As in Europe, analysis of the tournament history is largely futile, because a new course is being used. Actually, St George’s G&CC, Toronto, isn’t new at all; it is one of the longest standing great Canadian courses, and still rated as one of its top three. Nevertheless, as it hasn’t hosted the Canadian Open since 1968, we are at a complete loss with regard to course form.
 
For the record, the last two renewals of this event have produced huge-priced winners in Nathan Green and Chez Reavie. Previously this century though, five Major champions had lifted the title. Despite this post-Major position on the schedule, there’s always a decent field, including several of the main Open Championship contenders.
 
Course and stats
 
St George’s is a short par 70, that includes the rare feature of five long par 3s. A strong emphasis on accuracy is expected, not least to avoid the greenside bunkers. Apparently, their position above the greens make sand saves particularly tricky, and scrambling will generally prove a challenge. My prediction is that the key stats will be greens in regulation, scrambling and par-3 performance, although there is obviously plenty of uncertainty.
 
Betting selections
 
3pts ew SEAN O’HAIR @ 18/1 (BET365, STAN JAMES)
 
Of all the Open competitors vying for favouritism, O’Hair makes the most appeal. That’s because he scored as well as almost anyone from the disadvantaged part of the draw, that played in the worst of Friday’s weather. That performance marked him down as one of the Americans best suited to links, and confirmed the promise of recent outings. Sean has finished no worse than 12th on his last four outings, and has twice finished third before in this event.
 
2pts ew MATT KUCHAR @ 25/1 (GENERAL)
 
Apart from the odd place payout, following Kuchar in 2010 has generally proved frustrating. Nevertheless, his numbers vindicate the strategy, and suggest reward will come soon. Kuchar has barely missed a top 20 since finding form at the beginning of last September, and even 27th at The Open was a vast improvement on previous efforts in that Major. The emphasis on quality iron play and scrambling this week should be perfect for a player who looks bound to win again soon.
 
1pt ew BRENDON DE JONGE @ 55/1 (BET365, 60/1 STAN JAMES)
 
De Jonge’s recent form marks him down as a plausible first-time winner. He’s registered five top tens in by far his best year to date, including top 15s in three of his last six events. He ranks very highly in the stats for greens in regulation from 175 yards plus, which should be a useful guide to this week’s course demands.
 
1pt ew JASON BOHN @ 66/1 (SKYBET, HILLS)
 
One last chance for a twice failed recent selection. If we ignore The Open, Bohn’s last ten PGA Tour starts included six top 25s, with victory in New Orleans the highlight. He scores well across all the key stats. Best of all, he ranks fifth amongst these in terms of proximity to the hole from 200-224 yards. All five par 3s here fall into that category.
 
0.5pt ew JOHN MALLINGER @ 90/1 (STAN JAMES, 100/1 TOTE)
 
Mallinger blew a good final-day chance to break his PGA Tour duck last week, but can still boast top 25s from four of his last six starts. Interestingly, this 100/1 chance ranks second in those key stats concerning greens in regulation from 175 yards plus. That’s a surprisingly impressive stat for a player who, until a couple of months ago, was enduring a nightmare season.