after playing his shot from the fourth tee during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 05, 2022 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

It’s another extremely busy week in golf. Content coming at you in every direction. If you’ve made it this far, we thank you for coming back (or stopping by for the first time) to the best betting column in all of golf. To return the favor, it’s time we hit a winner.

Then again, if outrights aren’t your thing, our experts absolutely killed it in matchup bets and top 10s last week at the Memorial Tournament. Four out of six of us cashed our head-to-heads, and four out of six also cashed top 10s.

As for outrights, none of us were on Billy Horschel’s victory at Muirfield Village, and it seems like not many others in the gambling space were. This week, two of our handicappers are on a certain Northern Irishman who is currently on a stretch of four consecutive top-20 finishes.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open.

RBC Canadian Open 2022 picks: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Matt Fitzpatrick (18-1, BetMGM) — A tight, tree-lined track with an emphasis on ball-striking and short game will be what players see this week at St. George’s. And Fitzpatrick is coming off a near-miss at Southern Hills, and I feel like he’s being forgotten about because of Pereira’s close call. It’s only a matter of time before Fitz finds the winner’s circle in the U.S.

Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Rory McIlroy (8-1, DraftKings) — It’s gotta be coming, right? Tee to green, Rory hasn’t slipped below +7.5 strokes-gained since pre-Masters. It’s just that one round that keeps taking him out of contention. The fun thing about Rory is, this isn’t anything new. His constant leaderboard lurking leaves many with a bad taste in their mouths, but the fact he’s always there is just giving more chances at a win. I haven’t bit so far this year, that changes now, however. Keep up the T2G dominance, and putt good, not even great, and he’s a runaway winner in Canada again.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Tyrrell Hatton (27-1, FanDuel) — We have seen a renovation (2014) at St. George’s since its last PGA Tour stop (2010), but a lot of that was greens work. In 2010, off-the-tee play wasn’t a vital key, and that sets up really well for Hatton, whose lone weakness is his driver (not that it’s that bad). An elite putter, Hatton has the irons and wedges to grind out a win here this week.

Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Matt Fitzpatrick (16-1, DraftKings) — Fitzpatrick missed the cut in a bizarre fashion last week. He lost a staggering 7.57 strokes putting, the single worst putting performance of his career – per the RickRunGood.com golf database. However, I’m not worried. Not only is that an extreme outlier, but the second-worst putting performance of Fitzpatrick’s career also came at Muirfield Village. Clearly, there’s something that doesn’t connect with him on those greens. Otherwise, Fitzpatrick has been stout, earning nine top-15 finishes in his last 12 stroke-play events.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Adam Hadwin (45-1, DraftKings) — Allow Stevie Square to play off the Canadian narrative. I’ll be betting Hadwin and Corey Conners, but I really like Hadwin’s chances. His ball-striking is trending up … and the Canadian’s putter can get as hot as anyone’s.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Tyrrell Hatton (27-1, FanDuel) — Brandon already hit on all my Hatton points, but I will add this - Hatton has been elite after having multiple weeks off over the last few years. Before the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won, he had two weeks off. Before winning the BMW PGA in 2020 on the DP World Tour, the Englishman was coming off a three-week break. With three weeks of rest before the 2021 Palmetto Championship, he went out and finished second. Before this past year’s API, where he finished in the top three, he had had a full month off. Rest and recovery have been good to him. Hopefully that theory pays off this week at RBC, which he’s entering on two weeks' rest.

Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Rory McIlroy (10-1, BetMGM) — McIlroy’s peerless off-the-tee game and solid putting on Bentgrass greens over the last two years means he comes into this event ranked first in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking. His form is excellent too, ranking third in the field this week for SG/total over the last two years and first over the last two months.

Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.

RBC Canadian Open 2022 picks: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Sebastian Munoz (50-1, BetMGM) — Munoz is also being forgotten about. He’s been really close to a win recently, so I think he’s got a chance to get it done.

Mayo: CT Pan (80-1, DraftKings) — After gaining with approach shots in nine straight starts, Pan quietly sits sixth in SG/approach over the past 24 rounds in this field. He’s sustained success at shorter tracks like Heritage and Wyndham in his career, so if he can simply just find fairways, he’ll end up being one of the better values on the board.

Gdula: David Lipsky (80-1, FanDuel) — While more than 50 percent of the win equity in my model is taken up by the top five in this field, there is at least still some uncertainty given the rare course. Lipsky is solid across the board in all strokes-gained stats and particularly has solid iron play.

Gehman: Rasmus Hojgaard (100-1, DraftKings) — Hojgaard has played 11 events worldwide in 2022 and has earned his way to the weekend in every single one. He’s getting used to finding his name near the top of the leaderboard, capturing two top-16 finishes in his last three starts. Even when he’s played on the PGA Tour, which he’s done twice this year, he’s been impressive. He notched a T-18 at the Valero Texas Open and a sixth-place finish at the Corales Puntacana Championship.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Patrick Reed (50-1, PointsBet) — A shorter course with an emphasis on short game? With a resurgent Patrick Reed trending up? Yes and yes. P-Reed is always thirsty for another victory, and though that’s a narrative that generally we shouldn’t put too much stock into … the week before a major tends to be a week where the best players take their foot off the gas. Reed will not do that.

