The PGA Tour is back in action after a very short break following Rory McIlroy's FedEx Cup victory. We offer our top picks for the 2022 Fortinet Championship as Max Homa tries to defend his title.
Silverado Resort and Spa (North course) in Napa, Calif. hosts the PGA Tour for the 14th straight year and second year under the Fortinet Championship title. Homa is the consensus betting favorite after notching a one-stroke win over Maverick McNealy last fall. He went on to win the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship for two victories on the season.
Hideki Matsuyama is the top-ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking who's in the field. He enters the week at No. 16 in the OWGR, with Homa at No. 20 and Corey Conners (No. 25) the only other player in the field ranked inside the top 40.
Fortinet Championship Odds
Fortinet Championship Odds Analysis
DraftKings Sportsbook was the first of our top books to release outright odds for the Fortinet Championship on Monday morning following the PGA Tour's three-week layoff.
DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbook are offering Homa alone as the outright favorite, while Matsuyama is tied with Homa atop BetMGM's board. Tom Hoge, who enters the week at No. 43 in the OWGR — fourth in the field by that measure — is a potential value play based on the world rankings relative to the odds. He's available with odds as high as +5000 via DraftKings.
Kevin Streelman, Luke List, Harris English, Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, and Joel Dahmen are among the interesting names at +10000 or longer via DraftKings.
Silverado Resort and Spa Course Profile
Greens: Poa annua/Bentgrass blend
Despite tight fairways and difficult greens, 11 holes were played below par during the 2021 Fortinet Championship. That happened largely because the rough offers little penalty for wayward shots.
Scores were well below par on all four par 5s in 2021, with the easiest being the 538-yard fifth, which finished with a scoring average of 4.537. The most difficult hole was the 197-yard, par-3 second at 0.197 strokes above par. All four par 3s played over par on average, with those holes ranging from 182 to 212 yards.
Six of the 10 par 4s range from 400 to 450 yards. Three are shorter than 400 yards with a long of just 458. Undulating fairways and elevated greens offer further difficulty for those who are able to hit the fairways.
Fortinet Championship Key Stats
- Strokes gained: approach
- SG: around-the-green
- SG: off-the-tee
- Par-4 efficiency: 400-450 yards
- Proximity: 150-175 yards
- Birdie or better percentage
The relatively unchallenging rough at Silverado Resort and Spa reduces the need for peak driving accuracy despite the tree-lined fairways. Instead, strokes gained: off-the-tee can be built off of either accuracy or distance.
The most important statistic then becomes SG: approach since this is a second-shot golf course. The greatest challenges Silverado presents are the elevation change in the fairways and the frequent uphill shots to the greens. We'll also need to consider both scrambling and SG: around-the-green for those who do find the trouble areas and are unable to stick their second shots.
Fortinet Championship Picks
Who Will Win the Fortinet Championship?
Sahith Theegala, a 24-year-old product of Pepperdine University who's from Orange County, Calif., is in a great spot to earn his breakthrough PGA Tour victory. Theegala is also one of three finalists for the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year Award, along with Tom Kim and Cameron Young, though the latter is all but a lock.
Theegala has played Silverado Resort and Spa (North) twice professionally. He finished T-14 in 2020 and T-47 last fall for an average of 0.75 true strokes gained on the field per round. Theegala advanced all the way to the PGA Tour Championship with finishes of T-13 and T-15 during the FedEx St. Jude Championship and BMW Championship, respectfully, to go with four top-10 finishes in 2022 to date.
Theegala has gained strokes in all key areas other than off the tee across his last 12 rounds. He's logged 1.07 SG: total per round, with 0.62 SG: putting his top mark. He'll be reunited with his native Poa blend putting surfaces while home in California.
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Though he missed the cut in his 2016 and 2020 visits to Napa, Mark Hubbard tied for 13th during the 2019 Safeway Open and for 16th in last year's inaugural Fortinet Championship. He averaged 1.37 SG: putting per round in 2021, managing a strong finish even with 0.57 strokes lost off the tee per round.
Hubbard's recent form doesn't correlate with success. However, he was 27th on the PGA Tour in proximity from 150-175 yards in 2021. He was also 19th in scrambling and 20th in SG: approach. If he finds trouble with his wayward driver at Silverado once again, Hubbard remains well-equipped to salvage his scorecard and make up ground elsewhere.
The fall swing is the best time of year to take chances on PGA Tour long shots. The fields are weaker, and even the top names in this week's tournament (Homa, Matsuyama, and Conners) are likely to be looking ahead to the Presidents Cup next week.
Ben Griffin missed his last three cuts to end the Korn Ferry Tour season. After a week off, he'll look to regain the form that led to a fourth-place finish during the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship. His run of success included three runner-up finishes, along with three other top 10s on the KFT in 2022.
Griffin averaged 0.90 SG: approach and 0.84 SG: around-the-green per round during the Wyndham Championship. He can lean on those strengths once again this week in Napa.
Where to Bet on the PGA Tour
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Fortinet Championship picks made on 9/12/2022 at 4 p.m. ET.