PGA Tour Picks: Safeway Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Will the 2019-20 PGA Tour season be known as the year of the South Americans? Two weeks ago, Joaquin Niemann became the first Tour winner to hail from Chile, and on Sunday at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi, Colombia's Sebastian Munoz got his first Tour win. Munoz drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Sungjae Im and then won that playoff on the first hole with a par.
Rather amazingly, the 26-year-old from Bogota didn't need to hole a putt longer than 15 feet, 3 inches at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Guy could be a factor all season considering he was Top 10 in his first two starts of the year after having just four in his first 45 pro starts. The victory earns him a spot in the Masters now that the Sanderson Farms Championship is no longer an opposite-field event. The playoff ended a streak of 38 consecutive PGA Tour events that were decided in regulation.
Munoz credited his friend Niemann's success with his own: "Him winning was the last piece of the puzzle that I needed to know that we're good enough to compete, that we're PGA Tour members and we play to win," Munoz said.
Needless to say, I didn't touch on Munoz last week. My pick was longer shot Shawn Stefani and he finished T28.
No offense to the good folks in Mississippi or West Virginia, but those aren't exactly hot-spot destinations on the PGA Tour. Thus, no big names played the past two weeks. This week's event, the Safeway Open, does have a pretty good field as it's held where just about anyone would like to visit: California wine country. Guys like Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott are making their seasonal debut. You know who else is in the field? Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and CBS NFL analyst Tony Romo. It's his fourth career Tour event on a sponsor exemption.
Silverado Resort & Spa's North course is a par 72 measuring 7,166 yards. This is the fourth year the Safeway Open will be played at the North course. This tournament debuted in 2007 in Arizona as the Fry's Electronics Open. Five of the 12 Safeway Opens have ended in a playoff. That includes last year when Kevin Tway beat Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker for his first PGA Tour win. In the process, he and father Bob Tway became the eighth father-son duo to win on the Tour since 1900. Kevin Tway is +6600 to repeat. The only guy who has done that here is Brendan Steele. He's also the only guy to win the event twice.
Golf Odds: Safeway Open Favorites
Thomas is the highest-ranked player in the world in the field and the clear +650 favorite at Bovada. He last played at the Tour Championship, which he began with a two-shot lead as the FedEx Cup points leader but ended third. Thomas recently posted on social media that he had a bit of a health scare with a mole diagnosed with melanoma. But since it was caught early, Thomas is expected to be fine. He has been eighth and third his past two visits here.
Patrick Cantlay is priced +1000 with Scott at +1400, Hideki Matsuyama +1600 and both Bryson DeChambeau and Im at +2000. Matsuyama was third in 2014. Cantlay was 17th last year, while Im was fourth. Romo, incidentally is a +100000 long shot as is John Daly. Mickelson is +6600 and has been no worse than 17th his past three visits.
Golf Odds: Safeway Open Picks
For a Top 10, I like Thomas (-150) and Steele (+950). The winner at +3300 is Moore. In addition to that runner-up last year, he has been 10 th and 17th here with a scoring average of 69.33.
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