This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
RBC Canadian Open
Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
Hamilton Golf & Country Club - Par 70 - 6,967 yards
Field - 156 Entrants
Purse - $7.6M
Less than an hour drive from the heart of Toronto, Drake and the rest of an avid Raptors fan base will have a chance to relax along the historic grounds of Hamilton Golf & CC throughout the weekend while their NBA squad faces a dynasty in the Bay Area. The RBC Canadian Open is a beloved event for many maple syrup connoisseurs, but in reality it doesn't carry much weight in the golf world with a measly $7.6M purse. As expected, just a week before the U.S. Open, the strength of this week's field isn't anything spectacular either, with just 15 of the Official World Golf Ranking's top 50 in attendance. Luckily, that does include a top-heavy contingent with four of the top six in the world entered this week. The greens at Hamilton G&CC are relatively minuscule and require precision with long irons, and the wind could play more of a factor than last time this venue hosted the Canadian Open. Renovations since 2012 have included a significant disposal of trees, making the course more susceptible to gusts. Nonetheless, generally slow and soft conditions figure to result in a surplus of scoring opportunities.
2018 - Dustin Johnson (Glen Abbey)
2017 - Jhonattan Vegas (Glen Abbey)
2016 - Jhonattan Vegas (Glen Abbey)
2015 - Jason Day (Glen Abbey)
2014 - Tim Clark (Royal Montreal)
2013 - Brandt Snedeker (Glen Abbey)
2012 - Scott Piercy (Hamilton G&CC)
2011 - Sean O'Hair (Shaughnessy G&CC)
2010 - Carl Pettersson (St. George's G&CC)
Key Stats to Victory
Birdie or better percentage - Nearly 40 total eagles were holed and a pair of 62s were posted the last time Hamilton hosted the Canadian Open
Driving distance - Each of the top nine finishers at Hamilton in 2012 ranked 25th or better in this metric, while Robert Garrigus paced the field at 328.0 yards en route to a T2
Par-4: 400-450 scoring - P4 efficiency is essential as those who make the cut will be playing a total of 28 holes in this yardage range
Proximity > 200 yards - Hamilton G&CC features two reachable par-5s and a trio of par-3s that tip out between 210-224 yards
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Dustin Johnson - $51
Johnson is slated to once again enter the RBC Canadian Open as the betting favorite at 11/2 on GolfOdds.com, and the defending champ feels due for another victory after runner-up results at both the Masters and PGA Championship. He paces the field in P4: 400-450 efficiency over his last 24 rounds and also leads the Tour in SG: Total this season, gaining an average of four strokes putting throughout his past five tournaments.
Brooks Koepka - $48
The World No. 1 finished 2-4-Win over his last three solo starts, culminating with a mostly stress-free stroll to the Wanamaker Trophy at Bethpage Black for his fourth career major victory. Koepka is second to none in terms of GIR percentage over his last 12 rounds and birdie or better percentage over his last 24. He also gained a whopping average of 18.3 feet in proximity on approaches from over 200 yards against the field at the PGA Championship.
Scott Piercy - $40
Piercy is trending at the right time, with finishes of T3-T13-T2-T41-T19 since the RBC Heritage. He returns to the site of his second win on the PGA Tour, having notched a one-stroke victory at Hamilton in 2012, when he strung together three straight 67s after opening with an eight-under 62. The 40-year-old has not only gained strokes off the tee in nine consecutive events, but he also gained 5.3 strokes putting during his most recent showing at the Charles Schwab Challenge. It's pretty rare to see Piercy reach the $40 mark, but he could still see fairly healthy ownership given his ranking of fourth in par-4 scoring and eighth in GIR percentage on the season.
Ryan Palmer - $37
One concern with Palmer is his inability to putt well on poa annua greens, but the 42-year-old has struck the ball well throughout his 2018-19 campaign and gained 8.8 strokes tee to green en route to a sixth-place finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge two weeks ago. He ranks 25th in proximity from over 200 yards, 11th in GIR percentage, 11th in birdie average and eighth in par-4 scoring.
Erik Van Rooyen - $34
Prior to a missed cut at the Made In Denmark, Van Rooyen placed T15-T6-T2-T29 on the European Tour, and then impressively tied for eighth on the big stage at the PGA Championship. Consequently, the South African has joined the top-100 in the OWGR for the first time in his career. He ranks 13th on the European Tour in birdies per round, 39th in driving distance and 23rd in SG: Putting. Surrounded on the board by a slew of more well-known names such as Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Jimmy Walker and Canadian Corey Conners, Van Rooyen owners could definitely benefit from what will be a contrarian play.
Shane Lowry - $32
The Irishman flirted with a fall outside of the top 50 in the OWGR after missing the cut at Augusta National, but he rebounded with back-to-back top-8s at the RBC Heritage and PGA Championship and now sits 42nd. Lowry gained 4.4 strokes on his approach shots at Bethpage Black, and he gained over three strokes with the flat stick in each of his last two starts.
Nick Watney - $30
Several rough outings with the putter have capped Watney's upside as of late, but he's gained a total of 24 strokes from tee to green throughout his last four starts and finished eighth at the Charles Schwab Challenge and T22 at the Memorial . Over his past 12 rounds, Watney ranks sixth in GIR percentage, sixth in SG: Off-the-Tee and seventh in SG: Approach, so the ball striking is clearly there right now.
Bud Cauley - $27
A top-10 at the Memorial Tournament will certainly help Cauley pick up steam as a sleeper pick this week, as the University of Alabama product was already going to foster attention given his T4 at Hamilton G&CC in 2012. That year he amassed 55 greens in regulation at the Canadian Open while playing the two par-5s in nine-under-par to go along with an average of 4.5 par-breakers per round. Cauley has gained at least three strokes tee to green in each of his last five starts and he leads the PGA Tour in SG: Around-the-Green.
Jason Dufner - $26
*Dufner has withdrawn from this week's event
Dufner collected his second top-10 in four starts this past week at the Memorial, where he gained almost seven strokes on approach shots and finished T4 in GIR percentage. He's seventh on Tour in proximity and just jumped from No. 145 to 113th in the FedExCup standings. A bit less pressure will be weighing on his shoulders as Dufner qualified for next week's U.S. Open via sectionals in Ohio on Monday.
Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week
Pricing feels extremely tight with the top four players all burning a hole in your pocket at $48-$51, and it's especially tough to dip into Yahoo's abundance of $20 punt plays when only the low-70 and ties out of a 156-man field are guaranteed four rounds. Expect a good majority to anchor their lineups with either Dustin Johnson or Brooks Koepka, while Justin Thomas' wrist injury and second-round 80 at the Memorial are still fresh in the minds of DFS gamers. Consider fading Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut last week at Muirfield Village and gained an average of just 1.75 strokes on approach over his past two starts.