Gentleman Jim To Conquer Canada
Canadian Open 2014
After a superb Open Championship at Liverpool, attention turns westward as the Canadian Open kicks off in Montreal.
The Canadian Open is the third oldest tournament in professional golf, and was once considered amongst the most prestigious. It is still regarded as an important event, and despite being sandwiched between the British Open, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the US PGA Championship, it has once again attracted a high class field. Only one European has won the event in the last thirty years.
Founded in 1873, Royal Montreal Golf Club is the oldest club in North America, and having been the first host for this tournament in 1904, this year hosts it for the tenth time, although the first since it was renovated in 2007. It’s a short, tree-lined par-70 with small greens and forgiving rough. The forecast is for light or moderate winds and very little rain so there should be some low scoring this week.
In The Bunker
There’s a three-way tie for favouritism in the antepost list but of the famous trio at the top of the market, Matt Kuchar makes least appeal. He finished second in this event last year, but he’s off the boil at the moment. After a long run of typically consistent form in 2014, he missed the cut at Colonial at the end of May and hasn’t made a top ten since. Last seen finishing down the field at Hoylake, he’s one to avoid at 14/1.
Of the three players topping the antepost betting, Jim Furyk makes most appeal. His run of good form stretches back to his fifth at the World Match Play in February and has included four top ten finishes and five more inside the top twenty. His latest performance was the most impressive yet: a fourth at the British Open, sealed with a superb final round of 65.
He’s overdue a win this year, and it could well come in Canada, where he has triumphed twice before.
Back him at 14/1.
Europeans have a poor record in this event, but in his current mood, Graeme McDowell could be the player to defy that trend. The 2010 US Open champion showed signs of form at the 2014 version, then followed up with a top five at the Irish Open, victory in France and a top ten at Hoylake, where he picked up five shots in the last five holes. He’s red hot at the moment and a solid bet at 16/1.
At bigger odds it could also pay to take a chance on Tim Clark. He’s missed a few cuts this year, but his fifth at the John Deere Classic last time out was comfortably his best effort of 2014 and his stats show he’s one of the most accurate players on the PGA Tour right now. He hasn’t won on Tour since his 2010 Players Championship success but he’s a solid player hitting form and is worth a look at 66/1.