PGA Preview: 2020 Safeway Open Predictions

Dustin Johnson won the FedEx PGA Tour Championship this past Sunday so he’s skipping the Safeway Open. Plus, the US Open is on the Horizon – which means many of the “big names” won’t be present- but this week's field is still surprisingly strong.

Phil Mickelson, who is fresh off a PGA Champions Tournament win, comes in at +2000 with co- favorite Si Woo Kim. The field also includes Jordan Spieth at +2500 and Sergio Garcia at +2800.

This is a perfect opportunity for players like Mickelson, Garcia, and Spieth to get their Tour win totals going again. It’s also a door opener for lesser-known players to make a move towards getting their first PGA Tour Victory.

Such is the case with past winner Brendan Steele who won the event back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 for his first two Tour victories. He followed that up this season by winning the Sony Open. He’s now a favorite this week.


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Here's how the top-five favorites to win the 2020 Safeway Open round out:

Phil Mickelson +2000

Si Woo Kim +2000

Brendan Steele +2200

Jordan Spieth +2500

Emiliano Grillo +2800

2020 PGA Safeway Open Betting Preview

Where: Napa, California

Course: Silverado Country Club, North Course

Par: 72 (PGA)

Length: 7,166

When: Sept 10 – 13, 2020

Purse: $6.6 million

TV Coverage: Golf Channel

The North Course at Silverado Country Club features rolling terrain with plenty of grass and foliage giving portions of it a Southern golf course feel. The Robert Trent Jones course, with Johnny Miller tweaks in 2011, plays tight on the fairways. It won’t just be a driver off the tee, look for a wide variety of long irons and woods on the par-fives and longer par-four holes.

Water comes into play on some of the par-three holes but overall, hitting the landing zones will be the biggest concern. Wedges will be a big factor at the Safeway Open as will hitting the green close to the pin. The greens, poa annua grass, are wavy with plenty of drop-offs. Starting with a short putt will save strokes.


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PGA Picks: Safeway Open 2020

Si Woo Kim +2000

Si Woo Kim finished T13 at the Tour Championship last week and is now ranked No. 86 according to the Official World Golf Rankings. He seems to have left a string of missed cuts earlier in the year behind him.

Brendan Steele +2200

Brendan Steele knows this course front and back and has proven he can win here. This is a perfect course to get his game back into the win column. Steele can light up his wedges this week.

Shane Lowry +2800

Shane Lowry has shown some flashes of greatness this season combined with several missteps – he’s missed the cut four times. But he’s also finished four times T25 or better with an improved OWGR rank of No. 28.

Others I Like

Phil Mickelson and Cameron Davis – Phil Mickelson should love the layout this week as he does not have to try to bomb drives to keep up with longer players. Plus, the rough is forgiving and very playable – perfect for the lefty. Cameron Davis comes in at +4000 and the same factors that will help Mickelson should favor Davis as well.


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2020 Safeway Open Odds

Phil Mickelson +2000

Si Woo Kim +2000

Brendan Steele +2200

Jordan Spieth +2500

Emiliano Grillo +2800

Harold Varner III +2800

Joel Dahmen +2800

Sergio Garcia +2800

Shane Lowry +2800

Chez Reavie +3300

Doc Redman +3300

Erik Van Rooyen +3300

Brandt Snedeker +4000

Cameron Davis +4000

Kevin Streelman +4000

Bud Cauley +5000

Keegan Bradley +5000

Sam Burns +5000

Will Gordon +5000

Branden Grace +6600

Cameron Tringale +6600

Charl Schwartzel +6600

Charley Hoffman +6600

Denny McCarthy +6600

Henrik Norlander +6600

Jim Furyk +6600

Lucas Glover +6600

Luke List +6600

Mark Hubbard +6600

Maverick McNealy +6600

Patrick Rodgers +6600

Rafa Cabrera-Bello +6600

Talor Gooch +6600

Tyler Duncan +6600

Adam Schenk +8000

Carlos Ortiz +8000

Chesson Hadley +8000

Harry Higgs +8000

Kristoffer Ventura +8000

Kyle Stanley +8000

Robby Shelton +8000

Ryan Armour +8000

Scott Piercy +8000

Sepp Straka +8000

Troy Merritt +8000

Aaron Wise +10000

Brice Garnett +10000

Bryson Nimmer +10000

J.B. Holmes +10000

Jhonattan Vegas +10000

Roger Sloan +10000

Scott Stallings +10000

Tom Hoge +10000

Wesley Bryan +10000

Wyndham Clark +10000

Xinjun Zhang +10000

Grayson Murray +12500

Jason Dufner +12500

Kevin Chappell +12500

Kyoung-Hoon Lee +12500

Martin Laird +12500

Pat Perez +12500

Peter Uihlein +12500

Russell Knox +12500

Seamus Power +12500

Austin Cook +15000

Beau Hossler +15000

Ben Martin +15000

Brandon Hagy +15000

Brian Stuard +15000

C T Pan +15000

Cameron Percy +15000

Chase Seiffert +15000

Chris Baker +15000

Fabian Gomez +15000

Joseph Bramlett +15000

Nate Lashley +15000

Nick Watney +15000

Patton Kizzire +15000

Peter Malnati +15000

Sam Ryder +15000

Scott Harrington +15000

Vaughn Taylor +15000

Andrew Putnam +20000

Bill Haas +20000

Bo Hoag +20000

Doug Ghim +20000

Hudson Swafford +20000

John Huh +20000

Johnson Wagner +20000

Josh Teater +20000

K J Choi +20000

Kevin Tway +20000

Kiradech Aphibarnrat +20000

Luke Donald +20000

Matthew Nesmith +20000

Robert Streb +20000

Scott Brown +20000

Stewart Cink +20000

Vincent Whaley +20000

Zac Blair +20000

Aaron Baddeley +25000

Brian Gay +25000

Camilo Villegas +25000

Graham DeLaet +25000

JJ Spaun +25000

Jamie Lovemark +25000

Kramer Hickok +25000

MJ Daffue +25000

Michael Gligic +25000

Rob Oppenheim +25000

Ryan Brehm +25000

Sahith Theegala +25000

Tim Wilkinson +25000

Wes Roach +25000

Anirban Lahiri +30000

Chris Stroud +30000

David Hearn +30000

George McNeill +30000

Hank Lebioda +30000

Hunter Mahan +30000

Isaiah Salinda +30000

James Hahn +30000

Kelly Kraft +30000

Rhein Gibson +30000

Roberto Castro +30000

Sean O'Hair +30000

Shawn Stefani +30000

Zack Sucher +30000

Akshay Bhatia +40000

D J Trahan +40000

Dominic Bozzelli +40000

Mark Anderson +40000

Matt Every +40000

Michael Gellerman +40000

Ricky Barnes +40000

Sebastian Cappelen +40000

Ted Potter Jr. +40000

Tyler McCumber +40000

William McGirt +40000

Andy Zhang +50000

Ben Taylor +50000

Bo Van Pelt +50000

D.A. Points +50000

Jim Knous +50000

John Senden +50000

Luke Schniederjans +50000

Martin Trainer +50000

Michael Kim +50000

Nelson Ledesma +50000

Peter Kuest +50000

Rafael Campos +50000

Ryan Blaum +50000

Shintaro Ban +50000

Steve Watanabe JR +50000

About the Author

Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles for kids.

Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of culinary history.”

Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network. He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing

·      The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook, as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

·      The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are the Mountains Smokey?

Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H. Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson, hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50 affiliates nationwide.

Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service Specialist and National Branch Chief.

Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com and Twitter/Instagram @thekentwhitaker.