Following the bombshell announcement of the merger between the PGA Tour, the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour, there is still the small matter of this week's RBC Canadian Open to be played.
The field includes only two of the top 10 players in the world rankings, and our golf experts break down the tournament along with their favorite prop picks and best bets to win this week.
RBC CANADIAN OPEN
Location: Toronto, June 8-11
Course: Oakdale Golf Country Club (Par 72, 7,264 yards)
Purse: $9M (Winner: $1.62M)
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 2:30-5:30 p.m. (GC), 5:30-7:30 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6:30 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming on ESPN: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. ET; Saturday, 9:15 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8:15 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
--Matt Fitzpatrick to Finish Top 10 (138 at BetMGM): Fitzpatrick has largely stayed out of the merger fray this week, having his press conference session canceled on Tuesday. He may have plenty on his mind as he prepares to defend his title at next week's U.S. Open, but Fitzpatrick should be a factor come Sunday as one of only two top-10 players in the field.
--Corey Conners to Beat Lee Hodges (-135 at DraftKings): We can handle the smaller payout here because this should be a solid bet. Hodges is coming off a T12 at the Memorial and has quietly made seven of his past nine cuts. But Conners is Canada's best player at the moment, and he cares deeply about his country's biggest tournament. In addition to finishing sixth last year, Conners has been a Sunday factor on the game's biggest stages. He also won the Valero Texas Open earlier this year before a T8 at the Wells Fargo.
--David Lipsky to Finish Top 20 (250 at BetMGM): Lipsky has posted a T16 and a T12 in his past two starts, with the latter coming against a designated field at the Memorial. Against a more modest field in Toronto, a third consecutive top-20 is a very reasonable expectation.
2023 Prop Picks Record: 23-33-2
--Rory McIlroy (450) is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 3. He's understandably the heavy pre-tournament favorite, but where is McIlroy's focus given the news of the merger breaking two days before teeing off? He is second at the sportsbook with 6.0 percent of the total bets backing him to win after opening at 400.
--Tyrrell Hatton (1100) has five consecutive top-20 finishes, including a pair of top-5s.
--Fitzpatrick (1400) is the only other top-10 player in the field and finished T10 in last year's RBC Canadian Open.
--Sam Burns (1400), who is an RBC ambassador, finished T4 in his tournament debut last year.
--Cameron Young (1500) is still seeking his first PGA Tour victory. He's the third biggest liability at BetMGM with 9.14 percent of the total money backing him to win.
--Conners (1600) is the top-ranked Canadian in the field at No. 29 and finished sixth last year. He won the Valero Texas Open earlier this year but is coming off a missed cut at the Memorial. Connors is third at the sportsbook with 5.2 percent of the tickets backing him to win.
--Sahith Theegala (2800) is also still seeking his first victory on tour. Against a softer field, Theegala is BetMGM's biggest liability this week, having drawn both the most total tickets (6.7 percent) and money (9.3 percent) among the entire field. His odds have shortened significantly since opening at 3300.
--Former Texas Tech star and two-time Ben Hogan Award winner Ludvig Aberg (5000) will make his first start since earning his tour card via the PGA Tour University. Despite making his pro debut, Aberg is tied for the 14th-shortest odds in the field and is BetMGM's third biggest liability this week while drawing 9.06 percent of the total money.
--McIlroy is the two-time defending champion, having also won the event in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic led to it being canceled from 2020-21. He can become the first player to win an event three consecutive times since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11).
--Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett (20000) is in the field on a sponsor's exemption after finishing 63rd in his professional debut last week. He is one of 30 players in the field who will also compete in next week's U.S. Open.
--Michael Block (50000), the club professional who tied for 15th at the PGA Championship, is also playing on a sponsor's exemption this week.
--The event was established in 1904, making it the second-oldest non-major on the PGA Tour behind the BMW Championship (1899).
--The last Canadian to win the event was Pat Fletcher in 1954, before it was recognized as an official PGA Tour tournament.
--Field Level Media