Golf picks: Canadian Open predictions & best bets from Joe Champion

Shane Lowry tees off on no. 10 during a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club.
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Joe Champion


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Golf and soccer analyst for Pickswise, while also an avid tennis fan. One of very few Milton Keynes Dons soccer fans. For Joe Champion media enquiries, please email
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The PGA Tour season continues this week with one of the oldest events on the calendar, the Canadian Open, where Rory McIlroy travels north of the border in an attempt to win the tournament for a 3rd time. First held in 1904, the nomadic Canadian Open returns to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for the first time since 2019, when McIlroy destroyed the field in a 7-shot triumph. Then he followed up by winning again when the event was next held at St. George’s in 2022.

After winning the Zurich Classic and the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy was an underwhelming 12th at the PGA Championship but he’s the standout performer in a weak Canadian field, which has resulted in the kind of short odds we’ve come to associate with Scottie Scheffler. We cashed a 75-1 winner in the Canadian Open with Nick Taylor last year — can we do it again?

Canadian Open golf picks and predictions

Shane Lowry (+2200)

Odds generally available at time of publishing.

McIlroy’s chances are obvious but the man who partnered him to Zurich Classic glory, Shane Lowry, is another who has compelling claims this week at much juicier odds. Hamilton is an ancient course designed by Harry Colt, the man behind both Royal Portrush and Wentworth’s West Course, venues where Lowry won the 2019 Open Championship and the 2022 BMW PGA Championship.

Wentworth, where Lowry has had 10 top-20 finishes from his last 11 appearances, is visually similar to tree-lined Hamilton and the Irishman immediately took to this week’s venue when 2nd behind McIlroy five years ago. He was quick to admit that his partner carried him to glory in New Orleans but Lowry was 6th at the PGA Championship on his most recent start and he looks primed for another big week in Canada.

Mackenzie Hughes (+4500)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Nick Taylor broke a long Canadian drought when winning this event 12 months ago and Mackenzie Hughes could follow the example of his compatriot. Hughes was 14th at Hamilton in 2019 and he’s posted some tidy efforts in recent outings, finishing 3rd at the Valspar Championship and 6th at the Wells Fargo. His short-game skills are an asset at a venue where his scrambling will be put to the test.

Aaron Rai (+4500)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Accurate Englishman Aaron Rai appreciates a tree-lined test and finished 2nd at Colt’s West Course in last season’s BMW PGA. He was 4th at the Byron Nelson and looks an increasingly assured PGA Tour performer.

Tom Kim (+3500)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

This could also be a week to support Tom Kim. The rising star of Korean golf hasn’t kicked on this season but Hamilton, which measures a shade short of 7,100 yards, should suit his playing style.

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