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Playing the Tips

NBC Predictor: RBC Canadian Open

by Josh Culp
Updated On: June 5, 2019, 12:06 pm ET

Golf Channel (NBC Sports Predictor App)

The Golf Channel has an exciting fantasy golf game for 2019.

The format is simple as you pick six head-to-head matchups. Then you pick a winner and winning score. 

The winner/winners split this week's top prize of $1,500. Anyone that earns 60 points for the week is also given an entry to the FootJoy $100,000 Championship which is a multi-week elimination-style contest that will take place later in the season. 

We will provide our picks for the format below and then provide some notes about why we chose our matchup picks or why we like a certain golfer to win. 

Josh Culp 
@FutureOfFantasy

Top Weekly Score: 85 pts

Matchups: 
Dustin Johnson over Brooks Koepka
Rory McIlroy over Justin Thomas
Webb Simpson over Matt Kuchar
Sergio Garcia over Bubba Watson
Henrik Stenson over Brandt Snedeker
Graeme McDowell over Corey Conners

Winner: 
Dustin Johnson (-15)

 

Josh's Notes: 

Koepka and DJ are both making their first appearances since the PGA Championship. BK has the edge in major titles but DJ has actually got the better of Koepka in 8 of the last 16 events they've played together (one tie). Both are great options but I side with Johnson. 

Thomas is still working his way back from a wrist injury so I will gladly take Rory in this matchup. 

Kuchar versus Simpon is about as close as it comes for me. The Wake Forest product has won 8 of their last 14 tournaments together so I will use that as the tiebreaker and choose Simpson. 

Hamilton does not let you hit a lot of drivers which might frustrate Bubba Watson. Garcia is a bit more course-neutral so let's pick the Spaniard here. 

If Hamilton is a second-shot course than I want a great iron player. Looking at stats over the last 3 months, Stenson has gained 38.7 strokes on approach. The next closest is Keegan Bradley at just 24.5 strokes gained approach. Stenson has his irons dialed in. 

It's tempting to take the Canadian in the last matchup but Conners has lost roughly 6 strokes around-the-green over his last five measured starts and also lost roughly 8 shots with the putter in those five starts. The ball-striking is elite for Conners but it's hard to churn out consistent results when you're having that much short-game trouble. That gives a slight edge to G-Mac for me. 

 

Mo Yoshimoto 
@Bears3423” 

Top Weekly Score: 65 pts

Matchups: 
Dustin Johnson over Brooks Koepka
Rory McIlroy over Justin Thomas
Webb Simpson over Matt Kuchar
Bubba Watson over Sergio Garcia
Brandt Snedeker over Henrik Stenson
Graeme McDowell over Corey Conners

Winner: 
Brandt Snedeker (-13)

 

Mo's Notes: 

I'm going with RBC Ambassador and 2013 winner Sneds. He finished T8 last year, won as the 54-hole leader in 2013, and was also the 54-hole leader in 2016 (finished T5), all of those at Glen Abbey.

This is his second go at the par-70 Hamilton G&CC after a T34 in 2012 (70-67-71-66).

The 38-year-old is a poa annua specialist, sporting four wins in California, had a runner-up earlier this season in California, and has also won on equally snug, less-than-driver Harbour Town GL in 2011.

Looks like a cool beginning, temperature-wise in Canada, which reminds me of his win in 2016 at the Farmers, which was delayed in R1 due to frost. 

The Vanderbilt alum arrives off a T19 at the Charles Schwab two weeks ago and T16 at the PGA Championship, where he was T95 and T91, respectively after R1, and ended those weeks ranked T11 and T3 in Driving Accuracy.

I'm pretty much all-in on the LATE/early side of the draw this week, and Sneds heads out in Round 1 at 12:50 pm local time with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas. He's fared well against both of those heavy hitters when grouped in the past, besting Thomas 69.50 to 70.25 (in four rounds), and bettering Koepka 70.64 versus 70.93 (14 rounds).

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.