Fri, 22 Oct 2021

Golf Glance: PGA Tour kicks off new season in Napa

Field Level Media
16 Sep 2021, 08:40 GMT+10

Field Level Media's Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.


LAST TOURNAMENT: Tour Championship (Patrick Cantlay)

THIS WEEK: Fortinet Championship, Sept. 16-19

Course: Silverado Resort and Spa, North (Par 72, 7,166 yards)

Purse: $7 million ($1.26M)

Defending Champion: Stewart Cink

FedEx Cup Leader: First Event


TV: Thursday-Sunday: 6-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

PGA Tour Live: Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. ET (Featured Groups)

NOTES: The season-opening event was previously known as the Safeway Open. ... Jon Rahm is the only player in the field who will also compete in next week's Ryder Cup. He is also the first world No. 1 to enter the event. ... Three of the four reigning major champions are in the field (Hideki Matsuyama, Masters; Phil Mickelson, The Open; Rahm, U.S. Open). ... Forme Tour Player of the Year Trevor Werbylo is making his PGA Tour debut on a sponsor exemption. ... Mickelson is making his seventh event start, with his best previous finish a T3 in 2017. ... 2019 champion Cameron Champ has a victory in each of his first three seasons on tour. ... Brendan Steele is a two-time event winner (2016-17).

BEST BETS: Rahm (330 at DraftKings) led the tour in scoring average, top-10s and shots gained tee to green last season. One of the heaviest favorites in recent tour history, Rahm has been backed by 11 percent of the money at the sportsbook. ... Kevin Na (1400) is coming off a strong finish to last season that saw him finish a career-best third in the FedEx Cup. ... Webb Simpson (1400) failed to make the Ryder Cup team but is the third highest-ranked player in the field. He finished T12 in his last start at the BMW Championship. ... Matsuyama (2200) enters ranked No. 17. He has only two top-20s in 11 starts since winning the Masters and missed the cut in his last start at Silverado in 2019. ... Will Zalatoris (2200) was named the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year this week and is now a full tour member in search of his first victory.

NEXT WEEK: Ryder Cup, Sept. 23-26


LAST TOURNAMENT: Solheim Cup (Team Europe)

THIS WEEK: Cambia Portland Classic, West Linn, Ore., Sept. 16-19

Course: Oregon Golf Club (Par 72, 6,658 yards)

Purse: $1.4 million ($210,000)

Defending Champion: Georgia Hall

Race to the CME Globe leader: Nelly Korda


TV: Thursday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

NOTES: This will be the 50th playing of the event, marking the tour's longest-running non-major. The Oregon Golf Club is hosting for the first time. ... Hall is not in the field to defend her title. Last year's event was shortened to 54 holes, with Hall beating Ashleigh Buhai on the second playoff hole. ... Nine of the 20 winners on tour this year are in the field. The average age of winners this year is 25.39. ... Nancy Lopez is the only three-time winner (1985, 1987, 1992). ... Korda leads the LPGA Tour in scoring average, rounds under par and rounds in the 60s.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: NW Arkansas Championship, Rogers, Ark., Sept. 24-26

Champions Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Ascension Charity Classic (David Toms)

THIS WEEK: Sanford International, Sioux Falls, S.D., Sept. 17-19

Course: Minnehaha Country Club (Par 70, 6,729 yards)

Purse: $1.8 million (Winner: $270,000)

Defending Champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Bernhard Langer


TV: Friday-Sunday, 9:30-11:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel, tape delay)

NOTES: Four events remain before the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. ... Jay Jurecic qualified with a 61 at Bakker Crossing Golf Course on Tuesday. Jurecic resigned on Aug. 7 following 21 years as a middle school math teacher. ... Steve Stricker tees it up on the Champions Tour for the first time since the Senior Players. The U.S. Ryder Cup champion won this event in 2018 and has nine top 10s in 11 starts this year. ... Jimenez has three consecutive top-10 finishes on tour. ... Fred Couples has three runner-up finishes this season but is seeking his first win since 2017.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Pure Insurance Championship, Monterey Peninsula, Calif., Sept. 24-26

--Field Level Media

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