Par 72 7,203 yards
We’re hopefully going to see the return of a certain Mr Woods this week and I for one think it’s great to have him back playing competitively again. The word on social media is that Tiger seems to be hitting the ball well in practice and is in tip top shape coming into this week. He is paired with Phil Mickelson for the first two rounds so it should make for some very interesting viewing.
Silverado Resort & Spa measures a lengthy 7,203 yards and has four par 3’s, four par 5’s and 10 par 4’s. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr in the 1960’s and was renovated by Johnny Miller in 2011. The fairways are tree lined with forgiving rough so missing the fairways here will not be a big deal. There are quite a lot of nice features around the course such as old Oak trees, elevation changes and water features and crossings. The greens are bent grass and are average size by PGA Tour standards and can get quite fast depending on weather conditions.
This will be the third time this course has hosted the tournament and judging by last year, length does not seem to be a huge advantage. Players that have accurate iron play and the ability to negotiate these tricky bent grass greens should go well here this week. Top stats to consider are par 4 and par 5 scoring, GIR, approach stats, SGTTG and SGP.
Casey has to get a nod here based on the fact that he played superb throughout the FedExCup Playoffs. His good run of form began at the PGA Championship where he finished T10 and didn’t shoot worse than a 69 throughout the tournament. He followed that with a T17 at The Travelers, second at The Deutsche Bank, second at The BMW and a solo fourth at The Tour Championship. Casey has shot a 70 or better in 11 of his last 12 rounds and could have the game that suits this course.
This is his first appearance here at Silverado but statistically he seem to fit the bill. He ranks 21st in SG off the tee, 11th in SG approaches to the green, second in GIR and seventh in SGTTG. After playing solidly throughout the playoffs Casey could be the man to beat here especially in a weakened field.
This man started with a bang last year and won this tournament in style beating Kevin Na on the second playoff hole. He has been playing some great golf over the last few months and comes into this with four top 15’s in his last six starts. He had a good week at the PGA finishing T13 and followed that with a T8 in Rio at The Olympics, T2 at The Barclays and a respectable T10 in East Lake at The Tour Championship.
He played superb last year and shot 68,71,65,69 to post 15 under in total. Grillo also ticks a lot of statistical boxes ranking 28th in SG off the tee, 27th in GIR and 26th in birdie average. He comes here in great form and could have another good week.
Thomas came within a whisker of getting into the playoff with Grillo and Na last year but just came up one short. He had a good season and finished well with three top 10’s in his last six tournaments. He played well at The Quicken Loans finishing T12 and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 throughout the tournament. He followed that with a T3 at The Travelers which included a superb final round 62 to post 12 under par in total. Thomas then went on to play well in The Playoffs finishing T10 at The Barclays and a T6 at The Tour Championship shooting rounds of 68,71,69,67.
He played great here last year finishing T3 and was a bit unlucky not to finish better and make the playoff. Thomas is averaging just over 300 yards off the tee and ranks 17th in par 5 scoring and 20th in SG approaches to the green.
Jhonattan Vegas 50/1
The streaky Johnny Vegas had a good season and has been playing well since early July. After a T4 at the Barbasol, Vegas then went on to win the RBC Canadian Open after shooting a superb final round 64 to finish 12 under in total beating Dustin Johnson, Martin Laird and Jon Rahm by one stroke. He followed that with a T22 at The PGA, T22 at The Barclays, T24 at The BMW and a T24 at the Tour Championship. Vegas had a great week here last year opening with a 64 in round one and ended up finishing T10 on 11 under for the tournament.
He ranks 23rd in SG off the tee, 14th in driving distance, 10th in GIR and 24th in par 5 scoring. After a solid performance here last year and decent form towards the end of last season, Vegas is worth chancing here.
Final Selections –
Paul Casey 1pt EW 12/1
Emiliano Grillo 0.5pts EW 20/1
Justin Thomas 0.5pts EW 25/1
Jhonattan Vegas 0.5pts EW 50/1
Total staked = 5 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf.