Stanley Re-Emerges For Canadian Open Fantasy Five

Stanley SwingsBy Michael Weigand, PGA, ICG

The PGA Tour comes back across the pond this week for yet another open championship -- the RBC Canadian Open.

Though the Canadian Open garners far less attention than last week's British Open, Canada's open championship is one of the oldest annually held tournaments in golf. And, its history and list of former champions is just as impressive as the other more famous championships.

Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino (three times) and Tom Weiskopf (twice) all make the list of former champions.

Over the past 30 years, Greg Norman (twice), Curtis Strange, Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk (twice) have all hoisted the champion's trophy. The tournament returns to Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario for this year's edition of the event.

The last time the tournament was held at Hamilton, Jim Furyk grabbed the first of his two Canadian Open titles. Furyk figures to be in the mix for this year's event, as well.

Here now, the iCHOOSEGOLF Fantasy Five for the RBC Canadian Open.

Kyle Stanley: We haven't talked much about Kyle lately after giving him a lot of "ink" in the opening months of the season. After a gut-wrenching meltdown and eventual playoff loss at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, Stanley rebounded with a win the following week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He followed that with two more top-25s at the end of February. Unfortunately, Kyle posted seven MCs and only one top-50 finish in the following four months. Things appear to be on the rise now, however. Stanley finished T22 at the AT&T National, T19 at the John Deere and posted a solid first three days at the British Open last week. The key to Stanley's game seems to be in the putter. The good news: that putter seems to be heating up after posting six rounds in the 60s in his last three events. Look for Kyle to keep the hot hand rolling this week in Canada.

Brandt Snedeker: File this pick under the "redemption" category. The selection might also fall into the "hacked off and looking to prove something" section. Snedeker led the British Open after 36 holes last week and looked in prime condition to grab his first major championship. A weekend of 73 - 74 however, left Brandt in a tie for third and feeling a bit like he let an opportunity slip through his fingers. Expect that scenario to be a huge motivation for this week. Snedeker is ranked 5th in Strokes Gained Putting, 9th in Birdie Average and 24th in Scoring. He's a great player and should be looking to prove something this week. That's a great combination for fantasy golf owners.

Hunter Mahan: Hunter appeared to be a solid pick for last week's British Open but couldn't quite get anything going. Mahan finished T19 after four consistent, if unspectacular, rounds. Conditions (and pressure levels) should be different this week and Mahan will be looking to "fire" things up. Hunter is currently ranked 3rd on the tour in Greens In Regulation, 9th in Driving Accuracy and 16th in Scoring. With stats like these, Mahan is always a good pick. Smart fantasy golf players won't overthink things this week and won't overlook Mahan when making their roster selections.

Jim Furyk: It's usually a good idea to at least consider former champions when making fantasy golf predictions. "Horses for courses" is more than just a catchy rhyme, after all. Furyk won the Canadian Open the last time it was held at Hamilton G&CC so it's clear he's comfortable with the layout. Furyk is also looking like a guy who is ready to win again. He came close at the Transitions Championship in March (lost in a playoff) and the Crowne Plaza in May (finished 4th). If not for one bad hole late in the U.S. Open, Jim would have likely hoisted his second major championship trophy. Furyk is currently ranked 4th on tour in Scoring thanks in large part to a no. 29 rank in Strokes Gained Putting. He's also 5th in Driving Accuracy which should help Jim to a deep run this week.

Matt Kuchar: Lost amid the Adam Scott collapse and subsequent Ernie Els coronation last week was yet another strong finish for Matt Kuchar. Matt finished T9 at Royal Lytham to give him two top-10s in his last two events. Kuchar hasn't missed a cut this season and has finished outside the top-30 only twice in 15 events. Matt is ranked 19th in GIR, 35th in Driving Accuracy, 21st in Birdie Average and 2nd in Scoring. Often, fantasy golf success isn't about rocket science. And it doesn't take a PhD to know that Matt Kuchar is a smart choice for this week.

Coverage of the RBC Canadian Open begins on Thursday at 3:00pm EDT / 2:00pm CDT.


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