Just 11 days after the curtain came down on the 2016-17 PGA Tour season, the new campaign begins with the Safeway Open, writes Dave Clark.
Silverado Resort and Spa North in Napa, California plays host to a field headed by home favourite Phil Mickelson. The 47-year-old San Diego native has won 10 of his 42 PGA Tour titles in his home state, and appeals at 18/1 to add an 11th as the first of our Safeway Open betting predictions.
Mickelson, who has incredibly gone four years without a victory, has form over the course having been eighth last year and has looked in decent touch of late, having finished tied sixth at the Dell Technologies Championship during the FedEx Cup play-offs.
With defending champion Brendan Steele out of form, our second pick goes to American Peter Uihlein. A former world number one amateur, the 28-year-old was tipped for stardom when he picked up his breakthrough win on the European Tour in 2013.
Several years of treading water followed, but the American picked up a PGA Tour card for the first time this season after winning a Web.com Tour Finals event. With that success in Ohio last month to build on, Uihlein makes plenty of appeal at odds of 40/1.
Based on form over the host course, Johnson Wagner could be worth a look at 150/1. Tied for 48th on his tournament debut in 2015, Wagner finished tied for third last year.
The 37-year-old has missed 19 out of 27 cuts since then, but a tie for 20th at the Web.com Tour Championship, where he strung together four rounds in the 60s, suggests a return to form could be just around the corner.
The last of our Safeway Open betting tips is Brian Gay. At 200/1, the 45-year-old Texan could prove excellent value given all four of his previous PGA Tour wins came in low-scoring events – Steele won on 18 under last year.
Gay also has three top-10 finishes to his name in the last six months, most recently finishing third at the Barbasol Championship in July.
Best bets for Safeway Open
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