PGA Tour: Safeway Open preview and picks

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September 25th, 2019

The PGA Tour moves to the West Coast for the Safeway Open, which is now played at the Silverado Resort and Spa North Course in beautiful Napa Valley, California. The Tour came to this Johnny Miller-redesigned course back in 2014, and has remained there after stops in Scottsdale, Arizona and San Martin, California.

From its inception in 2007 (then known as the Fry’s Electronics Open), this tournament at one time was part of the PGA Tour Fall Series. Now it carries 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner, who will receive an invitation to the Masters, PGA Championship and the Players Championship, among other privileges.

Odds to win the 2019 Safeway Open

Eight players in the field already have Presidents Cup berths locked upJustin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau, Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer and C.T. Pan. Numerous other players are entered in Napa with hopes of obtaining a Presidents Cup pick from U.S. captain Tiger Woods or International captain Ernie Els.

Woods and Els make their four picks in early November, and the Presidents Cup is December 12-15 at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

Keep an eye on Brandt Snedeker

One player who may fit the bill for a Presidents Cup selection by doing well here is Brandt Snedeker, who has proven course form with his tie for second a year ago (he lost in a three-way playoff won by Kevin Tway after entering the day with the lead). He recently posted top 10 finishes in the Northern Trust (tied for sixth) and the BMW Championship (tied for fifth), so he is capable of making amends from last year’s disappointment. He was a member of the victorious U.S. side in the 2013 Presidents Cup and would certainly enhance his chances of making this year’s squad with a good showing in Napa.

The quick-playing Snedeker isn’t known for his length off the tee but makes up for it elsewhere, particularly around the green. Last season he was third on Tour in strokes gained around the green. He is also a fabulous bunker player and putts as well as anyone. At a price of +3000, he is worth a play to come out on top and to figure in each way wagers.

Collin Morikawa presents plenty of value

Another player who has turned heads and will likely continue to do so in the years to come is Collin Morikawa. He earned his Tour card for the next two years when he took top honors in the Barracuda Championship. A member of the victorious Walker Cup team in 2017, the 22-year-old Californian turned professional before the RBC Canadian Open in early June, has yet to miss a cut and has posted three top 10s in nine starts.

Morikawa is listed at +3300, and I’ll look for him in all wagers.

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