Yahoo Golf Talk: Fortinet Championship

·3 min read

Getting a new season started this week in Napa, let's turn our attention to Silverado Resort and Spa.

The North Course at Silverado has been used here for seven years so we know what to expect this week.

It's a tight, tree-lined track that rewards precision off the tee but also features generous rough that isn't going to heavily penalize errant tee shots. In that regard, it puts a big premium on performance inside of 150 yards. Golfers will have a lot of wedges and they'll need to pick up some strokes on the greens along the way.

The greens are poa annua with a bit of bentgrass in the mix as well. Comfort on the cool-season turf is a big plus so let's hop right in and see who likes playing out West. After that we will circle back to see who might like the shorter hole-by-hole setup at Silverado.

Regional Comfort

Playing in familiar conditions can be an underrated area of research. There are a handful of golfers that despise making the trip out West while others can't stand the bermuda swing down in Florida.

Let's narrow in on the area and see who plays best in the area (California, Arizona, and Nevada).

Using the NBC Sports Edge Driver tool we can filter out the top performers in these three states since the start of the 2019-20 season:

Jon Rahm
Will Zalatoris
Lanto Griffin
Doug Ghim
Matthew NeSmith
Adam Hadwin
Andrew Putnam
Sahith Theegala
Russell Knox
Cameron Tringale
Webb Simpson
Harold Varner III
Hideki Matsuyama
Pat Perez
Talor Gooch

Adam Hadwin ($33): The Canadian sets up his home base in Phoenix so he is very comfortable out West. We've seen him use that West Coast comfort over the years when he's dismantled the field at PGA WEST. Those courses allow for a lot of short irons and wedges which is exactly what he'll see this week at Silverado Resort and Spa.

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Wedge Wizards

When you dive into the scorecard at Silverado Resort and Spa you may notice that nine of the par 4s line up under 450 yards.

That means that golfers will have a lot of short irons and wedges on their second shots.

There are a few ways to approach this when looking at stats. You could look at efficiency from those approach distances or you can look at the entire hole. Let's do the latter today.

Using the NBC Sports Edge Driver tool again, let's take a look at strokes gained on par 4s from 351 yards to 450 yards, over the last two seasons. Here are the top performers on those short par 4s:

Webb Simpson
Matt Kuchar
Jon Rahm
Cameron Tringale
Kevin Na
John Huh
Harold Varner III
Doc Redman
Brendon Todd
Tom Hoge
James Hahn
Emiliano Grillo
Brian Stuard
Aaron Rai
Kyle Stanley

Jon Rahm ($50): Rahm cracks both of the lists above, as he should. He is the clear-cut betting favorite this week and easily the class of the field. News just popped that he skipped the pro-am today due to stomach issues. Will that get a few more people to look elsewhere at the top? Perhaps, but on paper he is the man to beat this week.

Hopefully, these stats will give you some names to dive into when it comes to researching your final selections this week over at Yahoo!