The third longest running tournament on the PGA Tour schedule features a decent group of golfers this week. Thanks in large part to “Team RBC” which has brought in the likes of Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Luke Donald, Graham DeLaet, and Ernie Els to help boost the field this week.
Here are the RBC Canadian Open featured groups to watch out for this Thursday and Friday:
Dustin Johnson-Brandt Snedeker-Hunter Mahan
Round 1: Hole 10, 8:00 AM ET; Round 2: Hole 1, 1:15 PM ET
Hunter Mahan lead the Canadian Open last year, but withdrew and left due to the fact that his wife went into labor. The beneficiary of Mahan withdrawing was Brandt Snedeker as he went on to shoot a 63 and 70 on Saturday and Sunday to win the RBC Canadian Open. Both Snedeker and Mahan could use a win this week, or at the very least contend in a year where they have struggled.
Dustin Johnson hasn’t struggled and is the favorite this week. Johnson has the game and talent to compete at just about everywhere and anywhere. This will be an interesting group to follow. Very much a boom-or-bust type group.
Matt Kuchar-Jim Furyk-Graham DeLaet
Round 1: Hole 1, 1:05 PM ET; Round 2: Hole 10, 8:00 AM ET
This will be a fun group to watch on Thursday as we have three of the better ball strikers on Tour playing in the same group. Royal Montreal Golf Club is small, tight golf course and all three golfers should benefit. Matt Kuchar won at the RBC Heritage tournament where Harbour Town Golf Links is a tight course that rewards tee-to-green players.
Jim Furyk finished T-7 at the RBC Heritage and, of course, Furyk’s body of work in his career is all about thinking, hitting fairways, and hitting greens. Not many golfers over the years have done it better than him.
Graham DeLaet has struggled of late, but he’s still hitting 71% of greens (2nd on Tour). If DeLaet can make a few putts he realistically could win and finally get his first PGA Tour win in his career. Basically, don’t be surprised to see all three golfers in contention this Sunday.
Ernie Els-Stewart Cink-Justin Leonard
Round 1: Hole 10, 7:50 AM ET; Round 2: Hole 1, 1:05 PM ET
It’s been a rough year for Ernie Els and hopefully he has recovered from busting up a fan’s face last week at The Open. Stewart Cink and Justin Leonard are having solid years and could really benefit this week given the size of the course, especially Leonard.
Graeme McDowell-Luke Donald-Mike Weir
Round 1: Hole 1, 1:15 PM ET; Round 2: Hole 10, 8:00 AM ET
Another group that can take advantage of Royal Montreal. This isn’t a long course and it takes precision from tee-to-green. McDowell last week talked about how Royal Liverpool is a thinking man’s course and not a long hitters paradise. He should be happy again this week as Royal Montreal Club suits his game and it suits Luke Donald and Mike Weir as well.
Donald finished second to Kuchar at the RBC Heritage, a tournament that is somewhat similar to what the players are going up against this week. Weir is a very short hitter and could potentially contend if he strikes the ball well and consistently. The problem is it’s something he hasn’t done in awhile. Another interesting group to keep an eye on.