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A Dunne Deal πŸ’°

Published 9 months agoΒ β€’Β 13 min read

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On-site coverage counts!

It was a record week for Read The Line in Ohio. Congratulations to Viktor Hovland (and his team) for win number four. Our member newsletter hit every placement prediction (7-7) and 60% of the H2H matchups (6-10). Viktor's win (+2000) represents our sixth win of the year and eighteenth win in under 18 months.

In 2023, RTL has written 516 LPGA and PGA TOUR bets in the member newsletter with a 16% net return. We have been on-site three times in the last five weeks and won all three. Credentialed coverage counts and together we are proving to the industry a brand-new way to cover the sport. Thank you for the support, and please continue to share our success with friends and family. Every new subscriber makes our betting community better!

O' Canada

Wedged in-between the Memorial and US Open, we find The RBC Canadian Open. For back-to-back weeks, we will crown a national champion. One of the oldest events in golf, this tournament has a 117-year history. Oakdale Golf and Country Club becomes the thirty-seventh course to host Canada's national championship. A private club nestled in the suburban area surrounding Toronto. Originally designed by Stanley Thompson, good friend of RTL, Ian Andrew, renovated the course in 2018.

I spoke with Ian, and he added some amazing perspective. Longtime readers of RTL may remember Ian from the RBC Canadian coverage last year. Ian also renovated St. George's which was the host in 2022. The par 72 composite course at Oakdale measures 7,264 yards. Oakdale has three nines: Thompson, Homenuik, and Knudson. The first is named for the original architect and the other two for two of Canada's great professional golfers: Wilf Homenuik and George Knudson. Knudson had eight wins on the PGA TOUR.

The scorecard is a combination of all three nines. If you plan to map the course out for yourself, here is the order of play.

  • Front 9: Thompson (TH) 1, TH 3, TH 8, TH 9, Homenuik (HM) 1, HM 2, HM 4, HM 8, HM 9
  • Back 9: Knudson (KN) 1 - 9 (in order)

All together there are twelve par 4s, three par 3s, and three par 5s. Eight of the holes have water that comes into play from the Black Creek which runs through the property. The course has a considerable amount of rolling terrain. Players will encounter elevation changes on most of the holes and 61 bunkers. Forty-four of those bunkers are surrounding the green complexes. There's a wonderful blend of tree lined holes and those without for a parkland course. Ian Andrew's roots in golf architecture stem from the work of famous designers like Thompson. Andrew, a Canadian himself, made sure to keep the Thompson tradition alive when he worked on the course.

The Canadian Open was skipped in 2020 and 2021 due to covid. As a national championship it moves around. Comparing the exact skill set needed last year at St. George's won't completely apply. However, the same organization runs the tournament, and they have tendencies.

  • The average pre-tournament odds of the last five winners are +5500 (55-1), and for the last ten winners that number drops to +4700 (47-1).
  • Five of the last ten winners had pre-tournament odds of +1400 or lower. Three of the last ten were listed at +1000 or lower!
  • The average winning score in the last five editions of this national championship was 19.4 under par. Go back ten tournaments, and that average dips to 16.8 under par.

I realize these are all different courses, but much like our US Open, the tournament committee will set up the 2023 edition in a similar manner. The players faced some intense heat last week from the course and mother nature. Looking ahead to Toronto, here's the forecast.

  • Temperatures are predicted to reach the low 70s and bottom out in the mid 50s each night.
  • The wind looks favorable right now as Sunday is the breeziest day at 12-15 mph.
  • Rain is forecasted for Saturday and Sunday. Each day has a better than 40% chance with Sunday being the worst of the two. Approximately .25" is expected over the two days.

That's not a deluge and the area has been seasonably dry in Toronto. The course should play perfectly and be a nice change of pace from last weekend's blood bath. Muirfield Village GC played a little more than 1.5 strokes over par on Sunday! The field of 156 players will try to make the top 65 and ties for the weekend cut. Those who do will be playing for $9 million dollars and first place check of $1.62 million. Eleven of the top 25 in the OWGR are competing. In the week leading up to another major championship, congratulations to Toronto fans. You drew a decent field and have chosen a fantastic venue for your open championship.

RBC Canadian Open on TV:

  • Thursday - Friday 7:00am - 6:00pm (ESPN+), 3:00 - 6:00pm (Golf Channel)
  • Saturday 9:15am - 7:30pm (ESPN+), 2:30 - 5:30pm (Golf Channel), 5:30 - 7:30pm (CBS)
  • Sunday 8:15am - 6:30pm (ESPN+), 1:30 - 2:30pm (Golf Channel), 2:30 - 6:30pm (CBS)
  • Complete details on PGATour.com​
  • All times EDT.

RBC Canadian Open starts in...

