Golf Channel's game has a new look in 2019.
This year in addition to picking a tournament winner we’re also shifting the focus to head-to-head matchups, with both the Golf Pick ‘Em game and an additional Sunday-only contest that focuses on the final round. Both contests can be found in the NBC Sports Predictor app, which fantasy players can download to make their selections each week.
Players can compete for weekly cash prizes, with the best scores during the season qualifying for the season-ending FJ $100,000 Championship, where cash and prizes will be awarded to top finishers.
The contests continues this week north of the border in Canada with the RBC Canadian Open, which heads to Hamilton Golf & Country Club for the first time since 2012. Here’s a look at some of the top players you should consider when making picks, as Dustin Johnson returns to defend the title he won last year at Glen Abbey:
1. Brooks Koepka: Koepka tweeted last week that he considers this event "Canada's major," so maybe we should just send him the trophy now. The world No. 1 is making his lone start in between his successful PGA title defense and his run at three in a row at the U.S. Open. No reason to doubt his form.
2. Dustin Johnson: Johnson won this event last year in impressive fashion, although he has never played Hamilton in competition. While the ripple effects of his split with swing coach Claude Harmon III add an extra variable, if he plays even close to how he did during the final round at Bethpage three weeks ago he'll likely contend again.
3. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy has sputtered to slow starts in each of his past two tournaments; at the PGA he rallied for a top-10 finish, while at the Memorial he came up one shot short of the cut line. Wanting to play his way into the U.S. Open to avoid a fourth straight missed cut at Pebble, he added this event and could be a factor if he can get off to a halfway decent start on Thursday.
4. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar's stellar season suffered a hiccup last week in Ohio, where he missed the cut but not before adding another dose of controversy with an embedded ball ruling during the opening round. Kuchar is one of the RBC endorsers with plenty of experience at this event when it was held in late July, and he finished T-34 the last time it was played at Hamilton back in 2012.
5. Webb Simpson: Simpson is quietly building a strong summer season, having finished inside the top 30 in each of his last four starts. That includes a T-5 finish at the Masters and a T-29 result at the PGA, and he's currently 18th this season in total strokes gained and eighth in scoring average.
6. Justin Thomas: Thomas' first start back from a wrist injury blew up during the back nine Friday, but he remained in good spirits despite struggling down the stretch en route to a missed cut. Thomas like many in the field will tee it up this week with one eye on Pebble, but the form he displayed in his first 27 holes at Muirfield Village showed that there might not be that much rust for him to kick off.
7. Scott Piercy: Piercy won this event the last time it was held at Hamilton, opening with a 62 en route to a 17-under 263 total that tied the tournament scoring record. More recently he was a runner-up at last month's AT&T Byron Nelson and T-3 at the RBC Heritage, and at 60th in the world rankings he has plenty to play for as he looks to remain inside the top 60 to earn a U.S. Open invite.
8. Sergio Garcia: Garcia has been hit-or-miss lately, mixing missed cuts in majors with top-10 finishes in other events. While his short game has been less than stellar, Garcia ranks second on Tour this season in strokes gained: approach and sits 11th in strokes gained: tee-to-green. If the putter comes around, this could be a similar result to Quail Hollow when he tied for fourth ahead of the PGA.
9. Jim Furyk: Furyk has a long history with this event, having won it in back-to-back years in 2006-07. The first of those wins came at Hamilton, and while he missed the cut in 2012 he seemed eager to head north following last week's T-33 finish at Muirfield Village. As his runner-up showing at The Players indicated, Furyk still has plenty of gas in the tank at age 49.
10. Henrik Stenson: After a months-long dry spell, Stenson is starting to play some solid golf that may soon lead to a shot to contend for his first win in nearly three years. The Swede hasn't missed a cut since The Players in May, racking up four top-30 finishes in that span, and he's the only player on Tour ranked ahead of Garcia in strokes gained: approach.