Safeway Open Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 4th October 2018

It’s less than two weeks since Justin Rose was crowned FedEx Cup champion at the end of the PGA Tour season and yet it’s time for it to begin once again. The Tour’s top brass have introduced several changes for this new season but one thing that has remained constant is the Safeway Open’s role as curtain raiser.

Brendan Steele heads to Napa Valley looking to kick off his season with a win for the third year in a row. The American clearly understands exactly what it takes to win the Safeway Open but the same can be said of Emiliano Grillo. The Argentine is looking to kick on this season having established himself on the PGA Tour and he looks a good price to win the Safeway Open for the second time at 28/1 with bet365.

Top Tips

Emiliano Grillo @ 28/1

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

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Course Info

If you watched any of the Ryder Cup coverage you’ll doubtless have heard the commentators remark on the difficulty that the American players were having with the tight fairways at Le Golf National. Fittingly, the North Course at Silverado Country Club provides a great example of what those commentators were talking about. The fairways at the Californian course were among the toughest to hit on the entire PGA Tour but the rough is anything but penal so driving distance very much trumps driving accuracy in the Safeway Open.

There are better places than others to miss off the tee however as the North Course is tree lined so it is possible for players to be stymied with their second shots. Approach play is a very important facet of the game to master for any player who wants to be successful this week but it’s obviously easier to get the ball closer to the hole with shorter irons and wedges which gives another advantage to the bombers. The final element to consider is putting. Having a solid week on the greens is a prerequisite to challenging for the Safeway Open.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
North Course, Silverado Country Club Napa, California 7,166 Yards $6,200,000

Recent Winners

The Safeway Open is a tournament that cannot be won by players who are afraid to go low. The winner on Sunday night will need to make a huge number of birdies just like Brendan Steele managed to do in each of the last two years. Steele pipped the big hitting Tony Finau by two shots which is the joint biggest winning margin ever secured in the 11 previous renewals. Steele is also the tournament’s only two-time winner and he’s back in the field for another crack this week.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2017 Brendan Steele -15 2 Strokes
2016 Brendan Steele -18 1 Stroke
2015 Emiliano Grillo -15 Playoff
2014 Sang-moon Bae -15 2 Strokes
2013 Jimmy Walker -17 2 Strokes

Analysis: Will the Safeway Come Down to a Putting Contest?

It doesn’t really matter how players get to the greens at Silverado. All that matters is that they leave themselves several birdie chances and then find their best stuff on the greens. It’s a little unfair to suggest that the Safeway Open is a glorified putting competition but there is no doubting the importance of putting when it comes to mounting a challenge for the title.

Grillo Ready for Another Crack

Emiliano Grillo is only 26 but he’s played a huge amount of golf, travelling thousands of miles in the process. The Argentine has played on the European Tour, the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, the Web.com Tour and most recently the PGA Tour. It’s the latter that where he very much sees his future and however far he goes in the rest of his career the Safeway Open will always hold a special place in his heart. It was this tournament that brought Grillo’s maiden PGA Tour win and he’ll be feeling good about his chances of winning again on his return to Silverado.

Grillo was unable to win last season but he did secured some very good results thanks to ranking 37th for strokes gained off the tee and 12th for strokes gained on the greens. That is an excellent combination for the North Course so Grillo has a very good chance of winning again at 28/1 with bet365.

Hossler Can Make His Breakthrough

Beau Hossler came agonisingly close to claiming a win on his first full season on the PGA Tour. The 23-year-old made it all the way to a playoff in the Houston Open but found Ian Poulter in inspired form. That was one of just a number of solid performances for Hossler on the PGA Tour and he can build on that solid footing by contending for a win in the Safeway Open.

Hossler made the cut on his first appearance at Silverado Country Club and the stats suggest he can build on that. He ranked fourth for strokes gained on the greens last season. Providing he can find the majority of the greens in regulation, Hossler will surely make more birdies than most so represents a very good each way bet at 40/1 with Coral.

Final Verdict: Emiliano Grillo to Win

The Safeway Open is a chance for PGA Tour players to either build on the good work of last season or to reset and lay down a marker for the long 12 months to come. It’s the sort of course that should allow a large number of players to compete but few players look as well equipped for a charge up the leaderboard that Emiliano Grillo who looks the best value in the betting at 28/1 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 the opening tournament of the season on the PGA Tour. Taking place at the start of October, 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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