It is always a very quick off season for the PGA Tour. Just a couple weeks ago Rory McIlroy was hoisting the FedEx Cup, but a new year is about to get under way at the Safeway Open in Napa, California.
Silverado Resort & Spa will host this year’s event for the third consecutive year. Jeff Shain of PGATOUR.com describes the course as follows:
Silverado Resort & Spa (North), 7,203 yards, par 72. Once the estate of a Civil War general and later U.S. senator from California, the Napa Valley property was transformed into a resort in the 1960s and Robert Trent Jones Jr. signed to build two 18-hole courses. The PGA TOUR arrived shortly thereafter, launching the Kaiser International in 1968 to begin a 13-year run at the resort. Silverado later was part of the Champions Tour schedule as host of The Transamerica from 1989-2002. Hall of Famer Johnny Miller and two partners bought Silverado in 2010, with Miller quickly overseeing an overhaul of both courses.
Let’s take a look at the players to keep on eye on this week.
Paul Casey - At one point he looked as if he might take the FedEx Cup. Peaked at the right time in the playoffs, and is looking to continue his streak of impressive starts this week.
Matt Kuchar - Not far removed from a bronze medal in Rio, and some of the best golf of his career over the summer months. Was a top-5 machine for a while.
Phil Mickelson - Phil’s game has shown signs of tremendous potential the last few months. His playoff performance was nothing to write home about, but he openly admitted that he was focused on preparing for the Ryder Cup.
Justin Thomas - Coming off an impressive playoff run after a sophmore season which was a little stale at times.
Jon Rahm - His first start as a full member of the PGA Tour. Has shown that he has the game to win, all that is left for him to do is get the job done.
Emiliano Grillo - Another player who had a solid playoffs, to go along with a good season. Here’s hoping he can continue to develop into the player we have all seen he is capable of becoming.
Charley Hoffman - The last couple of seasons have been good to him. This is a field with limited depth which I think he could certainly take advantage of.
Smylie Kaufmann - Has continued to improve as a young player. Has the potential to be a star on Tour.
Jamie Lovemark - Had a really good start to last season on Tour, only to fizzle down the stretch. Look for him to compete early this year again, but I expect he may be able to keep more momentum in his sophomore season.
Patrick Rodgers - Continues to hang around as one of those players who can win, but has yet to do so. He will certainly be looking to take advantage of the first few events this season.
Wesley Bryan - The Web.com star from last year. A tremendous talent, who is looking to get off to a solid start this week and continue the momentum he has developed.
And now for my DraftKings picks for this week.
For the most part, this week’s picks are based off of performances from the end of last season. However, since last season ended only a couple weeks ago, it doesn’t feel like you are making early season picks. It will be a lot of fun to see how players like Wesley Bryan & Jon Rahm fare, as they debut as full members of the PGA Tour.
Jon Rahm - $10,200
Scott Piercy - $8,900
Brendan Steele - $8,700
Smylie Kaufman - $7,900
Russell Henley - $7,700
Nick Taylor - $6,500
Paul Casey - $11,600
Roberto Castro - $9,300
Wesley Bryan - $7,900
Daniel Summerhays - $7,600
Charles Howell - $7,600
Steven Bowditch - $6,000
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family.
Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.