Count down to 2023-06-08T10:30:00.000Z​

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A composite test

When we visit a course with little to no professional tournament history, we must open the RTL rolodex and go to work. Ian Andrew is the golf course architect who renovated Oakdale in 2018 and St. George's (last year's Canadian Open venue). A classic-minded designer who balances modern play with traditional elements with ease. Oakdale Golf and Country Club was opened in 1926 during the golden age of golf course design. This parkland style layout will inspire aggressive play more than hinder it.

Players who wish to contend will need to make birdies. I consider birdie or better percentage (BoB%) a primary positive toward winning in Toronto. Oakdale G & CC has seven par 4s under 440 yards. That means players will have a wedge or less in hand on approach. Combine that with three par 5s and scoring will be from very close range. Our outrights are excellent in this category and some of the best in the world with a wedge.

My next research dive is coming up with a unique three headed monster of players who excel at GIRs, proximity to the hole, and creating scoring opportunities. All interrelated, with such a heavy weight on scoring we need to determine who creates the most opportunities. Scottie Scheffler is the best GIR player on the PGA TOUR. He was in 2022 as well. No surprise he is the best player in the world as a result. Our favorites not only hit the most greens in the field, they hit them in closer proximity to the hole!

Last week, I cheated on my partner par 4 scoring. Have no fear, I'm back. We saw how par 5 scoring determined the contention rate at Muirfield Village. Oakdale is a par 4 playground. We need players who can score on these 12 holes. They represent two thirds of the tournament holes and range in length from 367 to 489 yards long. Par 4 scoring is routinely in the top three most impactful stats on TOUR. For Oakdale, it truly may be even more important than strokes gained T2G.

Ian does believe St. George's is a nice comp course for Oakdale. He did significant work on both, so let's trust him on that. Last year, the players were focused on hitting the fairway. I believe Oakdale will weight fairway accuracy as well. Approach play and the combination of bogey avoidance in the short game along with scoring from close range on par 5s is more valuable than off the tee. Part of the around the green acumen needs to include solid sand play. The greens are surrounded by 44 bunkers. A timely up and down coming in on Sunday will make a big difference.

The last factor in my field assessment is a focus factor. Who is looking ahead to Los Angeles and who is looking to win the Canadian Open. It sounds funny, but if your head is not in Toronto you won't win. Each of my predictions would love to win this tournament. Anyone would love to win the US Open, but the point is my team of outrights considers this an important win. Each for different reasons, but overall, I know more than just their game will be in it come Sunday afternoon.

Outright winners - RBC Canadian Open

We are looking for a player who can be patient off the tee and score with a wedge in hand. Justin Rose proved he can do both earlier this season when he won at Pebble Beach. Rose is ranked second in SG:APP, and third in proximity to the hole and par 4 scoring. Over his last five starts, Justin is gaining six strokes T2G against the field and another stroke with the putter. He has navigated six straight cuts and he finished fourth last year at a comparable St. George's. At the top of the betting board, only Rory has more career wins. I love a Rose to win on TOUR two weeks in a row.

When will Tommy Fleetwood win? Diving deep into Oakdale, I can say with certainty this setup favors the six-time DP World Tour winner. Fleetwood's ball striking has been exemplary as of late. He's ranked fourth in SG:T2G and second in par 4 scoring. Combine that with a very strong short game (ranked eighth) and you know why he's a great choice for this accuracy contest. The skill set he showed at Valspar finishing third will serve him well in Toronto. Tommy is too talented not to win on the PGA TOUR. While the big names are looking ahead to LA, watch Tommy grab his first win.

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Down to the Jersey shore

For the third time in five weeks, the LPGA will play in New Jersey. I can assure you the tax benefits of playing here aren't great so one has to wonder why so many tournaments in my home state. The Seaview Resort will be the host venue for the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer. The Bay Course has hosted the LPGA every year since 2010. Prior to that, they hosted the ShopRite from 1986-87, 1998-2006. The Bay Course designed by Donald Ross is classic coastal target golf at its roots.

The Bay Course is a par 71 measuring just under 6,200 yards. One of the shortest courses on the LPGA schedule, it also has the smallest greens to hit. Considering the location, wind and weather can play a huge roll. Thankfully, the ladies have a positive forecast for most of the tournament. The only rain forecasted is expected on Friday for round one. There's a 50% chance of a shower and temperatures are expected in the high 70s. We may see 80 degrees on Sunday for the final round with some sun.

The wind is the biggest wild card, and it should blow more on Sunday than the other two days. I wrote about this last week for Jersey City, but it has been dry in New Jersey. The Bay Course sits on a sand-based soil. That means it drains well. It also means when it is dry it gets very hard. This will create a ton of bounce for the players. We are dealing with small targets already, so this can be one defense for this three-round shoot-out.

The ShopRite is a 54-hole tournament. One of our 12 outright wins last year came when Brooke Henderson won in a playoff. Scoring can get tight at Seaview. With only seven of the top 25 players in the Rolex rankings here, I expect a bit of entertainment down the stretch on Sunday afternoon. Much like Brooke came back last year, Sundays at the ShopRite are always exciting. Those seven ladies are competing in a field of 141 players for $1.75 million dollar purse and a first-place check of $262,500.