(Editor's Note: Patrick Reed withdrew late Tuesday.)

Powers, Golf Digest: Nick Taylor (130-1, DraftKings) — Most will tout Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, or even statistical darling Adam Svensson to win their national open this week. I’d rather roll the dice on a different Canadian: Nick Taylor. He’s enjoyed a solid 2022 so far with three top-16 finishes, and he’s coming off his second-best SG/approach performance of the year at Colonial. Also, I’ve heard a lot of “small greens” talk about St. George’s, and Taylor has had a lot of success at Pebble Beach, which has the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Stephan Jaeger (180-1, DraftKings) — Jaeger comes into this event ranked 21st in the field this week for SG/total over the last two months. This form has yielded notable finishes of 15th and sixth in his last four outings. This is the exact type of course that will bring out the German’s best game so it’s not surprising to see that he ranks sixth in the FanShareSports CSR this week.

RBC Canadian Open 2022 picks: Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)

Caddie: Rory McIlroy (8-1, DraftKings) — Rory is being talked a lot about because of his history at the Canadian Open. But I don’t see his short game being strong enough to threaten to win.

Mayo: Corey Conners (22-1, DraftKings) — On paper, this course is perfectly suited for Conners: Accuracy, sharp irons, small greens to reduce three-putts. But there’s a reason a Canadian hasn’t won their national open since 1954. Beyond Mike Weir in 2004, who inevitably choked in a playoff, the favored Canadian tends to crumble under the massive expectations of the rowdy crowds. If a Canadian wins, it’s likely to be one of the mid-tier Canucks.

Gdula: Tony Finau (25-1, FanDuel) — I can make the case for virtually anyone at the top, but the one I have the least interest in is Finau. He’s not a good course fit for how I anticipate this one to play, and the underlying putting data is horrific.

Gehman: Harold Varner III (22-1, DraftKings) — It’s tough to find a true fade at the top of the board, but betting Varner at 22-1 certainly feels wrong. Of the golfers at the top, Varner hits less fairways than his peers which could be troublesome around St. George’s. The elephant in the room is that Varner has routinely struggled when getting into contention late in the tournament. It’s hard to purchase an outright ticket on someone who might eject on Sunday.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Rory McIlroy (8-1, DraftKings) — Don't love this course fit for Rory, no matter how scorching hot he is right now.

Powers, Golf Digest: Corey Conners (22-1, DraftKings) — Conners hasn’t cashed as a sub 30-1 outright ticket all year, and now he’s going to do it in arguably the most pressure-packed event he’ll tee it up in? No thanks.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Shane Lowry (18-1, FanDuel) — Lowry ranks just 46th in the FanShareSports CSR this week. One of the major factors for this is the fact that he ranks just 82nd in the field this week for SG/putting on Bentgrass greens over the last two years. The Irishman has also finished outside of the top 20 in both of his last two starts.

RBC Canadian Open 2022 picks: Matchups

Caddie: Cameron Smith (+105) over Rory McIlroy — Even on a course that he’s never played well, Muirfield Village, Cam Smith contended last week. That’s how hot he is. His short game is miles better than Rory’s, so I think at plus-money this is an easy one.

Mayo: Adam Long (-110) over Mark Hubbard (DraftKings) — It’s a mixed bag when you drop down the board for a head-to-head, but Adam Long has begun to come out of his funk. The consistency isn’t there, but it’s never going to be for him. If it was, he wouldn’t be Adam Long, he’d be Corey Conners. But I digress. It’s feast or famine for him, as he’s posted top-35 finishes in four of his past six starts, with a couple MCs thrown in for good measure. Hubbard, meanwhile, only has one top-30 finish in 10 2022 appearances with four missed cuts along the way.

Gdula: CT Pan (-118) over Dylan Frittelli (FanDuel) — Long-term, these two guys are virtually identical aside from a slight edge in ball-striking for Pan. What really separates them for me is Pan’s frequency of having bigger outings.

Gehman: Patrick Reed (-110) over Sebastian Munoz (DraftKings) — St. George’s features tiny greens, at just 4,000 square feet on average. On golf courses with small greens, Reed has gained over 1.1 strokes per round – second to only Rory McIlroy, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. His elite short-game should provide him an excellent floor this week.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Corey Conners (-120) over Harold Varner III (DraftKings) — I don’t think this is a course that suits HV3’s strengths. Conners, meanwhile, has reportedly been at St. George’s multiple times over the past few weeks. There’s a massive advantage here … based on the books giving a little too much credence to HV3’s good play of late.

Powers, Golf Digest: Tyrrell Hatton (+100) over Sam Burns (DraftKings) — Going up against Burns is downright foolish this season, but I’m that high on Hatton this week.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Matt Fitzpatrick (-110) over Shane Lowry (Bet365) — As you can see above, I have major concerns about Lowry’s course fit and putting this week. Fitzpatrick on the other hand ranks 21st in the FanShareSports CSR this week and 19th for SG/putting on Bentgrass greens over the last two years.

