Welcome to the new PGA season! Boy, can we even say we missed it? The season ended Monday afternoon and starts all over again on Thursday. This year we’re expected to have 50 tournaments lined up. So get ready for alongseason. With that being said, let’s breakdown what’s coming up this week.
This week we head over to California for the Safeway Open at the Silverado Resort and Spa – get ready for late tee times us east coasters. We’re back to a regular field of 152 players, but no one from the Tour Championship will be there so it’s relatively a weak field. Former champion Cameron Champ will not be in the field, but former 2018 & 2017 champion Brendan Steele will be in the field alongside Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth.
Silverado Resort is a par 72 course, 7100 yards played on poa annua/bentgrass. Since the course is a par 72 we will have four par 5’s and they’re by far the easiest holes. They range from 35 to 45% in birdie rate and nearly 2% in eagles. We could potentially see a birdie spree from holes 16, 17, and 18. Lastly, holes 12 and 17 also have a 20-22% chance in birdie rate. The par 3’s are the most difficult as they have a 15-22% chance in bogey rate.
The course should play simple even if the fairways are narrow and firm, since hitting it off the fairway won’t be a problem because the rough is thin and short. The course has several sand traps, but only a few are concerning. There are only 4 water hazards, but only 1 is potentially dangerous and that’s hole 15 which is a par 3.
Phil Mickelson ($10600) – There will be several narratives circling Phil in this weak field. One of them being that he won at the Charles Schwab Series (PGA TOUR Champions). The other one is him being from California and having terrific course history. Phil has finished 17th, 3rd, and 8th in the last 3 years. Phil has also made the cut 5 times in the 6 events. One important aspect to note is that Phil gains 0.5 strokes on this surface and he’s also ranked 89th in BoB% and 60th in Scrambling.
Brendan Steele ($10000) – Besides winning in 2018 and 2017 he’s one of the best in this weak field. Brendan finished 33rd at the BMW Championship nearly making it to the TOUR Championship. That has a lot to say where Brendan is in his game. Since the restart back in June, he’s missed the cut once out of 7 events. In the last 5 events, he’s gained 3.5 strokes on APP & T2G. The TOUR has him ranked 38th in Par 4 efficiency, 79th in Birdie or Better, and 110th in Scrambling.
Henrik Norlander ($8500) – In the last 7 events played he’s only missed the cut once and that was at The Northern Trust. Before that, he’s finished pretty well. He’s placed 6th at Memorial, 12th at Rocket Mortgage, 23rd at the 3M Open, and 31st at Workday. Norlander has gained 2.4 strokes on APP in the last 5 events and 2 strokes T2G.
Joel Dahmen ($9500) – Dahmen is someone I can’t ever get right, but I hope I get him right in this weak field. Dahmen is ranked 3rd in my overall model – 7th P4:400-450, 8th OTT, and 12th BoB%. He’s also finished very well in much deeper and better fields. Finished 20th at the BMW Championship, 10th at the PGA Championship, and 20th at WGC St. Jude.
Doc Redman ($9200) – Doc is ranked 3rd in my overall model. He’s ranked 5th on APP, 9th in Proximity 125-150, 14th P4:400-450, and 18th BoB%. Doc highlighted a 3rd place finish at Wyndham and then missed the cut at the Nothern Trust, but I think this rest was very much needed to start the new season fresh.
Cameron Davis ($8900) – I don’t know if this is a cycle for Cam, but he missed the cut 4 times in a roll from Charles Schwab to Workday Open and then finished 12th at the 3M Open, 15th at Wyndham, and 29th at Northern Trust. Before that, he also missed the cut 4 times in 2019 and then proceeded with the following finishes: 9th, 29th, 36, 38th, and 8th. Anyway, Cam has gained 1.7 strokes T2G, 1.2 strokes on APP, and 1 stroke OTT in the last 5 events.
Dark Horse Play
J.B. Holmes ($6900) – We haven’t heard from Holmes since July when he withdrew from the Workday Open with a shoulder injury. But, the man is back after failing to advance to the FedEx playoffs for the first time since 2013. Holmes played here back in 2019 and finished 9th. He gains nearly 0.2 strokes on this surface and hasn’t missed a cut since Greenbier (2019). J.B. is ranked 4th in poa/bent model; 3rd in BoB%, 9th OTT, and 23rd on APP.