Canadian Open preview: Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood headline field


The RBC Canadian Open starts this week after a thrilling Open Championship that saw Tiger Woods return to the top of a major championship leaderboard for the first time since 2013.

At one time, the Canadian Open was among the most prestigious events on Tour, but now that it’s located on the heels of a major it has suffered a bit.

Still, a host of big names have decided to tee it up this week in an attempt to win more FedEx Cup points with the playoffs looming.

Course

Glen Abbey Golf Course, a 7,253-yard par 72,  plays host for the 30th time and fifth in six years. Glen Abbey’s back nine features the “Valley Holes,” starting at No. 11 then following Sixteen Mile Creek for three holes before eventually climbing out at No. 16.

Defending Champion

Jhonattan Vegas became just the second man in 66 years to successfully defend a Canadian Open crown, catching Charley Hoffman with a 7-under-par 65 on the final round and winning on the first playoff hole.

He enters the week trying to become the first player since 2011 to three-peat on the PGA Tour.

Favorites

Dustin Johnson disappointed with a missed cut last week at the Open Championship, but the world’s top-ranked golfer had a win and a third-place finish in his two previous starts. He has finished t-8 and t-2 here the last two years.

Tommy Fleetwood finished t-12 at the Open last week, and has been one of the world’s fastest-rising players since the start of last year. Ranked 11th in the world, Fleetwood rarely plays on the PGA Tour, but could excite this week.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, ranked fourth in the world, has a t-19 and a t-39 in his last two starts, but he should be ready to contend again. His length and short game make him dangerous here.

Sleepers

Can Sergio Garcia be a sleeper? Last year’s Masters champion has dropped to 20th in the world and has just one top-10 finish since March. Normally a great ball-striker, he’s been struggling with accuracy this year.

Canadian Adam Hadwin, ranked 55th in the world, missed the cut here last year, but he has shown an ability to go low with five top-6 finishes since the start of last year.

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