We are back for a brand new season on The PGA Tour! The web.com tour finals has ended and we have 25 new rookies to choose from. I recommend only playing the rookies in tournaments, at least for a few weeks before we can get an idea on what type of players they are. The President's Cup was an awesome tournament to watch, even though the U.S. team demolish the internationals. On to The Safeway Open!
We are in Napa, California playing at Silverado Resort and Spa's North Course. It's a par 72 and roughly 7,200 yards. It's a course where golfers will find it difficult to find the fairways. This is a true ball striker's type of course. The greens are tough and getting up and down will be key to keep the momentum going. The stats that I'm looking at for this week are Birdies, Strokes Gained: Par 4; Strokes Gained: Approach the Green; and Strokes Gained: Around the Green.
Kevin Na ($9,400) – For my first cash game pick of the season, I have to go Na. He's 7th most expensive and has very good course history here. In his last 3 attempts, he finished inside the top 10 in all 3 which includes a 2nd place finish in 2016. For stats, he's 5th in the field for SG: Par 4 scoring and 11th in the field for SG: Approach the Green.
Martin Laird ($8,600) – Just like Na, Laird has very good course history and I have no problem paying his price this week. He has a top 10 and a top 5 finish in his last 3 starts here. He's 1st in the field for SG: Approach the Green and 4th in the field for making birdies. He should be a good option for both cash and gpps this week.
Phil Mickelson ($11,000) – At the top, I'm going to play lefty this week. He showed some good signs leading up to the president's cup and at the president's cup, he looked even better. He'll be a popular play because of name and because he finished in the top 10 here last year. He's 5th in the field for SG: Approach the Green and 10th in the field for SG: Par 4 scoring. I think Phil has a good chance of winning this week, on paper, he should be the best player in the field.
Sangmoon Bae ($7,200) – Bae is back! After a 2 year absence for serving in the military, Bae has returned for the first tournament of the season, for which he has won a few years ago. He has no recent stats to go by, so he should be low owned in that sense. He's going to be my dark horse this week. I believe he'll get right back where he left off.
3 Entry Max GPPs: For these tournaments, I would recommend picking 2 or 3 players who you like the most and rotate them around your 3 lineups. I believe having around 8-10 players will be a nice pool for this type of GPP.
20 Max GPPs: For the tournaments that are $4 and less, you will have a max of 20 lineups at your disposal. In these GPPs, I recommend have a core of 3-5 players around 40-45%. Those are the players that you feel most comfortable with and want to be over-weight in regards to the public. For the rest of your pool, having about 15-18 players in total seems to be the right amount for this type of GPP.
Cash Games: For cash, I love to play mostly head to heads (h2hs) and double ups that have a smaller field (not the giant $5 double up). I usually will only make 1 or 2 lineups for cash which will give you the most leverage come the weekend, especially if you have 6/6.
This way, if your core hits, then you will have a really good chance of having a nice payday! Which, at the end, is what we're all trying to achieve!
Good luck everyone!