The beginning of the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season marks the end of an era.
This week’s Fortinet Championship opens the last of 10 consecutive wraparound seasons. After the next FedExCup champion is crowned at the TOUR Championship in late August of 2023, there will be break of FedExCup action until January of 2024 when the following season launches.
When considering only wraparound seasons, Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course in Napa, California, has hosted in all but the first. The stock par 72 presents as a warm greeting for the latest Korn Ferry Tour graduating class as well as for returning members. For a brief review of the backdrop and more, continue reading beneath the ranking of those projected to contend.
POWER RANKINGS: FORTINET CHAMPIONSHIP
Draws and Fades will include reviews of 2020 champion Stewart Cink, Hideki Matsuyama, Webb Simpson, Davis Riley and other notables.
Not unlike how East Lake Golf Club is the familiar setting for the TOUR Championship where last season concluded two weeks ago, Silverado sets up customarily for the in-crowd where the new season starts. Because they aren’t neutral sites, there are no surprises to everyone who’s been to either recently, but also there are no tricks for debutants.
Silverado is the same as it ever was. Fairways are not overseeded, primary rough stands at three inches and the mostly Poa greens are prepped to measure 11½ on the Stimpmeter. This means that ball-striking among first-timers and hitting greens in regulation for all sets the stage for a chance to go into the books as the first winner of the season. Turning scoring opportunities into par breakers also is required. It’s a simple formula for which execution never is delivered by all 156 commits.
Incidentally, because this is the last official stop of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s also the last maximum-strength field on a singular course for almost eight months. As they are every season, all four of the 156-man competitions in the interim will be contested on multiple courses.
Last year’s scoring average of 71.04 at Silverado is essentially average with cooperating conditions. Scores may be higher this week but only marginally. Sustained moderate breezes will yield a few grimaces and wrinkled brows at times, but the weather will be ideal otherwise. Daytime highs in the 70s will accompany a mostly sunny sky throughout. In other words, in the context of the elements, none of the participants will be prevented from putting his best self on display.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous perspectives. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Draws & Fades
WEDNESDAY: Pick ’Em Preview
SUNDAY: Medical Extensions, Qualifiers, Reshuffle
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.