Golf Picks: Who Should You Back to Start PGA Season at the Fortinet Championship?
After a two-week layoff, the PGA Tour returns after its “offseason” to start the 2022-23 season. With the off-course drama between LIV Golf and the Tour, in addition to the upcoming Presidents Cup, and then add in the start of the NFL and college football seasons, you’d be forgiven for not remembering the Fortinet Championship takes place this weekend.
Last season when I previewed certain events, I was fortunate enough to hit on some props and had one pre-tournament outright winner with Rory McIlroy rallying to take the Tour Championship at +900. The other winner came when I took Justin Thomas at +3700 before the final round of the PGA Championship, with Thomas rallying from seven strokes back to top Will Zalatoris in a playoff for his second major of the season.
Let’s hope we can start the year with some success and help with your golf betting. Here’s who I am looking to back at the Fortinet Championship.
Cameron Davis +2900 FanDuel Sportsbook
This weekend could turn out to be a shootout, with plenty of low scores. Silverado Resort and Spa is a par 72 course playing only 7,081 yards that features four reachable par 5s.
Only one of the par 4s measures over 450 yards, meaning there will be plenty of wedges into the greens. Since 2015 at this event, 18.3% of the approach shots came from 100-125 yards, well over the Tour average of 11%. Approaches from 125-150 yards come in at 16.3%.
The shorter length could allow the bomb-and-gouge strategy to work here, with the longer players able to drive it closer to the green and have short wedges in. Two of the last three winners here fit this category, with Max Homa winning the event last year and Cameron Champ victorious in 2019.
Shots gained tee-to-green have been one of the better indicators for success at Silverado. Champ led the field in this category during his win (+2.88), while Stewart Cink, the champion the following season, was second (+2.30). Homa was also second in shots gained tee-to-green during his win (+2.64).
These tournament trends fit Cameron Davis. He’s already won on a similar track, winning the 2021 Rocket Mortage Classic, which also has reachable par 5s and rewards distance off the tee and strong wedge play. Davis also ranked fourth in shots gained off-the-tee (+2.11) when he recorded his first win on the PGA Tour.
Davis's recent form was also solid to close the year. He had seven finishes in the top 16 in his last 12 tournaments, including four top eights. His approach game has also been solid, with him gaining strokes on the field in 13 of his last 14 events. He’s also gained strokes off-the-tee in eight of his last 11 tournaments.
With both of these facets of his game in form, Davis has the qualities to contend for the win on Sunday and I like this number for him at FanDuel Sportsbook.
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