It was another feel-good story on the PGA Tour last week, as Cameron Champ was able to win his second title despite dealing with a heavy heart. Champ learned that his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer on Sunday and to win the Safeway Open with all this emotion was truly special to him.
Carrying a three-stroke lead in the final day, Champ was able to birdie his final hole and edge out Adam Hadwin for the Safeway Open Championship. He honored his grandfather after receiving the trophy and deemed it the greatest win of his golfing career.
The PGA Tour will now head to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Once again, we will see another solid field this week. Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, and Matthew Wolff will make their 2019-20 PGA Tour debuts.
World-class golfers in Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau will return after good showings last week at the Safeway Open. Koepka (+950) and Cantlay (+1100) are the betting favorites to win. With many high-end golfers participating this week, there is plenty of value down the betting board.
The tournament will take place at TPC Summerlin golf course. It is a par-71, 7255-yard long track that is played on bentgrass greens. Depending on the weather conditions, this course can either play very difficult or relatively easy. Winds can be a huge factor here and can make things challenging for the golfers. There is not much trouble to get into off the tee since few trees or sandtraps are in play.
There are eight par 4s that measure between 400-450 yards. Par 4 efficiency between this range is a key stat to zero in on. Last year, this course gave up the seventh-most birdies and sixth-most eagles on tour. A majority of the scoring comes on the back-nine par 5s. They are very gettable holes and golfers will be able to “bomb and gouge” off the tee. Both birdie-or-better percentage and Par 5 scoring will be big this week.
- Par-4 efficiency between 400-450 yards
- Par-5 scoring
- Birdie-or-better percentage
- Strokes gained: tee-to-green
Best Bets to Win
Tony Finau (+2000 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Still searching for another PGA Tour win since 2016, Finau sets up extremely well here. His course history is among the best in this field. He has not missed a cut here in five-straight appearances and has finished as high as seventh here in 2015. Finau is one of the longest golfers off the tee, and his accuracy issues won’t hinder him as much this week.
He led the entire field in strokes gained tee-to-green at the event last year, but lost more than six strokes putting. If he can catch fire with the putter, I see a big week coming from the 13th highest-ranked golfer in the world. He is also coming in with great form after finishing T-10 in a Euro Tour event that had an exceptionally strong field.
Finau finished runner-up twice last year along with a third-place finish. He got extremely hot towards the end of the year with three top-10 finishes in his last five events. This could be the week everything comes together for “Big Tone.”
Gary Woodland (+3500 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Woodland has two straight top-20 finishes at this event — including a 10th-place finish last year. He is consistently one of the best ball strikers in the PGA. In my model, Woodland ranks 16th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 19th in strokes gained off-the-tee, and third in birdie-or-better percentage. He is one of the longest drivers on tour and ranks fourth in par-5 scoring. Woodland should have plenty of birdie opportunities this week.
Last year, we saw Woodland win his first-ever PGA major, as he took home the prestigious US Open Trophy. He also mixed in eight top-10 finishes in 2018-19, so it was a profitable year for the 10-year tour veteran. Later in the season, we saw Woodland fall off a bit, but he was dealing with the birth of his twins. I expect a rejuvenated Woodland to go well this week on a course that has been kind to him.