Safeway Open Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 26th September 2019

The new PGA Tour season continues this week with the Safeway Open. The tournament boasts comfortably the strongest field of the new season so far with the likes of Justin Thomas, Adam Scott and Bryson Dechambeau tempted by the trip to California.

Hideki Matsuyama is another who is making his first appearance at the Safeway Open for some years. He has delighted his legion of fans with a return to something approaching his best golf over the last few months and can cap it off with a win at 16/1 with bet365.

Top Tips

Hideki Matsuyama @ 16/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Course Info

The PGA Tour takes in a number of different resort courses during the season. These are venues most used to hosting holidaymakers and hobby golfers so the courses tend to be on the easy side. It’s a little bit different at Silverado Country Club because they have two courses to play with.

The North Course is the one used for the Safeway Open. It’s a Trent Jones Jr design which was considerably reworked by Johnny Miller and his team specifically to coax the PGA Tour back to Silverado. Miller added length but at 7,166 yards this is not a long par 72. Instead, the players will have to avoid the worst of the rough and the trees that frame the fairways and be strategic with their misses as the greens feature punishing run off areas and are guarded by well-placed bunkers.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
North Course, Silverado Country Club Napa, California 7,166 Yards $6,600,000

Recent Winners

The North Course at Silverado may be a challenge for those playing on their holidays but recent scoring at the Safeway Open shows that it is very gettable for PGA Tour professionals. There’s never been a winning score lower than -14 whilst the number of birdies available has produced many thrilling finishes with playoffs always an option.

The one thing that all five most recent winners have been able to cope with is the Poa Annua grass used on the greens at Silverado. It can be a very challenging surface to putt on for those who lack confidence. However, ball striking is perhaps the most common thread between the four players on the list. They all worked to a good plan to plot their way around the North Course which features a number of doglegs and regularly set up scoring chances with their short irons and wedges. Avoiding bogeys (and worse) courtesy of a well-rounded short game is also of vital importance at the North Course.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2018 Kevin Tway -14 Playoff
2017 Brendan Steele -15 2 Strokes
2016 Brendan Steele -18 1 Stroke
2015 Emiliano Grillo -15 Playoff
2014 Bae Sang-moon -15 2 Strokes

Analysis: Strong Field Throws a Curveball

The timing of the Safeway Open has not always been to the event’s strength. Many of the world’s best players play only infrequently if at all on the PGA Tour at this time of the year but that is not the case this time around. Whether it’s the upcoming Presidents Cup or the slightly earlier date for the Safeway Open we have the strongest looking field in the history of this event which will inevitably make it harder for the lesser lights who have traditionally grabbed this opportunity in the past.

Matsuyama Getting Back to His Best

Hideki Matsuyama is one of those players in the Safeway Open field looking to sharpen his game ahead of the Presidents Cup. The Japanese mega star has found golf more of a challenge than usual over the last couple of years but a third place finish in the BMW Championship marked a return to form just ahead of his participation at Royal Melbourne.

On his day, Matsuyama has a very well suited game for Silverado. Indeed, he finished fourth in one of two starts at the venue back in 2014. This is his first return since 2015 so it may take him a little while to work out the course again but once he gets up to full speed he may well be difficult to stop.

As ever with Matsuyama, his putting is the main concern. His many fans will hope that the fact that most of the field are going to struggle on these greens will level things out for him and allow him to make the most of his world class ball striking and short game to win at 16/1 with bet365.

Varner Ready to Kick on in California

Unlike Matsuyama, Harold Varner III will not have to spend any time acclimatising himself to Silverado County Club. The 29 year old is making his fifth straight start in this event and he’s never been more ready to win it.

Before last season, Varner’s talent only really shone in fits and spurts on the PGA Tour. He was the sort of player you’d see in contention every now and then but forget about for much of the time. That changed last year when he began stringing together good performances in a number of PGA Tour events and even contended at the PGA Championship and the Northern Trust.

Varner is one of the most popular players on tour. He’s far more than just a smiley face though. Varner possesses the game to win multiple PGA Tour events and can break his duck this week at 70/1 with Betfred.

Final Verdict: Hideki Matsuyama to Win

Harold Varner III is a very tempting option this week at 70/1 with Betfred. He has all the skills required to win this event but an each way bet may be the safest option given the calibre of player he’ll have to finish ahead of in Napa. When it comes to a straight win bet it is Hideki Matsuyama who has the class, the game and the experience of winning on the PGA Tour to stand out at 16/1 with bet365.

About

The Safeway Open might not be the most prestigious tournament on tour, but it is one of the most important. The reason being as that this is just the third tournament of the season on the PGA Tour. Taking place at the end of September, the event is currently hosted by that of Silverado Country Club, based in Napa, California.

The Safeway Open has been running since 2007 and whilst this makes it one of the younger tournaments, it's often one that players who have missed the end of season events, such as the Tour Championship, target to kick off the new season.

There have actually been several hosts of the tournament in that short period of time, including Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale Arizona and CordeValle Golf Club, based in San Martin, California.

The move to Silverado Country Club came about in 2015, which also saw the prize pool jump from $5million to $6million, due to the increase in spectators that the course were able to attract. Interestingly, Silverado has been hosting PGA Tour events from 1968, such is the heritage of the course. In 2016, Scott Piercy went out and shot a course record 62, although was unable to capitalise on his good work in the first round before finishing in a tie for 3rd place.

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