Golf betting preview: Wide open field could see 66/1 Phil Mickelson shine at Safeway Open

Phil Mickelson on Tour

The PGA Tour rolls around to California this weekend for the Safeway Open, and that could suit home hero Phil Mickelson who has some previous in the tournament – as well as some decent odds in the golf betting markets.

What is the Safeway Open?

The Safeway Open – formerly the Open – has been on the PGA Tour since 2007, making it one of the newer events on the calendar.

It starts on Thursday September 26, and is held on the North Course, Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa Valley, California.

The Course

Par: 72
Length: 7,166 yards

Silverado has hosted the Safeway Open since 2014. Before that, Grey Hawk (Arizona) and San Martin (California) had the honours.

The North Course at Silverado was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr and opened in 1957 but has gone through substantial redevelopments in modern times.

How will it play?

It’s one of the harder courses on the Tour to predict, really. That is because it’s not really one thing or another.

It’s very much a middle-ground kind of course that should, in theory, not excessively challenge any area of a golfer’s game nor be easily dominated.

The fairways are tree-lined, but the tees roomy and open. It’s one of those courses that shouldn’t intimidate any player, making it something of a free-for-all, predictions wise.

Previous winners

2018 – Kevin Tway -14
2017 – Brendan Steele -15
2016 – Brendan Steele -18
2015 – Emiliano Grillo -15 (playoff)
2014 – Sang-moon Bae -16

The contenders

Justin Thomas is the favourite across the board, trading at around 13/2 with Betway. He hasn’t played the tournament since 2016, when he finished eighth. A year before that he came in in third spot, so he is a justified favourite.

Justin Thomas swing

10/1 Patrick Cantlay was last year’s favourite but disappointed He also had a grim PGA Tour Championship, so isn’t in the best form, and he hasn’t any history at the Safeway Open to fall back upon either.

Hideki Matsuyama (14/1) does have form in the tournament after finishing T3 back in 2014, but it would be a surprise to see him leading the field this time around.

Adam Scott (14/1) is another big name to probably swerve given his trophy drought and the fact he is debuting at Silverado. Ryan Moore is definitely one to look at as an each way 40/1. He finished T2 at Silverado last year and finished third at the Texas Open in April, which is one of the few comparable ones on the Tour.

Brendan Steele has won it twice in the last three years and is priced at around 80/1, and Phil Mickelson 66/1 is decent given he has previous at Silverado, finishing T3 in 2016.

Colin Morikawa too, at 28/1 is worth a look given he is strong in Scrambling stats, which has always been a metric that has served previous winners here well in the past.

How to watch the Safeway Open on TV

This is a tournament for the true night owls in the UK, with Sky Sports broadcasting it live from, 11pm each night.

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