Safeway Open – Silverado Key Fantasy Stats

Safeway Open

September 26th – 29th, 2019

Silverado C.C. (North)

Napa,, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,166

Purse: $6.6 million

with $1,116,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Kevin Tway

by Ed Pattermann

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This is based on the most vital stats from Silverado Resort, North course based on data from last year’s Safeway Open and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2020 and 2019.
This is the Sixth year that the Safeway Open is being played at Silverado which has a history of holding PGA Tour events going back to the 60s. So the resort has had a deep relationship with professional golf. A couple of years ago Johnny Miller put together an investment group to buy the Napa resort and it’s two golf courses which were built in the 1960s. Both courses were designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and were good, but they were never updated with the advent of new equipment. So when Miller came in he wanted to rework the two courses and bring them up to date. He started first on the North Course by revamping all of the greens, put in new bunkering and realigned the fairways and trimmed the trees that were too cumbersome. The most important item in the change was changing the greens by adding some undulation and making them very fast. Miller also added 300 yards so it will play at a par 72 and at 7,166 yards.

Last year the course played to a 71.10 scoring average, almost a full shot under par. It was the 29th hardest course on the PGA Tour. Because of the lack of wind, it played a lot easier than in 2018 when it was 71.76 (23rd hardest) and in 2017 when it was 70.83. For the pros the hardest aspect of the course is hitting fairways, 53.65% of the fairways were hit last year as it ranked the 4th hardest course to hit in 2019. Even with the tight fairways, the players hit 68.59% of the greens making it the 30th hardest course to hit in regulation. With that 1,682 birdies were made on the course as only nine other courses saw more birdies made, so hitting fairways and greens will lead to making a lot of birdies. As for the greens, they were the 13th hardest greens to score on as the players made over 69 feet of putts per round.

In looking at how last years winner Kevin Tway did, he was T-40th in Driving Accuracy and T-18th in greens hit. Comparing this with Brendan Steele who won back to back in 2018 and 2017, in Driving Accuracy Steele was T-3rd in 2018 and T-5th in 2017. In greens hit, Steele was 4th in 2018 and T-21st in 2017 so he hit the ball a lot better than Tway did last year. Steele was also better than Tway in birdies made as Tway made 19 and was ranked 9th while Steele made 19 in 2018 and was ranked T-5th but made 24 in 2017 which was not only the best of the field but most ever made at Silverado. Now were Tway excelled was in scrambling, of the 20 greens he missed, he got it up and down 16 times and his 80% average was the best. Putting wasn’t that great for Tway as he ranked 18th in Strokes Gained putting so it’s hard to really figure statistically how Tway won. But Tway was the most consistent, not getting in much trouble and was so solid with his 68-67-68 start that 71 was all it took, plus winning a playoff to be the winner.

So in looking at our four categories, we see how much driving and getting the ball on the green makes a difference. So we pick Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green because at Silverado putting the ball in play off the tee is very important, probably one of the most important items on this Robert Trent Jones course. Next up we pick not only scrambling but Sand saves and in order to do that we will use strokes gained around the green because if the greens are missed you have to still make par. After that putting is important, so we have picked Strokes Gained putting as our third most important element. Last is birdies as we pointed out lot’s of birdies are made on this course.

*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: Looks at the combination of length off the tee and accuracy, then getting the ball on the green so it determines who is best at all of these items.

*Strokes Gained Around-the-Green: Looks at the combination of gaining strokes by getting up and down after missing a green.

*Strokes Gained Putting: The number of putts a player takes from a specific distance is measured against a statistical baseline to determine the player’s strokes gained or lost on a hole.

*Birdies average: Players that make the most birdies averaged per rounds played

Of the 144 players in the field, 134 have stats on the PGA Tour taking an average ranking for both 2019 & 2020:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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