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Canadian Open betting: McIlroy heavy favorite for 3rd title north of border

Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The PGA TOUR heads north of the border this week for the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Two-time Canadian Open winner Rory McIlroy headlines the 156-man field. Golfers will take on the Harry Colt design that most recently hosted the TOUR's third-oldest event in 2019, which McIlroy won by seven shots with a score of 22-under.

Following that tournament, a renovation reshaped every green on the course, added fairway bunkers to increase the challenge off the tee, and added more short grass in place of bunkers around the greens.

The changes significantly improved Hamilton's aesthetics and challenge for members, but PGA TOUR pros should have no issues navigating the revised layout.

The course

  • Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Ancaster, Ontario
  • 7,084 yards, par 70
  • Bentgrass greens
  • Three of four par 3s are over 200 yards

Comparable courses to Hamilton include Oakdale (2023 Canadian Open), St. George's (2022 Canadian Open), TPC River Highlands (Travelers Championship), and Sedgefield (Wyndham Championship).

Shorter hitters can compete if they have a strong week with their short irons and wedges. However, after the renovations, longer hitters who can consistently hit the fairway should be able to gain some separation from the field, since a lot of the trouble off the tee is around 300 yards. Hamilton has little defense against golfers who can carry the trouble.

Previous winners

2023: Nick Taylor (-17) in a playoff over Tommy Fleetwood
2022: Rory McIlroy (-19) over Tony Finau
2019: Rory McIlroy (-22) over Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson
2018: Dustin Johnson (-23) over two players
2017: Jhonattan Vegas (-21) in a playoff over Charley Hoffman
2016: Jhonattan Vegas (-12) over three players

The favorites

Player Odds
Rory McIlroy +375
Sahith Theegala +1600
Tommy Fleetwood +1600
Alex Noren +2200
Corey Conners +2200
Shane Lowry +2200

McIlroy is the heavy favorite at +375 (implied odds of 21.1%). He dismantled Hamilton in 2019 with a final-round 61 and defended his title a few years later (multiple Canadian Opens were canceled due to the pandemic) at St. George's.

If he drives the ball the way he did on his way to victory at Quail Hollow three weeks ago, McIlroy should contend for his third Canadian Open title in four tries.

The next tier

Player Odds
Cameron Young +2500
Sam Burns +2500
Tom Kim +3000
Maverick McNealy +3300
Adam Scott +3500
Mackenzie Hughes +3500
Aaron Rai +4000
Keith Mitchell +4000
Akshay Bhatia +5000
Adam Hadwin +5500
Taylor Pendrith +5500

Cameron Young and Sam Burns kick off the next tier at +2500. Both possess powerful styles that should play well at Hamilton if they are hitting fairways.

Tom Kim and Aaron Rai also deserve attention. Both will likely play from the fairway more often than the bombers in the field, but they'll be hitting their approach shots from 20-30 yards farther away on most holes.


Before making our selections, deciding what to do with McIlroy is important - much like we've been doing with Scottie Scheffler over the past few months.

McIlroy's playing well and deserves to be the favorite at a course he's dominated before. However, he spent the last week in Italy away from the course after a busy PGA Championship week. This week is the first of a four-tournament stretch that includes two signature events and a major. There's a chance McIlroy uses the Canadian Open as a warmup for a busy June.

Sam Burns: To win (+2500)

Burns is our first pick in the outright market, mainly due to his success at similar courses to Hamilton.

The American ranks second behind McIlroy in strokes gained: total over the past 24 rounds at the courses listed as comparables above. He came fourth at the 2022 Canadian Open by gaining over nine strokes on approach and has two top-15 finishes at the Wyndham Championship and one at the Travelers.

Burns is coming off of a missed cut at the PGA Championship where five lost shots on the green led to his demise. He came T13 at the Wells Fargo Championship two starts ago.

Few players have the distance off the tee to overpower Hamilton like McIlroy did in 2019, but Burns is one of them. He can also get hot with the putter, which will be required with a winning score likely in the high teens under par.

Davis Thompson: To Win (+6000)

Our second and final pick to win is Davis Thompson as a long shot.

Thompson is plenty long off the tee to carry most of the new trouble installed at Hamilton and is very good inside 100 yards. If he's aggressive off the tee - and he should be, given his strengths - Thompson should have a wedge in his hand on a lot of holes.

He finished tied for second two starts ago in Myrtle Beach - the best finish of his career - and came T17 last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

His strong recent form and course fit make Thompson a worthy flyer at +6000 or higher.

Taylor Pendrith: Top Canadian (+650)

It feels necessary to attack the top Canadian market at the country's national open, and we'll do so with Taylor Pendrith at +600.

Sticking with the idea that Hamilton's renovations will allow the bombers to stand out from the pack, it seems wise to target the longest Canadian player.

Pendrith ranks eighth on the PGA TOUR in carry distance and third in the field behind only McIlroy and Kevin Dougherty. Pendrith should have no problem blowing it past all of the new fairway bunkers that will give shorter hitters more issues.

He's a recent winner on the PGA TOUR and has two other top-11 results in his past four starts. He's arguably the Canadian in the best form at a course that could play to his biggest strength more effectively than his countrymen's.

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