Fantasy preview: RBC Canadian Open

July 24, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist

Just a quick reminder for course history buffs that Hamilton Golf & Country Club hasn't hosted the RBC Canadian Open since 2006. While I'll occasionally cite results from editions that go back that far, I would not advise using them -- if there are any -- to break any ties in your weekly roster. Stick with the premiums I laid out in Monday's Power Rankings.

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Power Rankings
Rob Bolton breaks down the field at this week's The Greenbrier Classic in our Power Rankings and provides five players who could surprise.

I went 4-1-0 in PGA TOUR Matchups on Facebook at the British Open, boosting my overall record to 65-52-3 with 139 points. Meanwhile, with a 5-0-0 slate at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Steve Zamborsky has climbed into first place overall with 159. Austin Frank (4-1-0) and long-time leader Chris Stolle (4-1-0) remain tied for second two points back. Last week's leader, Ryan Harmon, went 2-3-0 to fall into a share of fourth place with Thomas Brokl (4-1-0) at 155.

My picks for the RBC Canadian Open:

Ernie Els over Vijay Singh Jim Furyk over Sean O'Hair Hunter Mahan over Matt Kuchar • Brandt Snedeker over Scott Stallings • Robert Garrigus over Charlie Wi

Power Rankings Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)

Group A ... Matt Kuchar (2); Jim Furyk (3); Robert Garrigus (11); Sean O'Hair (15)

Group B ... Hunter Mahan (1); Brandt Snedeker (4); Bo Van Pelt (6); Ernie Els (7); Scott Stallings (14)

Group C ... Scott Piercy (5); Graham DeLaet (8); Seung-yul Noh (9); Charl Schwartzel (10); Daniel Summerhays (12); Charlie Wi (13)

Sleepers Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)

Group A ... none

Group B ... Roberto Castro; Gary Christian; J.J. Henry

Group C ... Brian Harman; Jerry Kelly

On a Roll (Yahoo! Group)

Bud Cauley (C) ... Finished fourth at the True South Classic despite ranking T60 in fairways hit and T46 in greens in regulation at Annandale. Overall, he's 52nd on TOUR in GIR and 24th in scrambling.

Scott Brown (C) ... Since becoming a father for the first time, he's finished seventh at the John Deere Classic and T5 at the True South. Led the field at Annandale in both putting and birdies. His par-breaker percentage over his last 144 holes is an incredible 34.72. No reason not to expect more of the same at Hamilton.

Will Claxton (C) ... Recorded a career-best T5 at the True South Classic where he ranked T4 in greens in regulation and seventh in Strokes Gained-Putting. It was only a matter of time it seemed as he's one of the stronger rookies tee to green. Currently 40th on TOUR in fairways hit and 12th in GIR.

Kyle Stanley (A) ... After camping out in "Leaking Oil" below for months, he's survived his last four cuts and embedded a pair of top 25s. Still a stout 26th on TOUR in greens hit.

Ryan Palmer (B) ... Prior to missing the cut at the John Deere Classic, he rattled off four top 10s and a T15 in six starts. His game improves nearer the hole and he's compensated for ranking 158th in fairways hit.

Rory Sabbatini (A) ... After four months of futility while working on his swing with Rick Smith, he's posted three top 20s in five starts. Given the roller-coaster ride, current form trumps ignorable splits. If you're saving starts on Matt Kuchar and/or Jim Furyk in Group A, give Sabbatini a look.

Horses for Courses (Yahoo! Group)

Rob's Yahoo! lineup
Group A: Jim Furyk; Matt Kuchar
Group B: Ernie Els; Hunter Mahan; Brandt Snedeker; Bo Van Pelt
Group C: Seung-yul Noh; Scott Piercy
YAHOO! STATS: 4,235 points; 11,299th place
SUMMER: 951 points (2,472nd)
ONE-AND-DONE: Scott Piercy
2012 EARNINGS: $4,509,873.00
DUFFER: : Sung Kang
2012 EARNINGS: $298,975.50

David Hearn (C) ... Canada's top-ranked golfer ranks 46th on the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation. He's missed only one cut in his last 10 starts, a stretch that includes six top 25s, including a T21 at last week's True South Classic. If you want to get cute, Yahoo! gamers can pair him with fellow Canuck and Group C golfer, Graham DeLaet, who sits eighth in my Power Rankings.

Vijay Singh (C) ... Coming off a T9 at the British Open, his second such finish in his last eight starts. Tied for sixth at Hamilton G&CC in 2003, one of 18 top 10s that season. Sketchy putting hasn't deterred him from ranking 51st in adjusted scoring.

Ken Duke (B) ... Yahoo! gold in the first round this year, with 14 scores in the 60s. Short course this week elevates his value yet again. Ranks 43rd in fairways hit and 29th in birdie average. Never a wasted roster spot.

Greg Owen (C) ... Currently ninth on TOUR in greens hit and 29th in adjusted scoring. Half of his 14 cuts made this year are top 25s.

