The 2020-21 PGA Tour season begins at the Safeway Open. Photo from @PGATOUR (Twitter)
- The Safeway Open from Napa, California tees off Thursday September 10th
- This is the final tuneup before the year’s second major next week – the US Open at Winged Foot
- We’ve narrowed down the golfers with the best chance of emerging victorious and provided the best value bets below
After Dustin Johnson won his first career FedEx Cup title at the Tour Championship Monday, the 2020-21 PGA Tour season begins just three short days later at the Safeway Open. This tournament does not boast many of the big names – as most have decided to take the week off following the conclusion of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
This event does provide golfers the last chance to tune up their games before this year’s second major – the US Open from Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.
With many of the big guns opting not to compete in Napa, California, that leaves Phil Mickelson, who recently won on the Champions Tour, and Si Woo Kim as the betting favorites to win a tournament that is wide open.
2020 Safeway Open Odds
|Golfer||Odds at DraftKings|
|Si Woo Kim||+2200|
|Harold Varner III||+3000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+4500|
Odds taken September 8th
Mickelson Fresh off Champions Tour Win
At this point in his career, Phil Mickelson should not be considered a favorite in any PGA Tour event, despite him posting T-3 and T-8 finishes at this tournament in 2017 and 2016. He is coming off a victory in his first Champions Tour event three weeks ago, so he’s at least got the winning feeling again.
24 birdies and an eagle. Taking this one home with me 😉 pic.twitter.com/hY6dEFc0gT
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) August 26, 2020
This is Lefty’s final chance to get his game sharp for next week’s US Open, the only major that’s eluded him with his six career runner-up finishes. Perhaps the most famous occurred in 2006, when he let a lead slip away on the last hole at Winged Foot– he’ll have a chance to atone for that blunder next week.
We’ve been wondering for a while what a guy like Phil Mickelson—who averages 301 off the tee and finished T2 in a WGC just last month—would do on the Champions Tour.
Well, 11 birdies and a 10-under 61 in his debut.
All the cool kids are shooting -30 these days. Phil, your turn.
— Daniel Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) August 24, 2020
While it would be a fantastic story if wins the US Open, it would also be fairly surprising if he won this week, even though he did finish T-2nd at last month’s WGC-Fed Ex St. Jude Invitational. In nine of twelve PGA Tour events this year, Mickelson has lost strokes to the field, and other than that T-2, hasn’t been better than T-24th in his last nine tour events. I’d rather put my money elsewhere on someone more consistent.
Last Five Safeway Open Winners
Safeway Open Best Value Picks
- Harold Varner III (+3000): Due to finally break out on the big stage. Finished T-7th in his second last time teeing it up where he gained 9.9 shots on the field tee-to-green. The week before at the PGA Championship, he gained 7.5 shots in that same category. Three of last four years has been steady on this track, posting three top-20 finishes.
- Mark Hubbard (+5000): Has made the cut in all nine tournaments that he’s finished since the tour came back (one WD). Had a T-13th showing at last year’s Safeway Open. Has gained strokes on the field putting in eleven straight tournaments.
- Kevin Tway (+30000): Winner of this tournament just two years ago, Tway finds himself as an extreme long shot this week. Not much to like about the current state of his game with him missing ten of his last eleven cuts. He’s had the last month off to iron out the kinks, and perhaps he can strike lightning in a bottle at a course that netted him his first tour title in 2018.
Michael “Hound Dog” Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statisitician for the Jay and Dan Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he’s been featured on Sportscentre, That’s Hockey, That’s Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.