Usually there is a hangover effect when golfers play a tournament after a major event, but at the Canadian Open it might actually be an advantage. The event has trouble attracting top players since it immediately follows the Open Championship, but those who do play both weeks have had success at Glen Abbey.
This year 33 players have entered both events, one of them being two-time-consecutive defending champ Jhonattan Vegas (who missed the cut at The Open, shooting 8-over in the opening rounds).
Since 2010 five of the eight Canadian Open winners played in the Open Championship across the pond in the UK the week before. Out of those five, 2013 winner Brandt Snedeker, and 2015 winner Jason Day, both had a chance to win in Scotland. Snedeker finished tied for 11th, and Day entered the final round with a share of the lead before finishing tied for fourth.
But 2018 will be the last year with such scheduling. Next year, the Canadian Open will be a month earlier — a week before the US Open — and the tournament also will change Ontario courses, moving from Glen Abbey to Hamilton Golf and Country Club in 2019.
Betting on Vegas Three-Peat
For Vegas, a 33-year-old Venezuelan, that means 2018 is his last-best chance to do something special, closing out a Canadian trifecta at the course he knows so well. Vegas is a two-time defending champion on the Glen Abbey layout and is trying to be the first golfer to win the same event three times in row since Steve Stricker won the John Deere Classic at the TPC Deere Run in Illinois from 2009-2011.
“Well, we have a huge field this week with some of the top players in the world, so those are going to be the guys to beat and I’m always going to be flying under those guys,” Vegas told the Toronto Sun. “But either way, I’ve had pretty good success here. I’ll try to replay and relive those memories.”
Here’s a list of the players he’ll be up against.
Two other players have had their opportunity to etch their names on a trophy three consecutive times this season, but both came up short. Two-time defending champions Justin Thomas finished tied for 17th at the CIMB Classic, and Daniel Berger missed the cut at the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic.
Vegas sportsbooks don’t necessarily like Vegas’s chances. Most books currently have Vegas at 60/1 to win.
World No. 1 Wants First Canadian Victory, Too
One of the top players is not coincidentally the favorite. Dustin Johnson, who is the No. 1 ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings, will be trying to rebound after missing the cut at the Open Championship. The 34-year-old, who is 5/1 to win, was the favorite at that event as well, but shot rounds of 76, 72 and missed playing on the weekend by three shots.
Johnson’s season had been pretty productive before going to Carnoustie last week. He had won two tournaments (Tournament of Champions, Fed Ex St. Jude Classic) and finished tied for 10th at the Masters and third at the US Open.
He might take this week off, but he has a sponsorship agreement with the tournament’s title sponsor. He has played well here, finishing second in 2013 and 2016.