DFS Dish: Fortinet Championship

·2 min read

The PGA TOUR heads out West to kick off the new season in Napa, California.

Silverado Resort and Spa's North Course is the host venue. It's a short track that gives these golfers a lot of wedges and short irons. Comfort on poa annua greens is a big plus, so let's have a look at regional performance as bumpy poa annua greens are relatively common in the area.

West Coast Comfort

Four of the last six winners at Silverado Resort have been California natives.

I don't think that's a coincidence, given the return to poa annua greens and California climate that can impact how far the ball flies.

Let's look at previous events in the Western region of the country to see who has played well over the last two years:

Max Homa
Chris Kirk
Martin Laird
Tom Hoge
Hideki Matsuyama
Cam Davis
Maverick McNealy
Webb Simpson
Andrew Putnam
Sahith Theegala
David Lipsky
Greyson Sigg
Taylor Moore
Chez Reavie
Russell Knox

We can also look at performance versus baseline to see who shows the largest increase in performance compared to their typical scores:

Austin Cook
Martin Laird
Greyson Sigg
Harry Higgs
Andrew Putnam
Robby Shelton
Beau Hossler
Austin Smotherman
Chez Reavie
David Lipsky
Dylan Wu
James Hahn
Sahith Theegala
Wyndham Clark
Byeong Hun An

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Martin Laird, Andrew Putnam, Sahith Theegala, David Lipsky, Greyson Sigg, and Chez Reavie.

Colorado State, Pepperdine, Pepperdine, L.A. native, Georgia Bulldog, and Arizona State product. Okay, Sigg might be the outlier from the list but otherwise, we see a clear connection with growing up or going to school out West.

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McNealy to break his maiden in the Golden State

The Stanford product was born and raised in Cali and still resides out West, in Las Vegas. He's very comfortable at Silverado Resort and Spa and loves poa annua greens. "It absolutely plays to my advantage. Poa annua is my favorite putting surface and even as it gets bumpy I think it plays to my strength. My strength is speed control with the putter and the bumpier and faster poa annua gets, which I'm sure it will towards late in the day this weekend, that plays right to my advantage. I'm comfortable on these lies, I know how the ball flies in these conditions. " McNealy may "finally" crack the code and become a PGA TOUR winner.

Hossler to get hot

Another Cali native, Hossler made big strides with his ball-striking consistency last season. He landed more greens in regulation than the field average in 12 of his last 17 events played. You can compare that to a rough patch in 2021 where he hit fewer GIR in 16 of 19 events. As long as Hossler is finding the ptuting surface then he'll have a chance to contend because he remains one of the best putters out on TOUR.