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Glen Abby set for farewell Birdie blitz


Nobody, and especially a World No 1 golfer, likes to miss the cut in a major in the way Dustin Johnson did in the Open Championship at Carnoustie last week.

You can expect, then, to see the towering American come out in a vengeful mood with all of his big guns blazing ferociously when he tees off on Thursday in this week's RBC Canadian Open.

Making a point might also be something fellow American Kevin Kisner will want to do following his near miss at Carnoustie where he led or co-led for three of the four rounds, but then fell away some in the final round and had to be satisfied with a share of second.

However, unlike Johnson who was given the weekend off at the Open, Kisner might find the stress and strain of fighting a gruelling, 72-hole battle to stay out in front a draining factor that will be difficult to have overcome in the short time he will have had to recover.

Glen Abbey, the Jack Nicklaus designed 7,250-yard-long par-72 home of the Canadian Open on at least 30 occasions, but most likely hosting the championship for the very last time ever this week, is a bombers paradise anyway, but a bomber with aggression and something to say which, I am sure, is a good fit for Johnson right now, could be especially difficult to beat.

The British bookmakers certainly think so. At 13/2 with US Open champion Brooks Koepke some distance behind him at 12/1, high Open finishers Tony Finau and Tommy Fleetwood each at 16/1, Bubba Watson at 20/1 and Kisner and Matt Kuchar at 28/1, Johnson is, without doubt, their clearcut anchor favourite this week.

Glen Abby Golf Club is set to be replaced next year as the host of the Candian Open by the Hamilton Golf and Country Club and because there has been talk of it being turned into a large complex of condominiums in the near future, this could well be its final stand.

In the meantime, with all four of its par fives (three of which come on the closing six holes) playing at less than 560 yards, eagles and birdies, especially for bombers like Johnson and Watson, are there for the taking and its no surprise that since 2004 this tournament has had a higher number of eagles posted than in any other PGA Tour event, save the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Jhonattan Vegas, the two-time defending champion, probably summed up the course as well as anyone when he recently said: "You know, this is the type of course where, if you’re really aggressive, you can really play well. I mean, you’ve got four par 5s that are gettable and some short par 4s; so, if you stay aggressive and hit some good shots, you can make a lot of birdies around here.

"The course also gives you a little bit of room off the tee so you can miss (the fairway) with some shots right or left and still manage to make pars."

Can the 33-year-old Venezuelan win again? It's always possible, but right now he's not in the kind of place winners need to be. He comes to Glen Abbey having played in 11 straight events without a top 35.

Johnson and the other big hitters might not be either if they don't use their distance-off-the-tee advantage to find the greens in regulation for with greens that are true and easy to read, the finest putters won't necessary have the kind of advantage at Glen Abby that they could expect to get on a course like Augusta.

The ability not to let thunder storm disruptions and light rain adversely affect your play could also be an important ingredient this week'

Thunderstorms a little after midday on Thursday and some light rain on Friday and Saturday have been forecast by our boffins. The wind, however, should not be too much of a problem, especially at the weekend when it will drop from Thursday and Friday highs of about 15 mph to about 6 mph.

(Tuesday am, July 24, 218)

Dustin Johnson 13/2
Brooks Koepka 12/1
Tony Finau 16/1
Tommy Fleetwood 16/1
Bubba Watson 20/1
Matt Kuchar 28/1
Kevin Kisner 28/1
Charley Hoffman 28/1
Joaquin Niemann 28/1
Sergio Garcia 28/1
Ian Poulter 33/1
Gary Woodland 33/1
Billy Horschel 33/1
Brandt Snedeker 33/1
Jhonattan Vegas 40/1
Chesson Hadley 40/1
Chris Kirk 45/1
Keegan Bradley 45/1
Troy Merritt 50/1.

NOTE: For all the latest odds, go to

Visit BetWay for more bet options. 

Neville Leck

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