Diane Knox Balas: Our Pickswise golf analyst with her RBC Canadian Open best bets and course insights

Photo of Diane Knox Balas

Diane Knox Balas

Golf · 2 weeks ago

Show Bio

Golf analyst for Pickswise.

Maybe I’ll just give you Top-5 prop bets from now on, because for the third week in a row one of them paid out! I hope you took Max Homa at +800 for a Top-5 finish, because he had a final round -3 to finish in a tie for 5th – even though that double bogey on the last hole made me extremely nervous!

This week, we’re crossing the border and heading North to Canada, and at long last. The RBC Canadian Open is back after a rather long break from the Tour schedule due to the pandemic. And it’s back to one of the country’s greatest golf courses for the first time since 2010, but more on St George’s Golf and Country Club in a few moments.

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding this week for a variety of reasons. Of course, everyone is happy Canada’s national open makes its return, but it’s also the week of the first LIV Golf event across the pond in London. Maybe the most controversial storyline was the inclusion of Dustin Johnson to the LIV line-up, who was sponsored by RBC for a number of years and won this tournament in 2018. As a result, RBC have dropped DJ and said they’re “extremely disappointed in his decision”. Yikes.

However, that won’t overshadow the action in Canada this week as a top field tees it up, including Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, defending champion Rory McIlroy, Sam Burns and local favorite Corey Conners. 

With a strong contingent of Canadians you may be inclined to pick one of them this week, but it’s worth noting no Canadian has won their national open since 1958.

St. George’s Golf and Country Club: What you need to know

As I said in my intro, this course hasn’t hosted the RBC Canadian Open for 12 years, but it’s going to be worth the wait. The course first opened in 1929, but over recent years has undergone some changes and renovations.

The greens, which are now bent-grass, were rebuilt in 2014/15 but were modeled on the original designs. Some slope was taken out of the greens, but they do run quicker than they did in 2010. All the bunkers were redone to help with drainage and withstanding the weather that Toronto gets hit with in the winter.

The course is short – much shorter than the other courses in rotation for this tournament. At right around 7,000 yards, distance is not going to be a key factor to success. It’s another approach course, with a premium in hitting greens and avoiding the heavy rough and many bunkers surrounding them.

Fairways are pretty generous, but the rough is thicker than you’d see at a normal PGA Tour event, which can only serve as good preparation for next week’s U.S. Open at Brookline.

Here’s something unique about this tournament – the practice facilities are on another property! Warm-ups will be completed at nearby Islington Golf Club, and then players will be shuttled down the road to begin their rounds, teeing off on Holes 1 & 9 over the first two days, as opposed to the traditional starting hole of No.10.

We don’t have much historical data to go on around here, but the scoring will probably be low and I’m really going to look at “target golfers” with great scrambling stats. Having said that, a few guys did play the tournament here in 2010, notably Pat Perez, Luke Donald, Brian Stuard, Brandt Snedeker and Nick Taylor.

Knox’s Knockout RBC Canadian Open picks

Rory McIlroy (+1000) 

Odds available at BetMGM Sportsbook at time of publishing

Rory’s scoring average on the shorter courses on the Tour is better than anyone else’s’, even though he’s one of the longest hitters we see. He’s a strong favorite this week but, as defending champion of the Canadian Open, it’s easy to see why. In 2019, he shot a 61 (albeit on a different course) to win, and we all know what Rory is capable of. I’m grabbing him at 10/1 while I have the chance!

Corey Conners (+2200) 

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing

Did I say that Canadians don’t have a great track-record here? Oh well, I’m taking a chance on Corey Conners (again, lol). He’s coming off a T13 finish at Memorial last week that saw him gain over 8 STROKES on the field in approach. He was also solid tee-to-green, which is the real strength of his game. With Conners, it’s a case of the putter not performing, but I’m relying on the crowd to really get his juices flowing this week, and potentially see a new gear on the greens.

Brendon Todd (+10000) 

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing

You want a straight hitter who can putt, AND has shown good form lately? Brendon Todd is your guy! Todd finished third at the Charles Schwab Challenge a few weeks ago, and nabbed another top-10 at the Valero Texas Open back in April. He also plays well on these shorter courses, such as Mayakoba, where he won in 2019. He’s 5th in driving accuracy and 6th in putting, which has all the makings for success around St George’s.

RBC Canadian Open Prop Bet

Adam Hadwin top-5 finish (+750) 

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing

ANOTHER Canadian! Hadwin has played well in his national open, with three top-10 career finishes including a sixth place in 2019. He’s also having a great season with four top-10s and excellent around-the-green stats (18th on Tour). Let’s continue my hot top-5 streak!

Pickswise is the home of free expert Golf Picks and Golf Predictions. Our PGA expert picks go live every Monday or Tuesday, so check out our latest golf picks, best bets, and analysis for this week’s PGA tournament now.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$200

Bet $5, Win $200 In Free Bets!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any sport, any market

Win $200 in free bets regardless if your bet wins or loses

Must be 21 years or over to participate. Reward paid in site credit. Offer valid for new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

PointsBet

$100

Bet $100 Risk-Free on every NBA Finals Game

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Each NBA Finals game, your first Fixed Odds bet on the game will be Risk-Free up to $100

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.