Experts' picks: RBC Canadian Open

July, 24, 2014
07/24/14
11:32
AM ET

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week, the PGA Tour is at the Royal Montreal Golf Club in Ile Bizard, Canada, for the RBC Canadian Open.

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Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Brian Gay

He's my choice because the last time the PGA Tour was here, he finished T-18, and along with Luke Donald, those are the highest-finishing guys I could find who teed it up back then. Since Gay didn't play in the Open Championship, he'll be fresher than Luke.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Graeme McDowell

Before the 2007 Presidents Cup, Rees Jones redesigned its 7,153-yard Blue course, which is famous for its large greens. There is not a better putter for these greens on tour than McDowell, who in 2014 leads the tour in the stroke-gained putting statistic.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Mike Weir

OK, not too many folks are familiar with Royal Montreal, site of this year's Canadian Open. It's where the Presidents Cup was played in 2007, and where Canadian Weir took down Tiger Woods in Sunday singles.


Birdie Buster

Collins: Scott Piercy

Piercy is making his first PGA Tour start since having surgery last year (he made two starts on the Web.com Tour this season). He's a past champion of the event, and you can expect plenty of birdies from the Las Vegas native.

Evans: Jim Furyk

The former U.S. Open champion and 16-time PGA Tour winner has not won since 2010, but this year he has amassed six top-10s, including two seconds and a fourth last week at Hoylake, where he shot a 7 under 65 in the final round.

Harig:  Jim Furyk

The two-time champion of the event is coming off an excellent showing at the Open Championship and is having a strong year, having all but clinched a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.


Super Sleeper

Collins: William McGirt

Who's a solid player that plays on tough courses that are overpowering? This guy! His two top-10s this year came at Harbour Town and Riviera, two courses that are similar in shot-making to this course. Shhhhh! Keep this nugget to yourself and win big on your fantasy team.

Evans: Adam Hadwin

In March, the 26-year-old Saskatchewan native won in Chile on the Web.Com Tour and has four other top 10s this year on the developmental tour. In 2011, he finished in a tie for fourth at the RBC Canadian Open when it was held at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.

Harig: David Hearn

The Canadian has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but winning his country's Open would make him a legend.

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Winner

Collins: Scott Brown

Career win No. 2 dropping this week. Brown is coming off a fifth-place finish at the John Deere, which was his fourth top 10 of the year. He's straight enough off the tee (25th) and patient enough on the greens (30th in SGP).

Evans: Graham Delaet

Pat Fletcher was, in 1954, the last Canadian player to win his national open. With six top-10s on his 2013-2014 season, DeLaet, a Saskatchewan native, is poised to end that 60-year drought. Last year, the Boise State grad missed the cut in the tournament.

Harig: Hunter Mahan

He's do some good karma after withdrawing a year ago with the 36-hole lead. Mahan left because he wife went into labor. He made it home in time for the birth of his daughter. A victory in Canada seems fitting.

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