The domestic golf calendar continues on both side of the Atlantic this week with the prestigious Canadian Open and the Porsche Open in Germany.
Once considered the third biggest tournament in the world after the The Open and US Open, the Canadian Open was first played in 1904 and still considered a big event on the PGA Tour.
Open runner-up Matt Kuchar is looking to bounce back from his disappointment at Royal Birkdale with victory at the Glen Abbey Course, but world need to overcome world number one Dustin Johnson – who is the lead name in the field.
England’s Ian Poulter, Charley Hoffman and Bubba Watson are also amongst a strong field in Ontario. Defending champion is Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas, who will be looking to defend, is hoping to bounce back to form.
“I’ve had a horrible summer, to put it the best way,” said Vegas.
“But it’s always fun coming back to places where you’ve had great results, especially wins, so definitely it’s a good refresher from the past couple of months that have been a bit of a struggle.
“But it’s golf and you have to keep a positive mentality and always think that you’re going to play your best.”
There will also be a strong local feel with 17 Canadians in the line-up.
In Europe and the tour is back in Germany for the Porsche European Open, and French star Alexander Levy is looking to be the first player since Lee Westwood in 2010 to defend the crown.
Levy is amongst the leading fancies in a field that features a number of PGA Tour regulars. South African Charl Schwartzel is the favourite, but a number of Americans are highly fancied.
Porsche European Open 2017 starts in 3 days! pic.twitter.com/GN7YqE6ivQ
— Dominik Senn (@senn1818) July 24, 2017
Patrick Reed, Pat Perez and Jimmy Walker are all featuring at the Green Eagle Course and major winner Walker is really looking forward to the week in Hamburg.
“It’s my first time here so I was really excited to come, my wife flew in and we kind of left the kids at home and we’re just kind of treating it to check out Hamburg, and now that the sun is out it’s even better,” said Walker.
“It is very long, there is a lot of undulation in the greens so you have to be careful where you are hitting it on the greens and it’s tight in spots too, but a long golf course with the weather the way it is as well.
“I feel pretty good. I was hitting it well last week, just haven’t been making a lot of birdies so just looking for a little golf mojo and get things going in the right direction. It’s been an interesting year this year but things are looking up.”
The pro’s point of view…
Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.
You have to think one of the Americans might go close in Germany this week and I like Patrick Reed a lot, good to see him playing over here and I hope he has a good week but Pat Perez could play well too.
In Canada, Matt Kuchar is the sort of player who can bounce back – but it is a big ask after the Open disappointment. I think Canadian Graham DeLaet could go well.
The Bookie says…
We caught up with BetVictor’s Jack Milner – an expert in the golfing markets
Dustin Johnson heads the market for the Canadian Open after a stellar weekend at the Open Championship, and looks the class act amongst the field this week on the PGA Tour. DJ, like many of the Americans playing last week at Royal Birkdale, flew straight to Canada for this week’s event and has been a well-supported 13/2 from 8s favourite.
There has been support for Ollie Schniederjans and it’s easy to see why; the tour rookie has two T5 finishes already this season and looks plenty of value at 50/1. He looks a winner in waiting on the PGA Tour, as does Patrick Cantlay – another to attract significant support. The 25-year-old looks a potential superstar on tour and, having already been backed into 25/1 from 40s, still represents each-way value in a field lacking serious depth.
The European Open is another event lacking serious depth, with Charl Schwartzel and Patrick vying for favouritism after disappointing weekends at Royal Birkdale. Both are opposable on long winless runs, and both relatively inconsistent in comparison to their world rankings. BetVictor are 25/1 the field if you take the first four out of the market, and there may be some value further down the field. Gregory Bourdy hit a purple patch around this time last season and looks over-priced at 100/1, whilst big-hitting South African Paul Peterson looks likewise at the same price.
Patrick Cantlay 25/1
Ollie Schniederjans 50/1
Gregory Bourdy 100/1
Paul Peterson 100/1