Matchup Results from the Memorial Tournament: Mayo: 1 for 1 (C. Smith (-110) over Spieth); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Spieth (-108) over Morikawa); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Berger (-110) over Conners); Powers: 1 for 1 (Zalatoris (+100) over Matsuyama); Caddie: 0 for 1; Hennessey: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 21-6-4 (up 14.19 units); Powers: 18-11-3 (up 6.76 units); Caddie: 18-12-2 (up 4.82 units); Alldrick: 17-14-1 (up 0.61 units); Gehman: 14-14-4 (down 1.17 units); Gdula: 15-16-1 (down 1.96 units); Hennessey: 14-17-1 (down 6.73 units)

RBC Canadian Open 2022 picks: Top 10s

Caddie: Mackenzie Hughes (+650, DraftKings) — The Canadian nobody is talking about this week, but who plays well on tough courses that emphasize short game.

Mayo: Tyrrell Hatton (+190, DraftKings) — He couldn’t drive it at Heritage, then couldn’t hit an iron at Wells Fargo, so if he can just get ALL his game on the same page, the Brit is actually perfectly suited to take advantage of the St. George’s layout.

Gdula: Harold Varner III (+360, FanDuel) — Varner’s fairway-through-green game is pretty spot on, and that’s the main angle for me this week. Varner’s irons and wedges are some of the best on Tour at the moment, and that’s a great recipe for St. George’s tiny greens.

Gehman: Corey Conners (+200, DraftKings) — Conners notched another top-25 finish last week, marking his sixth such finish in his last nine starts. Outside of that, he’s just been stellar in the ball-striking categories. Per the RickRunGood.com golf database, there are only five golfers in this field who have gained at least 0.40 strokes per round in both ball-striking categories (off-the-tee and approach) over the last 50 rounds. That list is Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Chris Kirk, Shane Lowry and … Corey Conners.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Chris Kirk (+400, DraftKings) — The Georgia Bulldog thrives on tight tracks where ball-striking is important. This is a nice number for someone who’s been really hot lately.

Powers, Golf Digest: Jhonattan Vegas (+550, DraftKings) — I know both of Vegas’ RBC Canadian Open wins did not come at St. George’s, but the SG/good vibes might be good just about anywhere in Canada for the Venezuelan. More importantly, he’s been excellent tee to green over the past three months and as a result has quietly racked up three top 20s in his last six starts.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Tony Finau (+250, DraftKings) — Finau comes into this event ranked sixth in the field this week for SG/total over the last two years and sixth also for SG/total over the last two months. His solid putting on Bentgrass greens and excellent tee-to-green game on these short courses means he also ranks fourth in the FanShareSports CSR this week.

Top-10 results from the Memorial Tournament: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Aaron Wise +650); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Aaron Wise +650); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Joaquin Niemann +390); Powers: 1 for 1 (Sungjae Im +300); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Will Zalatoris +275); Gehman: 0 for 1; Alldrick: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Alldrick: 10 for 32 (up 32.3 units); Powers: 11 for 32 (up 32.05 units); Mayo: 6 for 31 (up 2.8 units); Gehman: 6 for 32 (down 1.3 units); Hennessey: 7 for 32 (down 1.38 units); Caddie: 8 for 32 (down 4.1 units); Gdula: 3 for 32 (down 17.1 units)

RBC Canadian Open 2022 picks: One and Done

Gehman: Cameron Smith — On paper, Smith is generally difficult to handicap. His reliance on the short game is always a bit concerning but he’s proven that it works for him. Despite a slow Sunday, Smith finished T-13 last week, which means that he has six top-25 finishes in his 10 events in 2022 – with two wins and two more top 5s. At this point in the season, it’s hard to find golfers this far up the betting odds that you haven’t used yet. I’ll roll with Smith.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Patrick Cantlay. Mexico Open: Aaron Wise. Wells Fargo: Matt Fitzpatrick. AT&T Byron Nelson: Justin Thomas. PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth. Charles Schwab Challenge: Max Homa. The Memorial Tournament: Will Zalatoris.

Hennessey: Cameron Smith — I faded Cam Smith in this space last week. That was a mistake. The guy is playing such good golf and arrives at a venue that emphasizes one of his biggest strengths, the short game. Plus, he’s now one of the best iron players in the world.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry. Valero Texas Open: Chris Kirk. The Masters: Justin Thomas. RBC Heritage: Russell Henley. Mexico Open: Gary Woodland. Wells Fargo: Troy Merritt. AT&T Byron Nelson: Jhonattan Vegas. PGA Championship: Scottie Scheffler. Charles Schwab Challenge: Jordan Spieth. The Memorial Tournament: Jon Rahm.

Powers: Tyrrell Hatton — You already know how high I am on Hatton this week and I haven’t used him yet. Easy call here.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Matt Fitzpatrick. Mexico Open: Abraham Ancer. Wells Fargo: Keegan Bradley. AT&T Byron Nelson: Sahith Theegala. PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth. Charles Schwab Challenge: Tommy Fleetwood. The Memorial Tournament: Patrick Reed.

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.

Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.

Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.