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Back already?! The final run of the wraparound PGA season is here, as the Tour returns to Napa, CA at Silverado Resort & Spa for the 2022 Fortinet Championship. The much discussed changes of the PGA Tour will take place this season, as the top players have made heavy commitments to square off more often than ever before. Unfortunately, we won’t see that this week, as a lot of the top players are playing on the DP World Tour (Italian Open) or getting prepared for the Presidents Cup. Defending champion Max Homa returns to the field this week, despite his upcoming participation in the Presidents Cup, at +1400 odds to defend his title. Other top contenders by listed odds are Hideki Matsuyama (+1600), Corey Conners (+1800), Maverick McNealy (+2200) and Sahith Theegala (+2400).
Corey Conners (+1800) – Conners will be playing in the Presidents Cup next week at Quail Hollow for the International Team, so I’m anticipating a focused and “in-form” Conners this week at Silverado. One of the best ball strikers on tour, his around & on the green play is the only thing that has held him back from multiple victories on Tour. After a couple weeks off since East Lake, Conners should have had some time to hone in his short game.
Sahith Theegala (+2400) – Some things change, but most things stay the same. Kickoff event of the 2022-2023 season, & we are right back where we left off with a Sahith Theegala outright ticket. This kid is good. Really good. It’s going to take one victory for the Rookie of the Year contender to start piling on a few more. Where better to start off than his home state of California?
Webb Simpson (+4200) – I’m fairly confused at this price on Webb. He was consistently at the top of the betting odds list last season in weaker fields. The 37 year-old underperformed last year, securing only one Top 10 finish. It’s not my favorite pick on the board, but the value is there. He’s won 7 times on tour… looking for his 8th. Veteran pick – fair play.
Chris Gotterup (+8000) – Gotterup is a name to be on the lookout for all year long, as he is still fighting for his PGA Tour card. His average club speed & driving distance last season would have ranked first (1st!!!) on Tour last season ahead of the leader in both categories, Cameron Champ. He is loaded with talent & showed he can compete in weaker fields towards the tail end of last year. 80-1 is worth every penny.
Top 5 Finishes
Davis Riley (+650) – Coming off a spectacular rookie season, Riley secured 6 Top 10’s and 4 Top 5’s. He’s a huge part of one of the better rookie classes we’ve seen, and I do not expect him to slow down at all this year. Especially in a field of this caliber, 6-1 for a Top 5 finish is a mistake by oddsmakers.
Cam Davis (+750) – Another breakout performer last year, Davis surprised us all by just barely missing the Tour Championship. He went on a run of five consecutive Top 20 finishes at the end of the year & really seemed to find his game. Doesn’t really have a weakness in his game, just needs to take one more step forward in all aspects of his game & he won’t only be competing in weaker fields — he’ll compete with the best.
Top 10 Finishes
Sahith Theegala (+270) – Security blanket pick for when Theegs goes 4 straight birdies & then follows it up with 4 straight club drops. I’m fully prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the 24 year old.
Webb Simpson (+550) – Another outright pick in our Top 10 bet slip, it’s much more likely (obviously) than outright. Price was too good to avoid an outright ticket, but Webb Top 10 is one of my favorite bets this week.
Top 20 Finishes
Trey Mullinax (+250) – Max play. Favorite pick on the board. Mullinax secured his first victory at the Barbasol Championship last year & then never really looked back. Finished T21 at St Andrews, T5 at St. Jude & T12 at BMW (72 hole scoring).
Beau Hossler (+490) – One of the best putters on tour. Weak field. +490 for Top 20? The putter is single handedly why Hossler is on tour, so hoping he can bring around the rest of his game this year because he is fun to watch. T4 @ Valero last year. Why not?