Most of the golfers who are playing in this week’s Safeway Open had a nice little break, since all but Joel Dahmen, Brandon Steele, and Kevin Streelman didn’t make the BMW Championship two weeks ago. Those three failed to advance to last week’s Tour Championship, so everyone entered in the Safeway Open field had at least seven days off.
Still, the field for the Safeway Open, which begins Thursday at Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course in Napa, California, is taking a hit because of its close proximity to the end of the 2019-2020 season. The first event of the 2020-2021 season has no players in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
Shane Lowry, who is No. 28, is the highest-ranked player in the OWGR, and he’s not the favorite at this event. Phil Mickelson, who is fresh off his victory on the PGA Tour Champions circuit, is the top pick at 20/1. Si Woo Kim is also at 20/1, followed by Steele at 22/1.
Odds to Win the Safeway Open
|Harold Varner III||28/1||25/1||25/1|
|Erik Van Rooyen||33/1||33/1||33/1|
Lowry failed to make it past the first round of the FedEx Playoffs, but told reporters on Tuesday that he wants some more tournament time before next week’s US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York.
“I’ve had a couple weeks off, and the reason I’m here this week is, you know, US Open next week, don’t really want three weeks off going into the US Open,” Lowry said. “I’m close, I’m in America. My family are in Ireland, so I couldn’t go back to Ireland because of the quarantine, there was no point, so yeah, I just decided to play here.”
So who else could make a splash at the Safeway Open? We take a look at a few potential contenders, and some players who might not be worth the money.
Phil Mickelson (20/1)
Mickelson was impressive in his victory at his PGA Tour Champions debut, and that might carry over to here. He’s made the cut in all four appearances at the Safeway Open, and has a pair of top-10 finishes.
Si-Woo Kim (20/1)
The Korean had an impressive tie for 13th at the PGA Championship and followed that up with a tie for third at the Wyndham Championship. Kim didn’t make the second round of the playoffs, but he could make a run in this event.
Joel Dahmen (28/1)
Dahmen finished tied for 10th at the PGA Championship, and was tied for 20th at the BMW Championship. Those are much tougher courses than Silverado, and he could likely make some noise in Napa.
Kevin Streelman (33/1)
Though Streelman played in the first two events of the FedEx Playoffs, he was hardly impressive. He finished tied for 61st at the Northern Trust, and followed that up with a 51st-place finish at the BMW Championship. Even at 33/1 odds, he’s not worth the risk.