2022 RBC Canadian Open Betting Preview

Jun 08, 2022
2022 RBC Canadian Open Betting Preview

Nestled among the tree-lined streets of Toronto’s west end sits a classical course that has stood the test of time. St. George’s Golf and Country Club was designed in 1929 by famed Canadian golf architect Stanley Thompson, who took advantage of the natural contours and the wooded valleys to create a strategic course that is not only scenic to behold but one that has excellent golfing character.

Ranked as the 23rd-best course in the world by Golf Digest in 2020, it has hosted the Canadian Open five times, including most recently in 2010. As the final event leading up to next week’s U.S. Open, it will present a good warm-up test for the 15 players scheduled to play at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. St. George’s is also a par-70 course with long and challenging par-4s, thick rough, and eccentricity with blind shots and elevation changes.

Headlined by world No. 1 ranked player and Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler, a solid field will head to the Great White North for the first RBC Canadian Open event since 2019. Among the other notables vying for the $1.4 million winner’s cheque include Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith, Sam Burns, and Matthew Fitzpatrick. The field is definitely on the top-heavy side and is quite weak down on the lower end.

The tournament was canceled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was first played 118 years ago in 1904 and is the third oldest continuously running tournament on the PGA Tour, after The Open Championship and the U.S. Open. Also of note, a Canadian has not won this event since 1958. Most of the top Canadians on the PGA Tour will attempt to change that this week including the likes of Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, and Mackenzie Hughes.

St. George’s Golf and Country Club


The most famous Canadian golf course architect, Stanley Thompson, was selected as the course designer of St. George’s and chose the current 2,000-acre site as the grounds for his masterpiece. At the forefront of the “Golden Age” of course architecture in Canada, Thompson loved the beautiful rolling woodland combined with the natural ravines and valleys that run through the property. Completed in 1929, he routed many holes alongside or through the valleys rather than over them, leading to a world-class golf course.

In 2014, the course had a substantial greens reconstruction project led by Tom Doak and Ian Andrew. The goal was to convert the greens to all Bentgrass and also to replicate Thompson’s original greens complexes. The team removed numerous treens around many of the greens and attempted to replicate the original layout as much as possible.

The Course

St. George’s Golf and Country Club is a par-70 course that measures 7,014 yards. While the fairways do meander slightly in different directions, it is a very straightforward course. Though it ranks as the 14th-shortest course on Tour, it plays longer than its yardage due to all the elevation changes. It is also not your typical par-70 layout as it features five par-3s and three par-5s. The par-5s are demanding and strategic. Not overly lengthy, Thompson made these holes some of the most difficult on the course. While each is reachable in two shots, players will need to have accurate second shots to avoid the elevated bunkering on hole number 11, for example, and the elevated green on number 15.

Five of the par-4s are over 465 yards, and with all the elevation changes, many of the course’s 10 par-4s play either uphill or downhill. Many of Thompson’s courses have five par-3s and St. George is no exception. Four of them play over 200 yards and are among the most visually stunning holes on the course. The par-3 sixth hole, for example, plays over a ravine to a well-bunkered two-tiered green.

The most picturesque stretch of holes are numbers 12-15, which are routed through the hilliest section of the course. From elevated greens to elevated bunkers, these holes also have tiered greens that are very tricky to navigate.

It is the finishing three-hole stretch that is acclaimed as one of the very best Canada has to offer. The 16th is a tough uphill par-3 with a massive false front that is followed by the lengthy par-4 17th and its minuscule green. The 18th, which was originally a par-5, plays uphill all the way to a very steep green surrounded by bunkers.

St. George’s is a heavily tree-lined parkland course that features an undulated landscape with rolling hills where golfers will play across valleys and have to contend with uneven lies, thick rough, intricate elevated bunkering, and sloping greens. Each of these attributes are clearly seen in the hole-by-hole flyover video posted above. Water only comes into play on two holes. Back in 2010, Carl Pettersson won with a score of 14-under. That was after making the cut right on the number and then shooting a course record 60 the very next day. The average score for the event was -0.36 strokes under par. What that tells me is that there are enough challenges at this course to tamper scoring down into the low teens. But accurate players who are playing from the fairway have the potential to shoot a low round.

There is a combination of grass types on the course for this week. Fairways are Ryegrass, while rough is a mixture of Bluegrass, Ryegrass and Fescue, and is 4" long. Greens are pure bentgrass. Back in 2010 at this event, they ran at an 11 on the stimpmeter. To prepare players for the U.S. Open it is thought the greens might run faster for this year's RBC Canadian Open.

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