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Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California, hosts this week’s Fortinet Championship to begin the 2021-22 PGA Tour season. The event was previously known as the Safeway Championship and was won by Stewart Cink last year. Below, we look at the fantasy golf power rankings for the 2021 Fortinet Championship, with PGA Tour picks and predictions.
As usual this early in the season, the field this week is rather thin but is fronted by Golfweek/Sagarin‘s top-ranked golfer, Jon Rahm. The Spaniard is the only member of either of next week’s Ryder Cup teams in attendance for the Fortinet Championship and is a heavy betting favorite in the field of 156.
Silverado Resort measures 7,123 yards and plays to a par of 72. Cink won by two strokes last year at a record 21-under par.
2021 Fortinet Championship: Fantasy Golf Top 20
20. Dylan Frittelli (+10000)
Tied for 25th in 2018 and for seventh in 2019 before skipping last year’s event. He was strong in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green in both appearances and improved on and around the greens in his second stop in Napa.
19. Luke List (+10000)
Eighteen career rounds played at Silverado Resort with an average of 0.59 strokes gained on the field per round. Tied for fourth and fifth against largely comparable fields at the John Deere Classic and Barbasol Championship, respectively.
18. Harry Higgs (+8000)
Advanced to the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup Playoffs with a T-15 finish at the Wyndham Championship and a T-16 at The Northern Trust. Finished alone in second here last year with great iron play.
17. Emiliano Grillo (+5000)
Twenty-two career rounds played at Silverado Resort are more than all but seven members of the field, and he has averaged 1.14 strokes gained per round. He tied for 29th last year but was fourth in the field with 1.56 SG: Approach.
16. Brendon Todd (+7000)
Led the PGA Tour in driving accuracy last season while hitting 75.25% of fairways. Missed the cut in his appearance at the Safeway Open in 2019 but has generally played well during the fall swing.
15. Chez Reavie (+5000)
Tied for third last year in finishing position and was solo third in SG: Approach. Also tied for the field lead with 28 career rounds at this venue and averages 1.20 total strokes gained on the field per round.
14. Brendan Steele (+9000)
Won back-to-back here in 2016 and 2017 at minus-18 and minus-15, respectively. Made the cut in each of his three appearances since, with a top finish of T-29 last year.
13. Maverick McNealy (+5000)
Missed the cut at Silverado Resort for the first time last year making the cut here in the three previous seasons.
12. Sebastian Munoz (+4000)
Finished his 2020-21 season with three straight top-30 finishes at the Wyndham Championship, The Northern Trust and the BMW Championship before being knocked out of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Tied for fourth at the John Deere Classic in the field most comparable to this week.
11. Max Homa (+5000)
Poor history in this event with most recent finishes of T-60 and T-62 in 2018 and 2019, respectively. That said, he spent most 2021 inside of the top 40 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) with a victory and four other top-10 finishes on the calendar year while playing the best golf of his career.
10. Si Woo Kim (+4000)
Usually struggles with the putter but played well on the greens each of the last two years at Silverado Resort and always has a strong short game.
9. Harold Varner III (+4000)
Tied for third in this field with 24 rounds played at Silverado Resort and has averaged 0.92 total strokes gained per round. Finished T-29 last year following back-to-back top-20 finishes at the Safeway Open.
8. Cameron Champ (+4000)
The 2019 winner of the Safeway Open didn’t defend his title last year. He led the field with 2.88 SG: Tee-to-Green and 1.67 SG: Off-the-Tee per round in his victory.
7. Marc Leishman (+4000)
Has played this event twice with a third-place finish in 2019 in his first appearance since 2014. He struggled with the driver last season but remains strong on approach and with the putter.
6. Hideki Matsuyama (+2000)
Missed the cut in his last appearance at the Safeway Open in 2019 but has still averaged 1.54 strokes gained per round over 10 career rounds at this venue. His 0.74 SG: Approach per round for the 2020-21 season rank third in this field.
5. Webb Simpson (+1500)
Left out of Ryder Cup consideration after slipping from the sixth to 22nd in the OWGR over the course of 2021, but he finished the 2020-21 season strong with a T-7 at the Wyndham Championship and a T-12 at the BMW Championship.
4. Cameron Tringale (+3000)
Twenty-four career rounds played at Silverado Resort. Missed the cut last year after a streak of three straight weekend appearances at the Safeway Open. Made cut against similar strengths of field in four of five events on the fall swing last year.
3. Kevin Na (+2000)
Lost in a playoff here in 2015 and has averaged 1.68 strokes gained per round over 14 career rounds at Silverado Resort. His 35th-ranked driving accuracy and top-ranked SG: Around-the-Green are well-suited to this venue.
2. Will Zalatoris (+2000)
The newly crowned PGA Tour Rookie of the Year will look for his first win in his first event as a full-time Tour member. He has five top-10 finishes on the year and has rarely played in fields this thin.
1. Jon Rahm (+350)
Missed out on the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year award but led the Tour with 2.62 total strokes gained on the field. The only concern is an early exit to head to Whistling Straits for the Ryder Cup.
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