Billy Hurley III (C) ... Flashed tee-to-green consistency en route to a T4 at the AT&T National, and then wielded a hot putter to share eighth place at the John Deere Classic. As a result, the rookie is undoubtedly striking the ball with more confidence than ever.

Tim Clark (B) ... While slowly grinding back into form, he's a good fit for Hamilton. Ranks sixth on TOUR in fairways hit and often plays his best on shorter courses.

Chez Reavie (A) ... The 2008 RBC Canadian Open champ (at Glen Abbey) is best known for his ball-striking, although his greens-in-regulation split is down over 4.5 points from last year. Still, within the last month, he connected top 15s to hop off the schneid.

Leaking Oil (Yahoo! Group)

Michael Thompson (B) ... A tee time at Firestone is on the line. The last man in the field at the British Open is the only golfer ranked inside the top 65 in the Official World Golf Ranking in action this weekend -- he's 57th -- but not yet eligible for next week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. (The top 50 in the next edition gain entry.) However, since a co-runner-up at the U.S. Open, he's 0-for-3 with an actual scoring average of 74.5 in six rounds.

Robert Allenby (B) ... Prior to this season, he had ranked no worse than 55th in ball-striking (2011). He's currently 112th. Also, since a T7 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, he's missed three straight cuts.

Paul Casey (C) ... Gained entry as an alternate this week. In 12 starts worldwide since dislocating his right shoulder at the top of the year, he's missed nine cuts and withdrawn once. Last cut made was a T25 in South Korea in late April.

David Duval (C) ... Still a fan favorite, but his fantasy value is virtually zero this year. His best finish among two cuts made in 14 starts is a T60 at the Valero Texas Open.

Nick O'Hern (B) ... Since sharing third place at the FedEx St. Jude Classic -- his only top 25 of the year -- he's posted a T71/MDF at the Travelers and missed three consecutive cuts.

Sung Kang (C) ... The PGA TOUR sophomore has missed 16 of 24 cuts this year, including his last six. Zero top 25s.

Stephen Gangluff (C) ... In what classifies as his sophomore year on the PGA TOUR, albeit 10 years following his rookie season, he's gone 5-for-16 with no top 70s.

Matt McQuillan (C) ... Ontario, Canada native on conditional status. His only cut made in nine starts on the PGA TOUR this year is a T72 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Danger (Yahoo! Group)

Ben Curtis (C) ... Despite his gaudy ranks of fourth and 11th in fairways and greens hit, respectively, he's failed to post a top 30 worldwide in his last five starts.

Spencer Levin (A) ... At 150th on the PGA TOUR in accuracy off the tee and 161st in greens hit, he doesn't fit the profile this week. Also enters with zero top 35s among two cuts made in his last five starts.

D.A. Points (B) ... In response to a question on Twitter on July 17 asking if he was still injured, he replied, "No, tired and struggling!" Indeed. In his last five starts, he's made just one cut (T46, Greenbrier). Might find a spark at Hamilton since he's inside the top 40 percentile in both fairways and greens hit, but gamers need not bite.

Brian Gay (C) ... He's gone 10 straight starts without a top 40, his longest drought since he went 13 consecutive in 2003. Hitting a career-low 61.71 percent of fairways, 10 points lower than in any of his five previous seasons.

Ricky Barnes (C) ... Like many, he's had a tough time putting four rounds together, but he has just one top 23 in his last 15 starts (T25, Memorial). Currently 146th on TOUR in fairways hit and 185th (of 193 that qualify) in Strokes Gained-Putting.

Medic! (Yahoo! Group)

Charley Hoffman (B) ... Ended his week at the John Deere Classic after three rounds because his back went out. Per his Facebook page, he spent last week in San Diego with his family.

Colt Knost (C) ... A back injury forced him to withdraw after one round of the True South Classic. Since a T24 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, he's gone 0-for-10.

Kris Blanks (B) ... Withdrew just before his tee time in the opening round at Annandale last week due to tendinitis in his left shoulder. Lost in a playoff in this event last year, but it was at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver, his wife's hometown.

Tommy Biershenk (C) ... Withdrew from last week's True South Classic with nine holes to play due to a back injury. He was even par at the time. All 74 golfers that completed 72 holes finished under par.

Steve Wheatcroft (B) ... Walked off Annandale during his second round on Friday due to heat exhaustion. Had made his previous two cuts, including a T22 at The Greenbrier Classic. Deep sleeper.

Notable WDs (Yahoo! Group)

Webb Simpson (A) ... No word yet as to when his wife is to deliver the couple's second child. He's eligible for next week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

Sang-moon Bae (C), Jonathan Byrd (C) and Kevin Na (A) ... All qualified for next week's WGC-Bridgestone via the latest Official World Golf Ranking.

Brendon de Jonge (B) ... First time he's withdrawn after the commitment deadline all season. Riding survived 14 consecutive cuts; third-longest active streak on TOUR.

Steve Marino (B) ... Since missing the cut at the Travelers Championship, this is his third early withdrawal in as many commitments. He's already qualified for a Major Medical Extension in 2013 if he needs it.