Expert Picks: 2014 RBC Canadian Open


This week marks the 37th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players head to Royal Montreal Golf Club for the RBC Canadian Open. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and John Antonini; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; staff writer Ryan Lavner and defending fantasy champion Charlie Rymer.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Jim Furyk: The veteran is playing some of his best golf in years and has a stellar record at the Canadian Open, including back-to-back victories in 2006 and ’07 and he tied for ninth place last year.

Group 2: Ben Crane: Make this a karma pick. After schlepping all the way to England from Oregon as the first alternate at last week’s Open Championship, Crane found himself headed home on Friday morning. The golf gods may owe him one.

Group 3: William McGirt: He was solid in his last start (T-23 at the John Deere Classic) and he finished runner-up each of the last two years at the Canadian Open.

Group 4: Patrick Rodgers: The young professional continues his quest for a PGA Tour card but he is running out of time. After Canada he will only have two more events to secure his status.

Will Gray

Group 1: Jim Furyk: A banner year continued last week, as Furyk finished solo fourth at Royal Liverpool. Now with his berth on the U.S. Ryder Cup squad secure, the veteran returns to an event where he went back-to-back with wins in 2006 and 2007.

Group 2: David Hearn: Many expect Graham DeLaet to be the top Canadian threat at Royal Montreal, but Hearn contended at TPC Sawgrass earlier this season and notched a solid T-32 finish at the Open after making the field as an alternate. He has the tee-to-green game to contend this week.

Group 3: Chad Campbell: Believe it or not, the veteran leads the Tour in GIR percentage this season, and Campbell comes off a T-13 finish at the John Deere Classic. It was his second top-15 result in his last three starts, and Campbell cracked the top 25 two of the last three years in Canada.

Group 4: Patrick Rodgers: Rodgers received some deserved hype when he turned pro out of Stanford, but outside of an opening 65 at TPC Deere Run he has yet play to his potential. That may change this week in Canada, and amid a watered-down Group 4 he is a great option with high potential.

John Antonini

Group 1: Matt Kuchar: He leads the PGA Tour in top-10 finishes in 2013-14 and I fully expect him to get to double digits this week at Royal Montreal. He was T-2 a year ago and T-4 in 2010, although neither were held that the course they're playing this season.

Group 2: Hunter Mahan: If fate plays a hand in wins and losses, Mahan should do well this week. A veteran of the 2007 Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal, he was also the 36-hole leader of the Canadian Open a year ago before withdrawing due to the birth of his first child, Zoe. 

Group 3: Aaron Baddeley: The Aussie was T-9 at Glen Abbey a year ago and has been playing well on the PGA Tour this summer with a T-4 in Connecticut in his last start. One of the Tour's better putters, he should have some fun on Royal Montreal's greens but he has to get there in regulation, a stat he has struggling in this season.

Group 4: Woody Austin: He earned the nickname “Aquaman” during the 2007 Presidents Cup when he fell into a lake by the 14th hole at Royal Montreal. Austin should have the fans by his side this week.