Two-time reigning champion Max Homa the clear betting favorite in Napa
4 Min Read
Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott
Welcome to the FedExCup Fall!
The Fortinet Championship will be the first of seven tournaments scattered throughout the fall to determine the top 125 players for next season. The top 70, those who qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs last month, are already exempt for full-field events in 2024. But the rest of the rank-and-file will have the chance to secure playing privileges for next season, which begins in early January.
Silverado Resort in Napa, California, will provide the challenge for the 10th consecutive season. The North Course, redesigned by Johnny Miller in 2011, will be re-routed for the 2023 calendar year edition. The Par-72 will now play 35-37 on the scorecard but will stretch to 7,123 yards for the fourth consecutive season.
With some of the narrowest fairways on TOUR, scoring chances improve playing from the short grass. Poa annua/Bentgrass will provide the challenge on the putting surfaces. Remember, all winners in the FedExCup Fall qualify for The Sentry to start the season in January. This will be the only FedExCup Fall event of September as the TOUR is off next week and will conclude the month with the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Italy.
The two-time reigning champion at Silverado, Max Homa (+750 at BetMGM Sportsbook) sticks out this week. The former Cal-Berkeley player and California native has posted a 35-under aggregate in winning the last two seasons. One of just four players from the OWGR top 50 entered this week, Homa will look to join Steve Stricker (2009-2011 John Deere Classic) as the only player since 2010 to win a TOUR event in three consecutive seasons. One of six to automatically qualify for the Ryder Cup, Homa has won five times on TOUR, with three of them coming in his native California.
Justin Thomas (+1400) was thrown a lifeline by U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Zach Johnson in late August. Looking to provide payback with a big performance in Italy, Thomas is tuning up in Napa before the trip across the Atlantic. Choosing the North Course at Silverado Resort makes perfect sense. With three top-10 paydays from three visits to Wine Country, the two-time major champion will look to make it four straight this week. The last time Thomas finished in the top 10 was the Travelers Championship the week after the U.S. Open in June.
Another California product, Sahith Theegala (+2000), joins the top of the board this week. Playing his college golf at Pepperdine, the highly decorated college player cashed T14 in 2020 when still in school. Returning to Napa to open the 2023 season last fall, he added T6 to his resume. One of the better putters on TOUR, the California native won’t mind navigating the Poa/Bent greens as he searches for his first victory on TOUR.
Australian Cam Davis (+2500) jumped into the top 70 and the FedExCup Playoffs after closing the regular season T10-T7. The first Playoff event saw his streak reach three consecutive top-10 paydays as he signed for T6. Cashing 40th at the BMW Championship ended any hopes for an appearance at East Lake. In his last six appearances he’s cashed T17 or better in four. Cashing in half of his four visits, his best was T17 on debut in 2018.
German Stephan Jaeger (+2500) was a weekend staple this summer after rattling off 13 consecutive cuts made to end last season. The final tally for the season was 23 made cuts from 26 starts with 14 results T30 or better. Making his fifth start at Silverado, his best finish was T30 on debut in 2017.
Here’s a look at some other notable odds this week, with prices via BetMGM, including Brendon Todd who is three years removed from a fall double-dip:
+3000: Beau Hossler, Eric Cole
+3500: Brendon Todd, J.J. Spaun, Andrew Putnam
+4000: Lucas Herbert, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Taylor Montgomery
+4500: Alex Noren, Davis Thompson, Justin Suh, Nick Hardy
+5000: Chez Reavie, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Kevin Streelman, Mark Hubbard
+5500: Akshay Bhatia, Austin Eckroat, Chesson Hadley, Doug Ghim, Garrick Higgo, Peter Kuest
+6000: Dylan Wu, Mackenzie Hughes, Sam Ryder, Sam Stevens
+6600: Cameron Champ, Taylor Pendrith, Greyson Sigg, K.H. Lee, Luke List, M.J. Daffue, Nate Lashley, Ryan Palmer, SH Kim
+8000: Charley Hoffman, Stewart Cink
+9000: C.T. Pan, Callum Tarren, David Lipsky, Kevin Yu
How it works:
• Field of 156 players.
• Field cut after 36 holes to top 65 and ties.
• Purse of $8.4 million with the winner taking home $1.512 million, plus 500 FedExCup points.
Circle back tomorrow as I post more details in Horses for Courses plus the Betting Stat Pack.
September is Responsible Gaming Education Month. If you bet, set a budget and play within your means. To learn more, visit haveagameplan.org/pgatour.