First Look: Frys.com Open
October 09, 2015
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM contributor
- October 09, 2015
- Rory McIlroy makes his first Frys.com Open start in the 2015-16 season opener. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
The 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season gets under way at the Frys.com Open. Here's what you need to know:
• COURSE: Silverado Resort & Spa (North), 7,203 yards, par 72. Once the estate of a Civil War general, the property was converted into a resort in the 1960s and Robert Trent Jones Jr. signed to build two 18-hole courses. The PGA TOUR arrived shortly thereafter, launching the Kaiser International in 1968 to begin a 13-year run at the resort. Silverado later was part of the Champions Tour schedule as host of The Transamerica from 1989-2002. Hall of Famer Johnny Miller and two partners bought Silverado in 2010, with Miller quickly overseeing an overhaul of both courses.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: The American Institute of Mathematics, created to expand math’s archives via an extensive online database and collecting rare and old documents to make them available for research. Other beneficiaries include The First Tee of Silicon Valley, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.
• FIELD WATCH: (Click here to see the full field) World No. 3 Rory McIlroy and No. 7 Justin Rose are among four players in the top 15 of the Official World Golf Ranking out to get an early jump on the 2015-16 season. No.12 Brooks Koepka and No.15 Hideki Matsuyama are the others. … Japan’s Matsuyama is one of three Presidents Cup participants set to head straight back from South Korea to start their seasons. He’s joined by International teammate Charl Schwartzel and U.S. team member Chris Kirk. … Patrick Rodgers, who earned a PGA TOUR card via sponsor exemptions last year, makes his first start as a full member. … The field boasts 34 graduates from the Web.com Tour, including Finals money leader Chez Reavie.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Cameron Beckman (2008 at Grayhawk GC), Kevin Sutherland (2008 at Grayhawk GC), Troy Matteson (2009 at Grayhawk GC), Rickie Fowler (2009 at Grayhawk GC), Jamie Lovemark (2009 at Grayhawk GC). Silverado record: 273, Sangmoon Bae (2014).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Mark Hensby (2nd round, 2007 at Grayhawk GC), Kevin Stadler (2nd round, 2008 at Grayhawk GC), Troy Matteson (2rd & 3rd rounds, 2009 at Grayhawk GC), Mike Weir (4th round, 2009 at Grayhawk GC). Silverado record: 65, Mark Hubbard (2nd round, 2014), Sangmoon Bae (3rd round, 2014).
• LAST YEAR: Bae held on despite windy conditions and Steven Bowditch’s late challenge to notch his second PGA TOUR victory, winning by two despite a closing 1-over 73. The Korean pro took a four-shot lead into the final round and built the margin to six before starting to fade on Silverado’s back nine. A trio of three-putt bogeys created a little drama, though Bae essentially won it with a chip from behind the green at the par-5 16th that settled near the hole for a crucial par save. Bowditch moved up the board with a closing 67, but was already in the clubhouse when Bae made his save at No. 16. Hunter Mahan moved within striking distance with a hole-out eagle at No. 13, but a bogey on No.15 ended his run.
• STORYLINES: McIlroy, who finished 15th in the final FedExCup tally after missing nearly two months with torn ankle ligaments, makes his long-awaited visit in Napa. He was an early commitment last year, but deferred after winning two majors got him into the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. … Is it too early to start thinking about the TOUR Championship? In each of the first two years of the wraparound season, winners Jimmy Walker and Bae have used the opener as a springboard to help get them to the finale. … It’s also a chance to land one of the final spots in the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions to open the 2016 calendar year.
• SHORT CHIPS: Bae won’t get a chance to defend his title as he’s now obligated to serve the two-year military commitment required of all South Korean men. When he returns in 2017, he’ll retain his status as a PGA TOUR winner. … Missing from among the Web.com Tour graduates this week: Overall money leader Patton Kizzire. Cut him some slack, though. He’s getting married.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Sunday, 5-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel).
• RADIO: Thursday-Friday, 2-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 3-8 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM).