This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Canadian Open – Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Glen Abbey GC (7,253 yards, par 72)
$1,116,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
Whether well rested, traveling from Kentucky's Barbasol Championship after a Monday finish, or jet-lagged from the charter flight out of Scotland's Open Championship, this week the players flock to Ontario, Canada for the Canadian Open. There are two main storylines this week: Jhonattan Vegas seeks to become the first man to three-peat an event on TOUR since 2011, and next year's schedule change for this event. For Vegas, a three-peat this week would be an especially remarkable feat. Last week he had an expired visa that caused a domino effect of delays in his travels to Scotland. He ultimately arrived sleep-deprived just two hours before his Thursday tee time, and was forced to use borrowed clubs. He (understandably) missed the cut, which gave him some time to recuperate this week, but it would be quite a story for him to climb into contention here for a third year in a row. As for the 2019 Canadian Open, the timing switches from post-Open Championship to pre-U.S. Open, replacing the St. Jude Classic as the lead-in to America's national championship. The par-72 Glen Abbey layout features the standard four par-5s, four par-3s, and 11 par-4s, but dramatic scoring swings can happen late as the course presents three par-5s in the final six holes. The field is diluted, as you often see in post-major tournaments, but this event holds much weight for Canadian golfers and fans alike. Unfortunately, a Canadian hasn't triumphed in their flagship event since 1954, a somber 64-year time lapse that Canadians hope will end soon.
Recent Past Champions
2017 – Jhonattan Vegas (Glen Abbey)
2016 – Jhonattan Vegas (Glen Abbey)
2015 – Jason Day (Glen Abbey)
2014 – Tim Clark
2013 – Brandt Snedeker (Glen Abbey)
2012 – Scott Piercy
2011 – Sean O'Hair
2010 – Carl Pettersson
2009 – Nathan Green (Glen Abbey)
2008 – Chez Reavie (Glen Abbey)
Key Stats to Victory
• Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
• Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green
• Greens in Regulation percentage
• Sand Save percentage
This event has rotated courses in the past, but four of the last five were hosted by Glen Abbey, again the site of this year's Canadian Open. At Glen Abbey, length has proven helpful on the four scorable par-5s, but it's precision tee-to-green ball striking that matters most, especially on approach shots. Players who are successful at driving the ball in play and hitting plenty of greens to set up birdie looks will contend here. Hitting it close is important, but just hitting greens in general is key because of the heavy bunkering this course presents. At some point each player will need to save par from tricky sand lies around the heavily-protected greens, but those who avoid these situations as much as possible will have the best chance to go low and take home the trophy.
FanDuel Value Picks
Dustin Johnson, $12500 – Johnson leads the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, and the World No.1 owns a pair of runner-up finishes at Glen Abbey. Johnson should have no problem dominating the par-5 holes and setting himself up for ample birdie opportunities. The only concern is last week's disappointing missed cut at Carnoustie, but a few extra days to prepare for this week shouldn't hurt.
Tony Finau, $12100 – Coming off his third straight top-10 at a major, Finau is locked in this season despite not claiming victory (yet). The long hitter will find plenty of birdie chances at Glen Abbey without the need to hit driver too often, so if he can manage to avoid big numbers he should be in the mix Sunday.
Matt Kuchar, $11700 – Kuchar has proven himself a top-10 machine at the Canadian Open, five times achieving the feat in 11 career starts. As one of the better players in the field, he will again have a talent advantage and the comfort of past success to produce another great finish.
Charley Hoffman, $10800 – A runner-up last season to Jhonattan Vegas, Hoffman has proven to be a good option at Canada's National Open with three top-10s in eight career tries. Though Hoffman doesn't enter in as great of form as he did last year, his tee-to-green ball striking has been solid, and there's no reason he can't finish well this week.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Chez Reavie, $8900 – A champion at Glen Abbey a decade ago, Reavie again fits the profile of success here with great precision ball striking from tee to green. Reavie was among the hottest players on Tour earlier this season with back-to-back runner-ups, and he has missed just one career cut at this event in eight career starts.
Jhonattan Vegas, $8700 – Back-to-back champion at $8700?! Though I understand Vegas went through a hectic week at the Open and has poor form coming, he is still the reigning champion, who has many fond memories of success at Glen Abbey. Though course history isn't everything, it's more than worth a shot to take Vegas at this bargain price in hopes he will rekindle the form he showed here the last two years.
James Hahn, $8000 – Quietly lurking in the shadows of household names, Hahn has made 4-of-4 cuts at this event with top-11 finishes in his last two. Hahn ranks top-80 on Tour in both SG: T2G and SG:ATG, so he's a solid ball striker with a knack for this place. $8000 is more than reasonable for his services in a top-weighted event that lends itself to a studs-and-duds approach.
Chad Campbell, $8000 – Campbell is a sneaky good filler option this week, as he has made the cut in seven of nine career tries at this event. Though no top-10s have been collected, he's a bargain option with a good chance to play four rounds.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
In a somewhat weak field in the wake of a major championship, it's prudent to target the limited number of elite ball strikers in the field and back-fill your lineup with lower-cost options that are trending upward coming in. Don't forget to consider hot hands from last week's Barbasol Championship (Monday finish) in addition to those who played well in the Open Championship at Carnoustie.