After a fantastic four days of championship golf with Rory McIlroy coming out on top at The Open Championship the PGA Tour pivots and turns its attention to the third longest running PGA Tour event in the RBC Canadian Open. With Martin Kaymer not winning the British Open there will be no triple crown this year (winning the U.S. Open, the British Open, and Canadian Open). That hasn’t been done since 2000 when Tiger Woods did it.
The RBC Canadian Open is interesting because of late the courses have changed from year-to-year. In 2010, the tournament was played at St. George’s Golf and Country Club. In 2011: Shaugnessy Golf and Country Club 2012: Hamilton Golf and Country Club, 2013: Glen Abbey Golf Course and this year it will be played on Royal Montreal Golf Club.
The last time the Royal Montreal Golf Club hosted the RBC Canadian Open was back in 2001 when Scott Verplank won it. Which brings us to why this week’s sleeper picks are going to be different. There’s not much course history to go on, so it’s really just going to be how well their form is leading up to the RBC Canadian Open and just how talented these golfers are in general. With that said, let’s get to the picks.
Michael Putnam: Michael Putnam has been very consistent all season long. Putnam hasn’t been in contention on Sunday at any tournament this year, but he’s just been very steady, making the cut, playing on the weekend and making money.
Putnam all season long has just been a steady professional. We can go back from earlier in the year where he finished T-36 and T-32 at the OHL Classic and Sony Open. Or we can go to his T-37 finish at the Farmers Insurance, and T-35 at the Pebble Beach. All season long he has just been there playing golf for four rounds.
In Putnam’s last three tournaments, Putnam has made the cut and finished T-11 at Travelers Championship, T-24 at Quicken Loans, and T-35 at Greenbrier. Putnam is in good form and has been in good form all season long. He should be a very solid pick up and a very valuable pick on the cheap.
John Merrick: Much like Putnam, John Merrick has just been very solid. All season long, Merrick hasn’t been in contention, but he’s been there. You may not have seen him, but he’s been playing on the weekend week in and week out.
Merrick has only missed four cuts all season long in 22 tournaments, two in February and two in May. Otherwise, Merrick has just been solid all season long. Again, like Putnam, he hasn’t been in contention to win. Merrick’s best finish has been a T-19 at Phoenix Open.
Merrick has made the cut in his last four tournaments. at St. Jude’s he finished T-63, Travelers Championship: T-26, Quicken Loans: T-46, and John Deere Classic: T-76.
Luke Guthrie: Luke Guthrie has two top ten finishes this year. T-5 at Shriners and a T-8 at the Memorial. Guthrie is a young, talented golfer just coming into his own and he has had a very solid year. After missing the cut at the U.S. Open and Travelers Championship, in his last two tournaments though Guthrie has bounced back with a T-26 at Greenbrier and a T-27 at the John Deere Classic.
Andrew Loupe: My next two golfers are just feelings I have. Putnam, Merrick, Guthrie are all good picks, a lot of value there, but my next golfers are just feelings I have because there’s a sense of desperation with them. Starting with Andrew Loupe; Loupe is a golfer that is right around the FedEx Cup playoff bubble.
Loupe is 139th in the FedEx Cup standings, the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings make the playoff. So, Loupe has some work to do and he needs to do it right now.
Loupe is a huge risk though. Loupe is either right there in the first couple of pages or he’s missing the cut. Loupe has only made the cut in eight tournament, but when he does make the cut it’s usually a pretty darn good finish.
Loupe finished T-27 at Pebble Beach, T-12 at Puerto Rico Open, and T-4 at the Texas Open. Loupe has made the cut in two of his last three tournaments with a T-39 at Quicken Loans, T-26 at Greenbrier, and a missed cut at the John Deere.
Loupe probably won’t be on my team this week, Loupe might be a bit too risky for my blood, but keep an eye on him. Loupe’s got a lot of fire in his belly and he’s very competitive.
Sang-Moon Bae: Like Loupe, Sang-Moon Bae is right around the playoff bubble. Bae sits at 118th in the FedEx Cup standings and while he would make the playoff if it started today, it’s still a little too close for comfort.
Bae started off the year in pretty good shape, but of late, he’s lost it a little bit. In his first nine tournaments, Bae made the cut in seven of those tournaments. Since then, Bae has played in 12 tournaments and has missed the cut in seven tournaments.
Like Loupe, Bae has been hit or miss. In his last four tournaments, Bae has missed the cut twice, but in the two tournaments he made the cut he finished T-24, and T-16.
So, Bae is a bit of a risk and he may not be the safest bet on paper, but Bae is a talented golfer and he has a great putter. If he gets hot he could be right there in contention.