Safeway Open Preview and Picks
Alright, we have made it. Even though the 19-20 PGA tour season had its ups and downs and long layoff due to the COVID-19 virus, it was an awesome ending. Capped by a red-hot Dustin Johnson who absolutely dominated the competition leading to his first Fed Ex Cup championship and $15 Million dollars, and now were officially onto the next season. The 2020-2021 PGA tour season begins this week as the players head out to Napa, CA to the Silverado Resort for the Safeway Open. Most of the top players in the field are taking the weekend off to rest up for the U.S Open next weekend at Winged Foot, but that does not mean we will not have a good tournament. The course this week is somewhat easy and though it is tight with its tree line and fairways, the big hitters have had success here in the past. Silverado is on the shorter side on course length on the PGA tour and with forgiving rough, I believe the course will favor the big hitters and ball strikers.
Jordan Spieth (29-1) – I cannot really dig up any stats on this one that will convince you to take Spieth as he had a tough 19-20 Season off the tee. But with that being said, in a weak field with almost zero big names, this tournament screams Spieth’s name. In the past, Spieth would not play this tournament, but he realizes where he is at in his career and knows something has to change. Jordan is still young and has ample time to bounce back to his 2015 self where he was on top of the golfing world. Not particularly accurate but still long off the tee, this is a place where Jordan can thrive if the putter heats up like many know it can. THE COMEBACK TOUR STARTS TOMORROW.
Doc Redman (36-1) – I love this value here for Doc Redman. Redman is in good form coming into the new season with a 71st ranking in last seasons Fed Ex Cup race at the age of 22. Redman’s 2019-2020 season came to an end by one ranking as Louis Oosthuizen birdied the 18th on the final day of the Northern Trust to take Redman’s spot in the BMW championship. Expect Redman to come out angry and fire away. Redman ranked in the upper echelon of Off the tee and Approach to green Strokes gained with his precision accuracy and elite ball striking which he ranked 6th in the world last season in by the way. This is insane value for a weak field and a player of Redman’s Caliber.
Harold Varner III (29-1) – Another guy in great form going into the new season. HV3 was elite last season in basically every category besides putting. Ranking in the top 30 in Off the tee, Approach to green, Around the green, Tee to green, and total strokes gained, it is alarming HV3 still does not have a victory on the tour yet. HV3 is one of the purest ball strikers on the tour ending last season at 9th on the ball striking chart, this is a tournament made for Harold. Another guy that if he hits some putts, expect him to be near the top come Sunday.
Erik Van Rooyen (35-1) – Van Rooyen did not play in enough tournaments to help himself qualify for the Fed Ex Cup playoffs last season because of the COVID-19 virus. But the young South African is still ranked in the top 50 in the world and is a powerful hitter and elite ball striker. See a trend here? Last season Van Rooyen ranked in the top tier of the tour in almost every category of strokes gained besides putting, no really, do you still not get where I am going with this? I think its good value for Van Rooyen this weekend who looks to jumpstart his new season to help qualify him for this seasons Fed Ex Cup.
Joel Dahmen (26-1) – This one might be a chalky pick this week as it seems the entire world is on Dahmen this week. With that being said, Dahmen enjoyed his best season on the tour with 5 top 10 finishes and finishing at 38th in the Fed Ex Cup standings. The west coast golfer should have some familiarity with the type of course as that shtick usually stays true. Dahmen’s form is in sync right now with 2 top ’20s and a top 10 at the PGA Championship in San Francisco in his last 4 tournaments. Dahmen relies on his accuracy off the tee and approach to green, which should help this week. As long as the putter wakes up, he should compete.