Formerly known as The Safeway Open for the past five seasons, Silverado Country Club will again play host to the start of a PGA Tour season Thursday morning in Napa, CA. With the 2020-21 season ending just weeks ago, this event lacks the normal star power we see week to week on Tour but still offers some heavy hitters at the top, namely Tour Championship runner-up John Rahm.
Let’s look at the rest of the field and the event itself and see where we spot the edge.
Sebastian Munoz (-125 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
With five top-30 finishes over his final six events to finish out the 2021 season, few golfers finished with the pace of Munoz. A look at his metrics easily paints the picture of why, as the Columbian finished inside the top 10 (in his final 24 rounds) in ball striking, strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: tee-to-green.
With a 33rd finish here last season, Munoz found him contention before a Sunday collapse, and as he comes into this season much improved from this time last year, I expect an even better result.
Brendan Steele (-140 on DraftKings Sportsbook) vs. Ryan Moore
Imagine a two-time winner of an event starting the week at 100-1 to repeat? That’s exactly where Steele has found himself after a brutal summer on Tour, where he missed four of five cuts over the final three months. Even still, Steele is still a 3x PGA Tour winner, who started 2021 with three top 10s, and after nearly a month away from the game, I look for him to return refreshed to start the new season.
Five top 30s in five of his seven appearances here doesn’t hurt either, as Silverado has been kind to the native-Californian.
Failing to qualify for the playoffs in 21′ Ryan Moore finished his season with three straight missed cuts, with the season as a whole being one to mostly forget. Playing in just 16 events, Moore missed the cut in 9 and could never find any rhythm. I look for more of the same to start the 22′ season.
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