2019 Safeway Open Primer

Dylan Frittelli Safeway Open at Silverado Resort
Dylan Frittelli lines up a putt on the 18th green during round one of the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort and Spa on Oct 4, 2018 in Napa, CA. Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Starting the 2019-20 season with two east coast events, the PGA Tour moves its traveling road show to the west coast for the 13th annual Safeway Open at Silverado Country Club in Napa.

Contested at Silverado’s North Course, the Safeway will feature its strongest field in history, including five of the top 20-ranked players in the world, headlined by top-10ers Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, and Francesco Molinari.

Additional top-ranked names include Bryson DeChambeau (11) and Adam Scott (15). They will be joined by five-time major winner Phil Mickelson.

In all, 15 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings will tee it up this week in Napa, California.


The Skinny

Tournament: Safeway Open
Dates: Sep. 26-29, 2019
Where: Napa, Calif.
Course: Silverado Resort & Spa (North)
Distance: 7166 Yards, Par 72
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1966)
Redesign: Johnny Miller (2011)
Format: 144 players, 72 holes, stroke-play, 36-hole cut
Purse: $6,600,000
Winning Share: $1,118,00
FedExCup Points: 500
Defending Champion: Kevin Tway


Watch & Follow

Rd 1: Th 5:30-8:30 pm
Rd 2: Fr 5:30-8:30 pm
Rd 3: Sa 5:30-8:30 pm
Rd 4: Su 5:30-8:30 pm
All times EST. All broadcasts via GOLF Channel

Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Wikipedia


History

Safeway Open Silverado Resort North Course
A general view of Silverado’s North Course during the 2017 Safeway Open in Napa, Calif. Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

While the Safeway Open lacks a long, illustrious history filled with Hall of Fame Champions, the event, which began in 2007, had an important place in the recent state of the PGA Tour. First as the opening event of the Fall Series (2007-2012), and then (2013-2018) as the opening event of the new FedExCup season.

Now, as the third leg of a 10-week fall series, the Safeway will bat leadoff for a three-stop western series (California, Nevada, Texas) before the Tour heads overseas for a three-event Asian Swing.

The inaugural 2007 event was won by former Masters Champion Mike Weir; other notable winners include Rocco Mediate, Jimmy Walker, and Emiliano Grillo. Brendan Steele is the tournament’s only two-time winner (2016-17).

The course venue itself, the North Course at the Silverado Resort & Spa, is among the many prides of legendary course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Prior to becoming the home of the Safeway Open, Silverado’s North held another PGA Tour event from 1968-1980, the Kaiser International Open, which later became the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic.

History: Recent Winners

2018: Kevin Tway (-14)
2017: Brendan Steele (-15)
2016: Brendan Steele (-18)
2015: Emiliano Grillo (-15)
2014: Sangmoon Bae (-15)
2013: Jimmy Walker (-17)

History: Records

Scoring
270 (−18) – Brendan Steele (2016)
262 (−18) – Troy Matteson (2009)
262 (−18) – Cameron Beckman (2008)

Wins
2 – Brendan Steele (2016, 2017)


2018 Winner

Kevin Tway Wins Safeway Open
Kevin Tway celebrates with caddie Marc Sambol after winning the Safeway Open in a playoff at the North Course of the Silverado Resort on Oct. 7, 2018 in Napa, Calif. Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Kevin Tway shot a 1-under par 71 on Sunday at Silverado’s North Course and then edged Brandt Snedeker and Ryan Moore in a playoff to claim his first career PGA Tour victory at the Safeway Open.

Tway, who entered the final round three off the pace of 54-hole leader Snedeker, finished his fourth day in Napa with three bogeys offset by four birdies, including two gains on Nos. 17 and 18 to finish 14 under and join Moore and Snedeker in overtime.

In overtime, Snedeker was eliminated after a par on the first hole (No. 18), as Moore and Tway posted matching birdies. Both of the survivors also carded birdies on the second extra hole (the 18th again), with both setting up birdie attempts on the third sudden-death hole as well.

Moore went first and left his 60 footer about two feet shy, setting the stage for Tway to drain his fifth straight birdie for the win.

Final Top-5

Pos-Player-To Par-(Final Rd)
1. Kevin Tway -14 (-1)
2. Ryan Moore -14 (-5)
2. Brandt Snedeker -14 (+2)
4. Luke List -13 (70-69-69-67)
4. Troy Merritt -13 (-4)
4. Sam Ryder -13 (-3)
4. Aaron Baddeley -13 (-3)
4. Sungjae Im -13 (-1)


Field

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas celebrates after a chip-in birdie on the 14th hole during the third round of the BMW Championship at Medinah CC No. 3 on Aug 17, 2019 in Medinah, IL. Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The field in Napa includes several top-ranked stars, but is headlined by a trio of Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, and Adam Scott.

Leading the way is world No. 6 Thomas who will make his first start of the new season. The 26-year old Kentucky native will enter off two-straight top 10s, including a win at the BMW Championship. Bookmakers have JT listed as the clear favorite with odds of 6-1.

Patrick Cantlay will also be making his 2019-20 debut. The 27-year old UCLA product finished the 2019 campaign with a win at the Memorial, and a bunch of top-10s, including a runner-up to Thomas at Medinah. He’s offered at 10-1.

Up next is Adam Scott who is listed at 14-1. The 38-year old Aussie closed the season red hot, highlighted by three consecutive top-10 finishes (T5, T9, 5th) in the FedExCup Playoffs.

Hideki Matsuyama (16-1) and Bryson DeChambeau (20-1) round out the top-five favorites in northern California.

Top-5 Betting Favorites

Pos-Player(Odds)
1. Justin Thomas (6-1)
2. Patrick Cantlay (10-1)
3. Adam Scott (14-1)
4. Hideki Matsuyama (16-1)
5. Bryson DeChambeau (20-1)

Power Rankings: Top 5

1. Justin Thomas – Enters off two top 10s including a win at Medinah.
2. Patrick Cantlay – Enters new season sitting firmly inside the world top 10 (No. 7).
3. Hideki Matsuyama – Japanese star broke out of lengthy slump late in the season; closed the playoff with a solo-third and T9.
4. Adam Scott – Closed season with playoff finishes of 5-9-6.
5. Sung-Jae Im – Made Tour debut at Silverado last season where he posted a T4. In two starts to 2020 he owns a P2 and T17.
Sleeper: Ryan Moore – In three career starts at Silverado, owns two top 10s and a top 20.

Full Field & Odds


Credit: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images, Joel Cook


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