Perry’s 2019 Canadian Open Betting Preview: Is the Price Right For Dustin Johnson?
John David Mercer, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dustin Johnson
- Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are at the top of the board for the RBC Canadian Open.
- Josh Perry thinks a strong case can be made for DJ, but his price is too short for an investment.
- Further down the board, Shane Lowry headlines a few longshots who can contend at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.
The Memorial was one of those tournaments where my strategy of crossing off the favorites came back to bite me.
I wrote up how well Patrick Cantlay should fit there, but steered clear because of the price. Naturally, he tracked down the field and came out on top.
Hopefully Cantlay keeps that momentum rolling into next weekend’s U.S. Open. I was able to invest in him to win at Pebble Beach at 66-1 a few weeks back and his current price has been slashed to as short as 16-1 depending on the sportsbook.
Before we can get to all that, we have the Canadian Open — which is in a new spot on the schedule and at a course we haven’t seen in seven years. As part of the 2019 re-shuffle, the Canadian Open was bumped up to the week prior to the U.S. Open instead of the week leading into the Open Championship in July.
This year’s event takes place at Hamilton Golf & Country Club for the first time since 2012. Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy are the only two players in the field who have won here. Furyk and Piercy both do a good job of keeping the ball in play off the tee and are able to attack small greens with their strong approach game.
Hamilton Golf & Country Club will host the event for the fourth time since 2003. It measures a little over 6,900 yards for a par 70 and really doesn’t offer too much trouble by PGA standards for a course of this length.
Most of the par 4s are simply a 3-wood and a wedge for the longer hitters and there’s some rain in the forecast, so the fairways will play wider and the greens will likely be pretty soft, so it players could go really low here.
The only real trouble will be be on the long par 3s. The players just need to avoid giving strokes back on those holes and take advantage of the rest of the course.
The Canadian Open features a strong field as the top players look to warm up for the U.S. Open. Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy are the headliners this weekend and are the three favorites up north.
Johnson sits atop the odds at +500, while Koepka is right behind at +600. McIlroy is the third choice at +1000.
Rounding out the top five are Justin Thomas (+1600) and Matt Kuchar (+1800). It’s important to note that Thomas is still working his way back from injury, so proceed with caution there.
I don’t really bet the favorites often, much to my detriment last week, but if ever there was a week I’d consider it, it’d be this one.
I think Dustin Johnson lines up perfectly this week and if the number was +800 or higher, he’d be my entire card and we’d be done here. He should be able to completely overpower this place. Motivation is always the biggest question at this level, especially the week before a major, but DJ won the week before the U.S. Open last year and is the defending champ in Canada, albeit on a different course, so the interest level will be there for him.
Alas, the odds I’d need for there to be value on Johnson are unlikely to appear this week, so I’ll have to keep shopping.
We’ll add two players in this range.Let’s start with Shane Lowry (+4525), who has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts at the Heritage and PGA Championship, so his form is where it needs to be. After losing strokes with his approach in eight straight events leading into the PGA Championship, Lowry turned that part of his game around at Bethpage.
The irons will be critical this week, so I’m betting on him finding his game after a poor few months.
The other mid-tier player I’m investing in is Bud Cauley at +5500.
Cauley will be a popular pick this week. He finished fourth the last time Hamilton hosted this tournament and is coming off a top-10 finish at the Memorial. His game looks like it’s trending in the right direction.
The first longshot I’m adding to my card is Joaquin Niemann at 100-1 and to finish in the top 10 at +650. Niemann is one of those young players who seems poised for a breakthrough.
He’s made the cut in three of his last four events, and more importantly for me, he gained strokes in all four areas for the first time in a year, so the all-around game might be where it needs to be for that breakthrough to finally happen.
Next, I’ll go with Zach Johnson at 110-1 and I’ll also be adding him at 7-1 for a top-10 finish. On a short course like this, Johnson can contend. He gained strokes with the approach in five straight events prior to a poor showing at Colonial. But I think he can bounce back in Hamilton.
Lastly, we’ll back Nate Lashley at 250-1 and 7-1 to finish inside the top 20. Lashley has been in solid form all year long and has only lost strokes with the approach once in 2019. His weakness has been off the tee, but on a short course, that may not play as big of a factor.
The Canadian Open Betting Card
- Shane Lowry +4525 (.73 units)
- Bud Cauley +5500 (.6 units)
- Joaquin Niemann +10000/+650 Top 10 (.33 units/1 unit)
- Zach Johnson +11000/+700 Top 10 (.3 units/1 unit)
- Nate Lashley +25000/+700 Top 20 (.13 units/1 unit)
Total Stake: 5.09 units