We'll get more into Ross' design features in the outright section. For now, let's concentrate on the fact this tournament is a great opportunity for a first-time winner or mid-tier player to shine. Look at what happened last weekend at Liberty National! Rose Zhang won her first professional start. She captivated the media and golf fans nationwide. I saw coverage comments complaining about the lack of coverage. These are great signs for the women's game that people care.

I love handicapping smaller events like the ShopRite. We won last year, and we will dig deep to win again. Every week is a great opportunity in golf betting, and you better believe I plan to make a supermarket sweep on Sunday.

ShopRite LPGA Classic on TV:

  • Friday 12:00 - 2:30pm (Golf Channel)
  • Saturday 5:30 - 7:30pm (Golf Channel)
  • Sunday 2:30 - 5:00pm (Golf Channel)
  • Complete details on LPGA.com​
  • All times EDT.

ShopRite LPGA Classic starts in...

Count down to undefined​

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Be like Brooke

Attention shoppers! The Bay Course at Seaview is a small target environment. I have played the course several times. Each round, Ross shares new secrets with the players. Subtle nuances that make a big difference over the course of 54-holes. Scoring should be simple considering the length, but a great example is the par 3 seventeenth hole. It will play under 120 yards each round and at least one of the rounds under 100 yards. The green is very small and flat. Players will hit a wedge to the hole location. Watch that first bounce. If you don't clip the ball just right and its off the green and then the real fun begins.

There are several blind shots at the ShopRite. Whether it is the approach on 10 or tee shot on 14, each will test your prior knowledge. This classic design has all the Ross features we have grown to love (and hate). Greens with a false front, deep challenging bunkers, and fairways at odd angles from the tee box. Players will need experience to play this course. With that prior history, they can begin to trust their T2G game. The first step to contending at Seaview is to be in good ball striking form.

I'm heavily favoring GIRs and approach play. Considering the length, off the tee power only matters in a couple of places. In most cases, these ladies will all play to same fairway area and then attack. It is almost like playing 14-15 par 3s per round. The dry ground will make the small greens even smaller. The approaches will seem as if they are being repelled at times.

Annika Sorenstam won three ShopRites, her countrywoman Anna Nordqvist won two back-to-back (2015-16). These two women hit a ton of GIRs. I'm favoring the best in the field in that category. Since most of the approach shots will be from close range, you cannot miss. Proximity to the hole helps, but the truth is these greens are so small if you can safely land on them, you'll be in birdie range.

The next step is converting those birdie opportunities. Putts per GIR is a great measure for scoring potential. The average winning score over the past five editions of the ShopRite is 14 under par. Averaging just under five under par per round takes some scoring savvy. Our outrights convert on the greens when given the chance. Those chances come on par 4s.

Twelve of the 18 holes are par 4s. The Bay Course has a unique scorecard. There are four par 3s, two par 5s and 12 par 4s! I took a long look at who the best par 4 players are in the field. The average par 4 is only 368 yards. Short approaches and deliberate layups are the blueprint for contention. To earn six or seven birdies per round, the players will need to attack these 12 holes.

Each of our outrights has played the ShopRite at least three times. All four fall in the top 25 for approach play and top 45 for hitting GIRs. Three of them are in the top 10 for par 4 scoring and all of them can convert with the flatstick. Most handicappers might skip this three-round week. Not RTL, we love weeks like this and that's why we won last year. I know this course very well and that will give us a fantastic chance to repeat!

Outright winners - ShopRite LPGA Classic

Georgia Hall is the tenth ranked approach player on the LPGA. She has seven top 15 finishes in nine starts this season! She has been the most consistent player of any favorite in this field. The Bay Course calls for accuracy, not length. There is no better fit to an English player than a coastal ground game setup. Hall is fifth is par 4 scoring and top 10 in putting. She is making her fourth start in the last five years in the event, securing the cut in the three priors. Georgia is more than due for a win and this week she delivers.

The reigning AIG Open Champion is Ashleigh Buhai. What better fit for her game than another course where the ground game matters. Buhai has five starts in the ShopRite in the last five years and has been excellent in New Jersey. She finished third at Upper Montclair and seventh at Liberty National last weekend. The strength of her game is approach play where she is ranked fifth on tour. Throw in a top 10 par 4 scoring ability and eighth in putts per GIR and her skill set shows she can win the ShopRite.

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Our viktory celebration

In case you missed it, enjoy a little social media fun from Monday's viktory lap celebrating RTL's six win in 2023 and Viktor Hovland's fourth career title!

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Heading to Hollywood...

The US Open is next week and RTL will be on-site giving you the best betting coverage possible. Our content will be featured in:

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LACC is a very special place and we will be sure to give you the best possible opportunity to win our second major in a row!

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