The PGA Tour heads north of the border this week for the RBC Canadian Open. Here are four early-round groups to watch at Royal Montreal GC:
1:05 p.m. off 1 tee/7:50 a.m. off 10: Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Graham DeLaet
Furyk is the all-time leading money winner at this event, and he is fresh off a solo fourth at the Open, his sixth top 10 of the season. Kuchar has made his last four cuts, but he’s in the midst of a mini-slump, failing to record a top 10 since mid-May (!). At No. 38, DeLaet is the highest-ranked Canadian in the field, but he has gone MC-T51-MC in his last three starts.
8 a.m. ET off 10 tee/1:15 p.m. off 1: Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Hunter Mahan
Johnson is coming off a good week at the Open, where he tied for 12th. At No. 5 in Ryder Cup, he should be safe for the team, but the same can’t be said for Snedeker (No. 28) or Mahan (34). They need a strong final push to move near the top nine and impress captain Tom Watson. Sneds, the defending champion here who recently began working with Butch Harmon, is coming off a T-58 at the Open, while Mahan tied for 32nd. Mahan doesn’t have a top 10 since Doral, but perhaps a return to Canada will prove the spark he needs: He led last year’s event before withdrawing to be present for the birth of his first child.
1:15 p.m. off 1 tee/8 a.m. off 10: Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Mike Weir
G-Mac’s good play continued last week at Hoylake, where he tied for ninth. Prior to that event, he tied for sixth at the Irish Open and won in France. Donald, meanwhile, tied for 64th at Royal Liverpool and doesn’t have a top 10 on Tour since his runner-up in Hilton Head. The most popular player in the group, of course, will be Weir, now No. 258 in the world. After a surprising runner-up at the Nelson, he has missed his last three cuts.
7:50 a.m. off 10 tee/1:05 p.m. off 1: Ernie Els, Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard
Cink is the only one of the trio to make the cut at last week’s Open, tying for 47th. Though he hasn’t missed a cut since mid-March, he hasn’t finished better than T-14 in his last 12 appearances. It hasn’t been a great campaign for Els either, as he has posted just one top 10 (Match Play) this season. Leonard doesn’t have a top 30 since January.