2024 RBC Canadian Open Data Driven Picks for Sahith Theegala & More

2024 RBC Canadian Open Data Driven Picks for Sahith Theegala & More article feature image

Via David Cannon/Getty Images. Pictured: Sahith Theegala of The United States plays his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 19, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hamilton Golf and Country Club has been infrequently featured on the PGA Tour. That factor makes model-building more challenging since we don't have long-term data to decipher for the event. That difficulty gets even more amplified with a restoration on the course since the last iteration of Rory McIlroy's runaway victory here in the 2019 RBC Canadian Open.

Martin Ebert was the man in charge of the $11.5 million restoration that moved the facility closer to what Harry S. Colt envisioned in 1914. Ebert rebuilt all 27 greens to include a classic Bentgrass and Poa split while adding new tees and modernized bunkers that will keep the challenge from five years ago but in a fashion that plays better for today by requiring positioning.

I decided to play things closer to what you would expect since we don't have the long-term data here to pull from when running a model. That will include the basic expectations, such as how someone plays at a short course or par-70 venue, although it doesn't mean that I didn't incorporate my share of projections in as rudimentary of a stance as possible.

Overcomplicating the process and big-braining the unknowns can lead to even deeper problems, so let's take a meticulous approach this week and see if we can find value on this questionable board.

Find my 2024 RBC Canadian Open Data-Driven Picks below.

If you haven't already, you can find me on Twitter (@TeeOffSports). There, I provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user input to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.

2024 RBC Canadian Open Data-Driven Picks

Every Monday, I take an aggregated total from a handful of books I respect and form a median outright price. None of that suggests you wouldn't be able to find better prices if you shopped around, but that is a total I use to compare against a golfer's outright odds movements.

Those returns indicate where the square versus sharp money has entered the market and show potential DFS value for those looking to round out their player pool. Let's dive into some of the shifts in the market and see how they line up with the outright bets I discussed on the Links + Locks 2024 RBC Canadian Open Betting Preview podcast.

2024 RBC Canadian Open Biggest Market Movers

We do this every week when trying to find sharp versus square movement. More often than not, the activity from the public ends up in a direction that falters for all bettors placing wagers on those golfers to win the event.

My answer here doesn't derive thoughts from within my model. I would have a stronger or weaker stance for some of these players than others, but I do believe the general movement for Mac Meissner, Chandler Phillips, Tom Kim and Davis Thompson are some of your sharper shifts in the market. 

We can save the discussion of Meissner's ownership for the DFS world and where this has potentially moved into deep waters, but there were prices out on him at 200-1 when everything opened on Monday that got pushed outside the triple-digit zone at most locations. You can still shop around and find 110-1 if you do your due diligence, but all four above options would be top-20 win-equity candidates for me this week, with two making my card.

We'll get to those wagers in a second.

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2024 RBC Canadian Open Worst Current Values

I talked on Links + Locks this week about how K.H. Lee over Sam Stevens was one of my preferred matchup targets.

Stevens has lost strokes with his irons in seven straight starts, averaging negative-2.62 shots with his approach game during that run. When we add that to questionable past form when given a short par-70 course, this feels like a spot where the form might finally catch up to him. I was surprised to see the market respect him this much.

Kevin Yu is the golfer who has presented the most trouble for me. Regardless of his model rank, his upside numbers illustrate spike potential.

Yu ranked first in this field for GIR percentage, second for Weighted Driving and 14th for Weighted Proximity, although I believe those metrics have made bettors a little too intrigued when he also graded 148th for Expected Short Game.

I talked myself out of a full betting fade of Yu via matchups because he has paths to success. However, I would rather make him beat me in all other markets by not taking on unwanted exposure.

2024 RBC Canadian Open Outright Picks

Sahith Theegala 22-1 (Best is now 21-1 at bet365)

I don't see a massive difference in the market when comparing Sahith Theegala and Tommy Fleetwood. My numbers have each within a small percentage of the another in Projected Win Equity numerous times so far this week.

However, I continue to believe that Theegala's ≈ 0.5% implied outright percentage difference to Fleetwood's at books has given us a marginally better target here since that was the discrepancy within my model needed to push one of them into the value zone.

Over the past season, Theegala has transformed away from his early moniker of a boom-or-bust golfer and enters the week ranked third in my model for Weighted Scoring, Projected Approach + Putting, and Recent Strokes Gained: Total.

Tom Kim 45-1 (Now 35-1 at multiple locations)

It doesn't mean any time that my model likes the top of the board that there is value in that section, but the connection of how my math views that portion of the slate typically does have some correlation with how much exposure I want to take on for the week. 

We get that here in spades when diving into the strength that my model produced for Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Sahith Theegala, Sam Burns and Alex Noren. All five options opened shorter than 30-1 to win this golf tournament and correctly indicate who the favorites should be on the board. 

We could nitpick about what a proper price tag should be for the week. I do have all those names within my top-six win equity candidates. That said, my more significant problem stemmed from how Tom Kim was initially excluded from that group when he opened as high as 50-1 at some locations on Monday.

The market has started to correct itself with his sudden move into the mid-to-low 30s at all books, but I stand by what I said on Links + Locks that 28-1 is his "fair" going rate. 

Chandler Phillips 225-1 (200-1 at FanDuel/PointsBet)

My model saw Chandler Phillips increase his Expected Off the Tee data by more than anyone in the field for this track, moving from outside the top 100 to inside the top 30 when faced with similar courses.

It is not going to be a perfect profile (as none of these long-shot wagers ever are when we take them), but Phillips joined Jacob Bridgeman and Andrew Novak as the only three options outside of 100-1 on the oddsboard who graded among the top 40 for all three par ranges.

My Model's Top Projected Win Equity Choices

  1. Rory McIlroy
  2. Sahith Theegala
  3. Tommy Fleetwood
  4. Tom Kim

2024 RBC Canadian Open First-Round Leader Bets

There seems to be a morning wave advantage for first-round wagers on Thursday.

Here were the best values to consider via my model.

Sam Burns450.041.8
Tom Kim500.042
Beau Hossler1000.022

Best Values To Consider At New Price (Not In Order Of Perceived Edge)

My model is trying pinpoint value further down this board because of the high-end implied probabilities near the very top.

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