The PGA Tour heads back from The Open Championship this week, but it’s one more stamp on the passport as the players head to Vancouver for the 2011 RBC Canadian Open. Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club will host the national championship for the fourth time overall and she welcomes a strong field even though many top professionals are either taking the week off or staying in Europe for another week. Carl Pettersson will defend his 2010 championship, albeit at a different course, against some of the best young talent in the game, including Luke Donald, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler.
The 7,010 yard, par-70 track at Shaughnessy is in play again for the first time since 2005 and players should expect a tough go if this year plays out like it did then. Only eight players managed to finish under-par for the week with the winning total at 5-under as the course finished the year ranked as the hardest non-Major test of 2005. The course features tight, tree-lined fairways and small greens which are also tough to putt so accuracy is at a premium this week as well as scrambling. The players may catch a break as rain in the forecast should keep the greens receptive but spotty tee to green play will leave players with few birdie opportunities.
Two golfers I believe too have a great chance to win this week are:
Matt Kuchar +1200
Matt finally stumbled last week at the Open Championship, but that was just his first missed cut of a very productive year so far. Kuchar leads the Tour in top-10 finished with eight and has been in the top-25 in an amazing 12 of his 15 made cuts. A win is about the only thing missing and this week could change that as Matt’s game suits the course well. Coming into the week, Kuchar is in the top-31 in fairways, greens, total putting and ballstriking and ranks in the top-11 in both birdie and scoring average. There is no weakness on the 3rd best all around stat sheet and that will play well at any tough course.
Ryan Moore +2200
Despite making the weekend on 13 of 15 starts, Moore has had a very quiet year with just a single T2 at the Travelers as proof of any real contention. Still, a runner-up finish at this course in 2005 and a final round 69 in rough conditions last Sunday makes him a factor this week. Moore isn’t going to wow anyone with his stat sheet overall but he does rank in the top-50 in both total driving and scrambling with top-20 ranks in strokes gained and total putting. Moore is a good grinder and should find success like he did in 2005 at Shaughnessy.