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TWO PICKS FOR THE NATIONAL OPEN NORTH OF THE BORDER

The tour heads to Canada for this week’s action, however it’s far more important to recognise the events of last week first. Our deepest sympathies go out to Grayson Murray’s family and friends. Fellow tour player Harry Higgs honored Murray in his Visit Knoxville Open winner’s speech and if you take anything from this article, make it this.

It feels somewhat trivial to move onto the golf but the action proceeds at Hamilton Golf & Country Club and there’s a great schedule beyond too, with the Memorial, U.S. Open and Travelers.

McIlroy (+360) is a short favorite to win this again, as he did in 2019 when the event was last staged at Hamilton. It’s certainly justified on his recent play and big hitters could profit well on this track so there’s little doubt he’ll be amongst it. As confident as we are that he’ll add another victory here, the price is too short for the risk and we’re on a couple to finish in the top 10.

TOP 10 FINISH: ADAM SCOTT (+330, DraftKings)

Scott has generally avoided these weaker field events this year, however when he’s found himself up against a second tier of competition, he’s made it count by picking up decent prize money. His three appearances to start the season on the DP World Tour all yielded top 10 finishes and in the U.S. he managed T14 at the Valero Texas Open and T12 last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Confidence with him, the Australian should be able to use his excellent driving to a clear advantage. Scott’s 15th on tour for driving and 35th on the distance stats this season. Opportunities will be presented plentifully on this course with that skillset. Whilst there’s little to go on for course form, the characteristics match up well to courses Scott has previously played well on (including Colonial last week).

There is a little added motivation too. The 43-year-old holds the longest active streak for major appearances (since 2001) and needs a couple of big performances to climb the rankings and ensure his spot at the upcoming U.S. Open. When asked about it, he assured reporters that his “game is in better shape than results are showing”. The results aren’t bad, including a T8 at the Phoenix Open earlier this year, and if better is to come then he could go close this week.

TOP 10 FINISH: KEVIN YU (+600, DraftKings)

Yu has four top 10 finishes this season, remarkable for a player sat at +600 to land another, but the events in between have been the problem. Fortunately, the level of competition and type of course play favorably to him this week and +600 seems on the large side.

His last top 10 was a T4 at Myrtle Beach two starts ago, and last week’s spin around Colonial was going very well until a weekend meltdown. As was the case last week, and has been a little more frequently than he’d like, the putter is letting the 25-year-old down. The greens this week are unfamiliar to most though and perhaps that levels the playing field somewhat.

We’re playing the big hitter again with Yu sat 16th in the longest driver statistics this season (3rd last week at Colonial). Equally impressively, he’s 6th on tour for GIR%. The approach play improvements of this season have been the catalyst to recording those top 10 finishes, more of the same and just a few putts dropping puts Yu in contention on Sunday.

All odds listed from DraftKings, as of Wednesday May 29.

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