After a short break the PGA Tour gets back underway with the Fortinet Championship on the North Course at Silverado, California.
Defending champion Max Homa starts as favorite after a strong end to last season. But the field is not a strong one to start out this new campaign.
Hideki Matsuyama and Corey Conners are next up but then we get to the likes of Maverick McNealy and Taylor Pendrith. Fine players but probably a good reflection of the strength of the players turning up this week.
It is a bit of a punt, but Rickie Fowler appeals this week at a big 110/1. He has split from his coach John Tillery and gone back to Butch Harmon, the man who coached him through perhaps the best part of his career. Not just that, but he will have a new caddy on the bag and a new set of irons inside him. He has gone to more of a cavity back with some extra forgiveness.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 14, 2022
He played some good golf in spells over the back half of last season, but just couldn’t put it all together. Going back to Harmon, who is perhaps best known for his work with Tiger Woods, is a great move that seems like a no-brainer and could get some results quickly. It may not be this week, but don’t be surprised to see Fowler have a resurgence this season, and prices like this may not be available for long.
Brendan Steele is a player that loves this course. He won back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 and has done well here over the years. His recent form leaves a little to be desired but in a field like this it is worth taking a chance on some players and Steele’s record around this course is second to none. 40/1 is a good price for a player as solid as him.
This tournament will always see a number of new faces and Justin Suh is a player that we may know a lot better in the not too distant future. Not only did he win the Korn Ferry Tour Championship and earn his card for this season on the PGA Tour, he finished with six top 10s in his past eight starts. This is of course a step up, but the field he will be facing here will not be too dissimilar from what he has faced at the Korn Ferry level. He has played on the PGA Tour via sponsor exemptions but the former amateur number one officially has his card now. He has the pedigree to really go on and become a star. 55/1 is a reasonable price for a player of his caliber.
Over on the LIV Tour the players head to Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms, the course where the 2009 Solheim Cup was played.
It is a wide open, but long course that will favour the big hitters. Bryson DeChambeau has not hit the highs since his move but this may be the course for him to really get going. At his best, he is excellent on the greens and that will be needed around here. But he can overpower this place and 25/1 could look pretty generous come the final round.
— LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) September 13, 2022
It is hard to look past Dustin Johnson on this tour right now. He won last time out and has just been getting better and better with each event. His 4 Aces team have dominated that so far and he leads the order of merit himself. He is laying some wonderful golf and for that reason it is no surprise to see him leading the market at 9/2. It is hard to back anybody at that price, but if anybody is worthy of it then it may well be Dustin Johnson.
It is hard to find longshots in these small fields, but if there is anything to go on, David Puig has probably more experience at this course than anybody in the field and is available at 1000/1. It may be too big of an ask for the now former amateur star to go on and win here in his first start as a pro, but he won three of his four matches when the Palmer Cup was held here in 2021.