Let’s hope you enjoyed the long offseason (*audience laughs*) because the PGA Tour starts its 2021-22 season this week. The Fortinet Championship, formerly the Safeway Open, finds itself in an odd position. The field consists mainly of players who just made it through qualifying via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and players who were knocked out of the FedEx Cup playoffs just weeks ago. Oh, then there’s world No. 1 Jon Rahm. The U.S. Open champion is listed as a 4/1 favorite and priced at $12,100 on DraftKings.
Do we think Rahm is entirely focused with the Ryder Cup looming next week? Probably not. While no one would be surprised if he won by multiple shots, I think the prudent play is to avoid Rahm.
Let’s look at three other golfers to target instead of Rahmbo at Silverado Resort and Spa:
Kevin Na $10,000
Coming off the low gross 72-hole score at the Tour Championship, Na is on an absolute heater. Prior to East Lake, Na had five straight top-25 finishes that included two runner-ups. He has an elite short game but struggles to gain shots off the tee. Lucky for him, Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee isn’t super important at Silverado, and he can lean on his strong approach play. This is a good course fit for him, so it’s no surprise that Na has two top-seven finishes in his last four starts at the event.
Charley Hoffman $8,800
Hoffman continues to flag his approaches, ranking as the top player in SG: Approach in this field and second in overall ball-striking behind Jon Rahm. He has made 15 of his last 16 cuts (ohis nly miss was at Open Championship), and at $8,800 he’s a reliable option with upside to contend.
Taylor Pendrith $7,400
Each year, there are a few players for whom you want to be ahead of the curve. Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to be early on the Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Will Zalatoris, and Cameron Davis bandwagons. This year, Taylor Pendrith is the man to keep an eye on. He is super consistent and makes a ton of birdies ,which is great for DraftKings scoring. A Korn Ferry Tour member in 2021, Pendrith finished inside the top 40 in each of his last 10 starts on that tour. I expect his consistency to continue this fall on the PGA Tour.