Paulie’s Picks: 2017 Safeway Open

It's the season opener and Paulie likes a few players who have proven success in California


Well I hope you are rested after that long one week offseason. The 2017-18 PGA Tour is back and kicks off in California this week with the Safeway Open at the Silverado Resort in Napa. Many rookies and journeymen are looking to make a splash this week and in the Fall Series to position themselves for when the main portion of the season starts in January.  With so many new faces on Tour, it makes it difficult to determine who to play each week for fantasy purposes.


Kevin Na $9,400

Na loves this course. He has recorded 40 birdies and one eagle in his last eight rounds en route to a playoff loss in 2015 and a seventh place finish in 2016. He has top 10s in two of his last four starts this year. With a weak field, I’m going rely on a trusty veteran who is playing well and who has great course history.

Jamie Lovemark $8,700

Lovemark is due to find the winner’s circle soon. He has been one of the more under the radar consistent players over the past year. He has missed only one cut since the beginning of March. He has had mediocre results at this course finishing 20th and 48th but I look for the California native, Lovemark, to improve on that this year. At $8,700 and in a weak field, he is a good player to roster this week.

Sang Moon Bae $7,200

Sang Moon Bae returns to the PGA Tour this week after fulfilling his military commitment in Korea. He was a rising star prior to the mandatory leave and he makes his return at an event he won in 2014. He is an extremely risky play this week since we do not know what type of form he is in, but at $7,200, I’m more than willing to take the risk.


Brendan Steele

The 2016 champion, Steele, has also had successful finishes here in 2014 and 2015 (21st and 17th). Steele is  a player who you most likely would not select at many other events so he makes a good choice for this week.

Martin Laird

Similar to Steele, Laird is a good play to use this week if your One-and-Done league is starting. He would most likely not be used at any other venue. In his last three appearances, he has made the cut and finished in the top 10 twice. In the three playoff events he played, he showed decent form finishing 20th, 40th and 44th.

Phil Mickelson

If your league allows you to reuse players from the Fall Series, then Mickelson is a great choice. He is fresh off the high of the Presidents Cup victory. Can he parlay that into a victory in his beloved state of California? We shall see.

Longshot to Win:

Beau Hossler 225-1

As Andy called out in the 8 Rookies to Watch, Hossler beat out Rahm in 2016 for the Haskins award which is given to the most outstanding collegiate golfer. Hossler has a ton of upside and I want a piece of him before he breaks out. As a California native, it would be fitting if he gets his first PGA Tour win in his home state.