We go from one national open to another as players compete in the 2023 Canadian Open this week with one eye looking towards Los Angeles Country Club for next week's U.S. Open. Before trekking to the Hollywood Hills, players will first head to the Great White North where a surprisingly strong field will be waiting in the shadows of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Rory McIlroy looks to add a third Canadian Open title to his résumé. Reigning supreme in 2019, the Northern Irishman successfully defended his crown last season as the Canadian Open returned to the PGA Tour playing calendar after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. McIlroy comes off an indifferent Memorial Tournament that saw him enter the final round with a share of the lead only to backtrack and finish T7 to match his result at the 2023 PGA Championship.
The four-time major champion is joined in the field by fellow U.S. Open winners Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose. Both already winners in 2023, the pair of Englishmen look to keep their momentum rolling with Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the strong English contingent. Despite the litany of Europeans and a splash of young American talent like Sam Burns, Cameron Young and Sahith Theegala, this week belongs to our friends to the north.
Corey Conners headlines the Canadians in the field as the two-time PGA Tour winner would love nothing more than to raise a trophy in front of his very own. He is joined by Adam Hadwin, Adam Svensson, Nick Taylor and Mackenzie Hughes as Canadian PGA Tour winners in the field.
Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter and Patrick McDonald to continue the discussion on the PGA Tour merging with the PIF and LIV Golf + previewing the RBC Canadian Open. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
2023 Canadian Open schedule
Dates: June 8-11 | Location: Oakdale Golf & Country Club — Toronto, Ontario
Par: 72 | Yardage: 7,264 | Purse: $9 million
2023 Canadian Open field, odds
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
- Rory McIlroy (9/2): McIlroy, the clear class of the field, may be finding some form at the exact right time. The world No. 3 has finished T7 in back-to-back events without garnering much of the momentum or energy we are used to seeing. He has collected four straight top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open, and something similar could be in store if able to tweak a few shortcomings this week. This season is currently the worst of his career in terms of driving accuracy, his wedge play was poor Sunday at the Memorial and his putter has been playing hide-and-seek. Still, he is the rightful favorite.
- Tyrrell Hatton (12-1)
- Sam Burns (14-1): It has been an up-and-down season for the world No. 14 filled with struggles and triumphs. Following his win at the WGC-Match Play, Burns missed cuts at the Wells Fargo Championship and the PGA Championship but now looks to be back on the upward trajectory. A T6 finish in his title defense at the Charles Schwab Challenge was followed up with a T16 at the Memorial. Scoring should be ideal and wedge opportunities should be plentiful, both of which will suit Burns' game.
- Matt Fitzpatrick (14-1)
- Cameron Young (14-1)
- Corey Conners (16-1): Simply put, Conners is Canada's best hope this week. The 31-year-old comes in riding a wave of momentum with a T8 finish at the Wells Fargo Championship and a T12 result at the PGA Championship. He took a step back with a weekend omission at the Memorial, but Conners and his laser-like approach should play around Oakdale. Conners finished solo sixth in last year's proceedings.
- Justin Rose (18-1)
- Shane Lowry (20-1): Don't look now, but the Irishman may have found something with the putter. Gaining strokes on the greens in last two starts, both top-20 finishes at the PGA Championship and the Memorial, Lowry is beginning to look as well-balanced as ever. He has gained strokes off the tee and on approach in every start since the Masters. Canada has treated the former Open champ well as he has finishes of T12-T2-10 in his last three trips.
- Tommy Fleetwood (20-1)
- Sahith Theegala (28-1): A potential birdie fest should be music to the ears of Theegala, who is quietly riding one of the longest made-cut streaks (18) on the PGA Tour. He's contended often during this run but the 25-year-old is still seeking his first win. If he can consistently find the short grass off the tee, that could change this week.
Canadian Open expert picks
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
|Winner (14-1): Back-to-back missed cuts present a nice buy opportunity on the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Outside his runner-up finish to Burns at the WGC-Match Play, Young hasn't had a ton going in his sophomore season. Despite this, he ranks second in strokes gained tee to green, second in strokes gained off the tee and ninth in strokes gained approach over the last three months among those in the field. The putter has been the main culprit, but we have seen Young contend when low scores are present.|
|Contender (45-1): Fans of the DP World Tour are already acquainted with Meronk, and those who watch the PGA Tour this week will be introduced. The big-swinging Poland native already has two wins across the pond this season and ranks 20th in strokes gained tee to green and 15th in strokes gained putting over the last three months. He is on the inside track to make the European Ryder Cup team this fall, and a strong outing in Canada will only bolster his candidacy.|
|Sleeper (60-1): There is a plethora of Canadians to side with, but Taylor may make the sense. He is just a couple starts removed from finishing runner up alongside Hadwin at the Zurich Classic, and his iron play is beginning to make inroads. If this remains true in his native land, Taylor should like his chances as he ranks 10th in strokes gained putting over the last six months.|
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