What do Derek Lamely and Derek Ernst have in common? Actually, a lot. They both rank outside the top 1500 in the world and had their only top-30 finish in the last two years at the 2023 Puerto Rico Open, finishing tied with each other in 21st. Why am I telling you this? Well, they both gained entry into this week’s Canadian Open as alternates. Yes, that sums up how weak the bottom is of this 156-player field.

The top of this field has about 10 strong players headlined by Rory McIlroy but how will they fare at a new venue the week before the U.S. Open? You can kind of sense my disdain for this week’s event. The Canadian Open got a brutal spot on the schedule in 2023 and I expect a lot of variance in results this week. As such, I recommend lowering the amount you play this week and save it for next week’s major. But, for those diehards who want to focus on the now, let’s dive into the course and two players to target.

Oakdale Golf and Country Club will play host for the first time to the Canadian Open. The course is a tree lined traditional course that won’t play overly long. The only possible protection from scoring is thick rough and undulating greens but I still wouldn’t be surprised to see players light this course up, especially given the difficult scoring conditions players have faced the last few weeks on the PGA Tour. If looking at areas to target this week, I would put a heavier-than-normal emphasis on ballstriking, especially off the tee, as avoiding the thick rough will be key. Putting results will be highly variant this week as there is no historical knowledge players can use on the greens. Let’s take a look at the top two players I’m targeting this week.

Corey Conners $9,800

Looking at the top of the salary structure this week on DraftKings, I see a lot of players who may not be very motivated to grind out four rounds as they either are looking forward to the U.S. Open or are non-Canadians sponsored by RBC and are only playing as they feel the need to show up for this event for their sponsor. On the other hand, Corey Conners is playing his national open and looking to become a national hero with a victory this week. This is a great buy-low spot for Conners as he burned a lot of people with a missed cut at Memorial last week. But I can look past that as he won the Valero Texas Open in the next start after his missed cut at The Players this year. Prior to last week’s event, he finished 12th at the PGA and eighth at Wells Fargo. His game is in good form and when we talk about ballstriking, Conners is always near the top of the list. 

Ludvig Aberg $8,300

If you don’t know who he is, you will very shortly. He is arguably the most promising young talent since Jon Rahm and he makes his pro debut this week. Just how good is he? I think he actually has a decent chance of making the Ryder Cup team this fall. Yes, that good. The $8,300 price may seem like a crazy high number to the average golf fan for an unknown. But, I honestly expect him to be a popular play this week as only the true golf aficionados are playing DFS in a week like this. At $8,300, it’s hard to pass up on a player who has a complete skill package and could be one of the best players in the world in a short time. He already made the cut this year in both of his starts on the PGA Tour, including a 24th at Bay Hill, which had a much stronger field than this.

Next week is the US Open and will feature the standard three articles from yours truly: DFS Preview, Longshots and Best Bets.