It’s the new season already? Yes, the PGA Tour is back and we’ve got five players to follow as the action returns in California
So much for the off-season. If it feels like only yesterday that Dustin Johnson was crowned FedEx Cup champion it’s because it, well, was.
But the PGA Tour merry-go-round waits for no players and the 2020-21 campaign is back in business with the Safeway Open. And if they’re ready, so are we with everything you need to know about this week’s tournament and venue.
Venue: Silverado Resort, California, USA
Date: September 10-13, 2020
Course stats: Par 72; 7,203 yards
Course summary: This lightly tree-lined parkland course is a relatively tight but modest test for the PGA Tour players, with water hazards and deep fairway bunkers providing some defence. Two Par 5’s in the final three holes could provide a spectacular finish for the first PGA Tour event of the 2020-2021 season.
Purse: $6.6 million
Defending champion: Cameron Champ (-17)
Safeway Open TV coverage
Thursday: Featured Groups on Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) at 3pm and Full Coverage on Sky Sports Golf at 9pm.
Friday: Featured Groups on Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) at 3pm and Full Coverage on Sky Sports Golf at 9pm.
Saturday: Featured Groups on Sky Sports Golf at 6pm and Full Coverage on Sky Sports Golf at 11pm.
Sunday: Featured Groups on Sky Sports Golf at 6pm and Full Coverage on Sky Sports Golf at 11pm.
Safeway Open betting: Each-way tips
Jordan Spieth (35/1 with bet365) arrives off the back of what can only be described as a disappointing season by his standards, and I am sure he will be wanting to rectify that here. The opening event of the new 2020-2021 season is a somewhat weaker affair than we have been used to in recent weeks, and a player of Spieth’s quality can certainly take advantage of that if on form. I was surprised to see Jordan so low down in the market, despite a poor 2019-2020 campaign, as he has all the characteristics needed to win here. When at his best Spieth is an accurate ball striker, who hits lots of greens and putts particularly well. If he can produce in those three key areas he will likely be in contention on Sunday.
Harold Varner III (40/1) has a good record at this course having made five consecutive cuts, including three top-20 finishes. His recent form is also impressive, securing a T7 finish at The Wyndham Championship. Varner fits the challenge well here, ranking 9th on tour for SG: Tee-to-Green and 15th for GIR average last season. He represents great each-way value, as I am sure he will be looking to start the new season in style on a course where he secured his third best finish last season.
Sergio Garcia (30/1) is another player who will feel he underperformed last year, and arriving here at this weaker-field event should motivate him to get off to a fast start to the new campaign. The former Masters Champion only secured one top-10 finish last season but, on the flip side, only missed two cuts in 12 events. In areas Garcia looked excellent, ranking 6th in SG: Tee-to-Green and 22nd in SG: Around-The-Green. Typically, it was the putter that let him down last season and, should he rectify that this week, he could have an excellent chance to win.
Safeway Open betting: The long shot
Cameron Tringale (70/1) is a big price, considering he has made five cuts out of six attempts on this course. His recent form is also encouraging, with a season-best T3 finish at the 3M Open and a T27 finish at The Northern Trust. Statistically Tringale also suits this test, ranking 27th for SG: Tee-to-Green and 16th for Scrambling. If the putter can fire for Tringale, we will surely see him better his course-best T27 finish.
Safeway Open betting: Top tip
Shane Lowry (25/1) has shown glimpses of a return to form, particularly when T6 at the WGC FedEx St. Jude. The Irishman followed this up with a T23 finish at the Wyndham Championship, and will certainly fancy his chances at a course which should suit his game. Lowry ranked 30th for SG: Tee-To-Green and 34th for Scrambling last season, with a much improved GIR percentage over his previous two events (74%). Much like my other selections this week, Lowry will need to improve with the putter to mount a serious challenge but I wouldn’t put it past the Champion Golfer of the Year to do just that and go close.
For more prices, visit bet365.