Silverado Key Fantasy Stats

Safeway Open

September 10th – 13th, 2020

Silverado C.C. (North)

Napa,, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,196

Purse: $6.6 million

with $1,188,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Cameron Champ

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

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. Remember this is the first event of the 2020/21 season.
This is the seventh 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 two golf courses 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, realigned the fairways, and trimmed the too cumbersome trees. An essential item in the change was changing the greens by adding some undulation and making them very fast. Miller also added 300 yards so that it will play at a par 72 and 7,166 yards.
Last year the course played to a 71.24 scoring average, three-quarters of a shot under par. It was the 19th most demanding course on the PGA Tour. It played about the same as in 2019 when it was the 23rd hardest course with a 71.10 scoring average. 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. Last year 50.03% of the fairways were hit as it was the 2nd hardest fairways to hit in 2020. Only Olympia Fields, site of the BMW Championship two weeks ago, were harder to hit. This is the norm for Silverado in 2019 53.65% of the fairways hit as it ranked the 4th hardest course to hit in 2019.
Even with the tight fairways, the players hit 65.73% of the greens last year, making it the 16th hardest course to hit in regulation. With that, 1,533 birdies were made on the course as only 12 other courses saw more birdies made, so hitting fairways and greens will lead to making a lot of birdies. The greens were the 10th hardest greens to score on as the players made over 70 feet of putts per round.
So a combination of hitting it far and straight is essential, and that is why our first category is Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. In looking at last year’s champion Cameron Champ, he was 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-green, as he led in driving distance and was T-21st in driving accuracy. The previous year saw Kevin Tway win, and he was T-40th in Driving Accuracy and T-14th in driving distance, so he was 3rd in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. Comparing this with Brendan Steele, who won back to back in 2018 and 2017, Steele was 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-green in 2018 and 11th in 2017, so we can see the importance of this stat.
Our second most important category is Strokes Gained Around-the-Green. That is because last year, the course ranked 16th in greens hit. So for those that missed the green, they had to get it up and down to score well. Last year the players got it up and down from off the green 60.89%, making it the 28th course in scrambling. As for bunkering, the 18 greens have 36 bunkers around them, so many players will have to get up and down from the sand. Last year the course ranked 25th in Sand Save percentage, which ranked 25th. As for the champions, last year Cameron Champ was 19th in Strokes Gained Around-the-Green as he was 1st in scrambling and 11th in Sand Save percentage. In 2019 Kevin Tway was 7th in Strokes Gained Around-the-Green as he also was first in scrambling.
Our third category was Strokes Gained Putting. The greens are a combination of Poa annua and Bent, so we all know it takes a particular person to putt well on Poa annua greens. Last year Cameron Champ ranked 28th in Strokes Gained putting, while 2019 champion Kevin Tway was 18th, 2018 winner Brendan Steele was 29th, and in 2017 he was 6th.
Our last category is Par Breakers because to win, you have to make a lot of birdies, along with some eagles. Last year Silverado was 15th in Par Breakers as Cameron Champ was T-4th as he made 21 birdies, which also finished T-4th. In 2019 Kevin Tway was T-10th making 19 birdies. Brendan Steele was 5th in Par Breakers in 2018 and T-1st in 2017 when he made 24 birdies.

*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.

*Par Breakers: Combination of birdies and eagles made to show under par scoring.

Of the 156 players in the field, 118 have stats on the PGA Tour for 2020:

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

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