OAD: 2019 Safeway Open

Week No. 3 takes us to Wine Country and the wonderful Napa Valley.

Brendan Steele is the landlord here but a big hitter returns.

One and Done

I’m not disappointed with two top 10s from two but I thought I would be on board for Sungjae Im’s breakthrough last week. Fair play to Bassy Munoz for keeping his nerve on the final hole and the playoff to pick up his first win on TOUR. I’m trying to figure out why I didn’t throw Munoz in the column last week after he was in the “long shot” department at Greenbrier.

Oh well.

Part of me believes this is the most difficult part of the year so getting off to a good start is paramount. I’ve done that and I hope you have as well.

Event Golfer Place $$
The Greenbrier Scottie Scheffler T7 235,625
Sanderson Farms Sungjae Im P2 719,400
Total Events: 2 Top 10: 2 MC: 0 955,025

Last Week’s Recap – Sanderson Farms Championship


Sungjae Im – P2

I understand that he has course form on other tracks but if birdies and Par-5 scoring are required, and they are, I’d rather FIRE FIRE FIRE this week against a less-than-top-heavy field. Some of you will save him for the CJ CUP AT NINE BRIDGES, his home course, and I won’t stop you. I’ll also remind you that field is apples to this week’s oranges.

Safety Dance:

Lucas Glover (MC) and Roberto Castro (T52) are veterans who have trashed CCofJ in the last few years.


Denny McCarthy (T18), Grayson Murray (MC), Vaughn Taylor (MC) didn’t exactly pan out either. I regret nothing as my top pick did the business.

3AM at the Blackjack Table:

D.J. Trahan (MC), Brian Harman (T14), Aaron Wise (T39) didn’t have the steam of last week’s selections.

THIS WEEK – Safeway Open

This is year No. 6 at Silverado’s North course in Napa Valley.

The major caveat this time around is that it’s the first time this event will NOT start the new season. Read more here.

Brendan Steele is the landlord but a few other big names have also done well here but not good enough to win.

The worst winning score was last year’s 14-under set by Kevin Tway, Brandt Snedeker and Ryan Moore. The field of 156 is the best they have ever had at Safeway so that will force some interesting decisions.

This week, I’m not sure that an event that caters to a winning score of 16-under is the week to knock the rust off from last season. Rounds above par here just don’t work as four Par-5 holes usually help wipe out the bogeys.

There are plenty of big names in the field and the temptation will be to use them. A look back at the five previous winners suggests you save your bullets for when they’re in form and for purses on the LARGER size.

That’s my angle.


Ben An

Frankly, I have no long-term plans for him so I’m going to ride a hot ball-striker who has been knocking this summer. He was second at RBC Canadian and solo third last week on courses he’s never played before so that angle doesn’t bother me either. It’s no secret he’s not a great putter but that’s usually not the determining factor this week.

Safety Dance:

Justin Thomas (purse isn’t big enough, massive last two events), Phil Mickelson (too skinny), Brendan Steele (53-under here).


Collin Morikawa, Harris English, Ryan Moore

3AM at the Blackjack Table:

Bronson Burgoon, Cameron Tringale, Martin Laird


Check out my previous results below if you need a history lesson:

History Channeled:


My majors contributions and PLAYERS selection were worse than bad so to still break the $10 million mark with those awful results was encouraging.

Another valuable lesson learned is that the Playoffs are for the big boys. Now, WHICH big boys makes this more and more difficult and that’s why it’s enjoyable and maddening all at the same time. Only McIlroy and Woods have won the FedExCup twice so start there.

