The Safeway Open – formerly known as the Frys.com Open – moved to California and the Silverado Country Club four years ago. The 7,203-yard North Course rewards precision from the tee. Wayward shots will fall foul of the sloping, tree-lined narrow fairways. They give way to some gnarly rough, while also limiting access to the small, well-guarded greens.
Like this week’s European Tour event, this tournament has a back-to-back champion. Brendan Steele returning this week in search of a hat-trick. The first two champions at Silverado were Sang-moon Bae and Emiliano Grillo.
The Safeway Open Favourites
Just a fortnight after Tiger Woods brought down the curtain on the 2017/18 season with his victory at the Tour Championship, the new PGA Tour campaign gets underway in California where Patrick Cantlay is the 14/1* market leader with Bet365, Ladbrokes and Betfred. Brandt Snedeker, who shot a 59 on his way to victory at the Wyndham Championship six weeks ago, is at 22/1 with Betfred.
Ryan Moore can be backed at 25/1 with Ladbrokes, Coral or Betfred. Phil Mickelson, who lost both of his matches at the Ryder Cup at the weekend to cap a poor end to the season, is at 25/1* across the board. The promising young Chilean Joaquin Niemann is alongside former winner Grillo at 33/1* with Ladbrokes.
The Safeway Open Tips
Niemann played only half of last season on the PGA Tour, making his first appearance in Texas in April. But during that time he recorded four top 10 finishes and climbed 500 places in the world rankings. The teenager performed consistently too, missing the cut on only one of his last nine starts. He is regarded as one of the brightest talents in the game and will be eager to prove it at this season-opener.
Ladbrokes and Coral are each offering best odds of 33/1.*
Andrew Landry broke into the world’s top 100 for the first time with his victory at the Valero Texas Open in April and enjoyed a solid first season on the PGA Tour. It was a season that began with him sharing seventh place at this tournament. He’ll have high hopes of going close again in what will be among the year’s weakest fields. He’s a 66/1* chance across the board.
Sungjae Im earned his PGA Tour card by topping the Web.com Tour’s money list in 2017/18. He won two titles and claiming three further runner-up finishes along the way. His impressive first year in the United States followed on from a promising year on the Japanese Tour and the 20-year-old is already into the world’s top 100. You can back him at 100/1* with Betfred to get his career at the top level off to a flying start.
*(all odds subject to change)