RotoWire Partners

PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Canadian Open

Jeremy Schilling

Schilling covers golf for RotoWire, focusing on young and up-and-coming players. He was a finalist for the FSWA's Golf Writer of the Year award. He also contributes to PGA Magazine and hosts the popular podcast "Teeing It Up" on BlogTalkRadio.

The PGA Tour goes north of the border this week for the RBC Canadian Open from Royal Montreal Golf Club. With the PGA Championship just three weeks away and the end of the regular season just a month out, players will compete this week with varying agendas.

History Lesson

The defending champion is Brandt Snedeker, who won by three shots over Jason Bohn, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and William McGirt. In 2012, Scott Piercy beat Robert Garrigus and McGirt by one, and in 2011 Sean O'Hair beat Kris Blanks in a playoff.

Of those names, our recommendation, besides the obvious DJ, Kuchar and Snedeker, is McGirt, who he has finished second the last two years. McGirt is 21st in strokes gained-putting and 23rd in the par 3 birdies or better this year on the PGA Tour.

Pick the Sponsor!

We wrote in April when talking about the RBC Heritage: "No, RotoWire does not have an agreement with RBC, and no, this is not the start of a recurring segment going through the week's sponsors. However, of all the title sponsors on the PGA Tour, it can be argued that RBC has the best stable of golfers."

Well, look at what we have here - another RBC sponsored event! This week, Snedeker, Kuchar, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Mike Weir, Stephen Ames, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and David Hearn fit that bill.

We really like McDowell this week, who snuck into the top 10 last week at the Open Championship with a T9. Stats wise, he's first on the PGA Tour in strokes gained-putting and seventh in scoring average.

Others to Watch

Others to watch include Charl Schwartzel, Graeme DeLaet, Erik Compton, Ben Crane and John Merrick. Our two picks are Schwartzel and DeLaet. Schwartzel finished T7 at the Open Championship, where he ranked T1 for the week in greens in regulation.

DeLaet, meanwhile, is Canadian and still looking for his first PGA Tour win. Obviously this would be the perfect spot for that. Statistically, he's second in greens in regulation on the season and fifth in total driving.