Event Golfer Place $$
Safeway Open Brendan Steele T53 14,610
CIMB Classic Ryan Moore T66 12,740
CJ CUP @ 9 BRIDGES Gary Woodland 2nd 1,026,000
WGC-HSBC Champions Ian Poulter 21st 93,500
Sanderson Farms Cameron Davis MC 0
Shriners Aaron Wise T15 101,675
Mayakoba Golf Classic Charles Howell III MC 0
The RSM Classic J.J. Spaun MC 0
Sentry TOC Jon Rahm T8 191,000
Sony Open Marc Leishman T3 307,200
60th Desert Classic Andrew Putnam T34 29,975
Farmers Insurance Patrick Cantlay MC 0
WMPO Hideki Matsuyama T15 113,600
AT&T Pebble Beach Jason Day T4 334,400
Genesis Open Justin Thomas 2nd 799,200
WGC-Mexico Champ Xander Schauffele T14 128,000
Puerto Rico Open Graeme McDowell T42 10,500
The Honda Classic Adam Scott MC 0
Arnold Palmer Invitational Rickie Fowler T40 35,490
THE PLAYERS Championship Sergio Garcia T22 125,000
Valspar Championship Patrick Reed MC 0
Corales Punta Cana Trey Mullinax T61 6,450
WGC-Match Play Paul Casey T9 167,000
Valero Texas Open Billy Horschel MC 0
Masters Rory McIlroy T21 107,956
RBC Heritage Matt Kuchar 2nd 745,200
Zurich Classic Ryan Palmer WIN 1,051,200
Wells Fargo Championship Phil Mickelson MC 0
AT&T Byron Nelson Keith Mitchell T59 17,301
PGA Championship Brooks Koepka WIN 1,980,000
Charles Schwab Challenge Jordan Spieth T8 197,100
Memorial Tony Finau MC 0
RBC Canadian Open Jim Furyk T27 55,100
U.S. Open Tiger Woods T21 117,598
Travelers Championship Bubba Watson T54 16,560
Rocket Mortgage Classic Sungjae Im T21 68,528
3M Open Bryson DeChambeau T2 563,200
John Deere Classic Collin Morikawa T4 264,000
The Open Championship Rafa Cabrera Bello MC 0
Barbasol Championship Denny McCarthy T11 77,000
WGC-FESJI Dustin Johnson T20 113,500
Barracuda Championship Martin Laird T7 105,437
Wyndham Championship Webb Simpson 2nd 669,600
THE NORTHERN TRUST Tommy Fleetwood T43 27,565
BMW Championship Brandt Snedeker T5 351,500
Total Events: 45 Top 10s: 14 MC: 10 $10,024,685


2017-18 Thermometer: FINAL

Event Golfer Place $$
Safeway Open Tony Finau 2nd 669,600
CIMB Classic Paul Casey T7 218,166
CJ CUP @ 9 BRIDGES Keegan Bradley T47 23,759
WGC-HSBC Champions Hideki Matsuyama T50 51,875
Sanderson Farms Chesson Hadley T2 464,400
Shriners Patrick Cantlay WIN 1,224,000
OHL Classic Kevin Chappell MC 0
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III MC 0
Sentry TOC Kevin Kisner T17 99,333
Sony Open Brian Harman T4 256,266
CareerBuilder Challenge Jason Dufner T36 27,189
Farmers Insurance Jon Rahm T29 43,872
WMPO Alex Noren T21 80,040
-AT&T Pebble Beach Phil Mickelson T2 488,400
Genesis Open Dustin Johnson T16 111,600
Honda Classic Graeme McDowell MC 0
WGC-Mexico Tommy Fleetwood T14 126,500
Valspar Championship Ryan Moore MC 0
Arnold Palmer Tyrell Hatton T69 18,067
WGC-Match Play Patrick Reed T9 163,000
Corales Puntacana Patrick Rodgers T22 27,850
Houston Open Luke List T24 54,162
Masters Jordan Spieth 3rd 748,000
RBC Heritage Cameron Smith T32 35,510
Valero Texas Open Billy Horschel T11 136,400
Zurich Classic Bud Cauley MC 0
Wells Fargo Championship Bryson DeChambeau 4th 369,600


THE PLAYERS Francesco Molinari MC 0
Ft. Worth Invitational Adam Scott T52 16,472
AT&T Byron Nelson Jimmy Walker T6 257,950
Memorial Tiger Woods T23 76,985
FESJC Henrik Stenson T26 50,820
US Open Justin Rose T10 270,151
FESJC Xander Schauffele MC 0
Quicken Loans National Kyle Stanley T32 36,841
A Military Tribute Bubba Watson T13 121,632
John Deere Classic Zach Johnson T16 81,366
British Open Rory McIlroy T2 694,250
RBC Canadian Open Charley Hoffman T29 37,743
Barracuda Martin Laird T15 51,000
WGC-Bridgestone Invite Rickie Fowler T17 104,250
PGA Championship Brooks Koepka WIN 1,980,000
Wyndham Brandt Snedeker WIN 1,080,000
THE NORTHERN TRUST Jason Day T20 101,160
Dell Technologies Marc Leishman T21 100,800
BMW Championship Gary Woodland T12 189,000
TOUR Championship Justin Thomas T7 279,900
Total Events: 47


Top 10s: 15 MC: 7 $10,967,909


2015-16 Season total: $5,978,929; 47 events

  • Wins: 2 (Matsuyama, Hoffman)
  • Seconds: 0
  • Thirds: 1
  • Top 10s: 9
  • Top 25s: 18
  • MC: 8 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian; McGirt, Wyndham; Justin Thomas, DBC)

2016-17 Season total: $6,533,509 45 events

  • Wins: 1
  • Seconds: 1
  • Thirds: 1
  • Top 10s: 12
  • Top 25s: 20
  • MCs (10): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC); Jamie Lovemark (CB Challenge); Jimmy Walker (FIO); Charl Schwartzel (Genesis); Russell Knox (Honda); Henrik Stenson (API); Thomas Pieters (Zurich); Kevin Kisner (WFC).

Thanks for reading!


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