Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions

Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions for the 2022 Fortinet Championship

Fortinet Championship Fantasy Preview

The 2022-23 PGA TOUR season is upon us!

It feels like an eternity since Rory McIlroy lifted the Fed Ex Cup to cap the 2021-22 campaign. The Irishman managed to reel in Scottie Scheffler to bank the big bucks and be crowned ‘season champion’, and while Scheffler has since been crowned PGA TOUR Plyer of the Year, that will surely have been of little comfort to him.

The global appeal of McIlroy will be key in helping the TOUR stave off the existential threat from LIV Golf, whose ranks have been swelled by a number of ‘rebels’ this summer including British Open champion Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann and Harold Varner III. Stalwarts like Bubba Watson, Marc Leishman, Cameron Tringale and Charles Howell III have also made the move, and the PGA now find themselves in a quandary at what they can do to prevent further leakage.

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A court date early next year will determine the future landscape for golf – it’s likely the LIV rebels will be allowed to play in the majors, ranking points notwithstanding, and so the PGA have to accept that this threat to their future existence is very much real in a sport where money, as it often does in life, talks the loudest.

They have reacted by nominating four more as-yet-unnamed tournaments for ‘elevated’ status, which essentially means the fields will be of a better quality. This will be the final wraparound season too – the PGA will revert to a calendar year as of 2024 – while the FedEx Cup will be reduced to just 70 qualifiers from the outset.

So it’s a season of change, in many ways, and matters get underway with the traditional curtain-raiser that is the Fortinet Championship.

Last Year’s Fantasy Results

We ended last season with 9 winners picked, 5 runner ups, and a TON of made cuts (66% of picks made the cut in 2021-2022 season).

This year we’re looking to build on the success of 21-22 and get even more wins under the belt, including Majors.

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Fortinet Championship Field

It’s something of a coup that PGA chiefs were able to persuade Hideki Matsuyama, arguably the biggest draw in golf over in Asia, to stick around and not sign a deal with LIV as was rumored.

The Japanese star will tee it up in California alongside defending champion Max Homa, and the sportsbooks are unable to separate that duo and Corey Conners at the head of the betting market.

There will be plenty of others in this field who will want to get their season up and running in the best possible way, with the likes of Rookie of the Year nominee Sahith Theegala, Maverick McNealy and Taylor Pendrith perhaps all eyeing their maiden PGA TOUR title .

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We’ll get our first glimpse of the latest batch of Korn Ferry Tour graduates too. Only time will tell as to who of those takes to the golfing elite best, although at first glance the likes of Justin Suh, Carl Yuan and Thomas Detry, something of a stalwart on the DP World Tour, seem best placed to thrive.

This Week’s Course Preview

After a few weeks of nothingness, Silverado is the ideal host for dusting off the cobwebs.

The North Course at this Napa real estate offers plenty of birdie opportunities and little in the way of obstacles, and while the fairways tend to be of a narrow nature the rough is such that it’s easy enough to get back on-line – the rollcall of bombers that have won this event in recent times is testament to that.

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At 7,123 yards for its Par 72, the North Course is short enough to give everyone a fair chance, although there’s a clear sign that the longer hitters have a clear edge, so hitting bombs and then approaching well from the 75-150 yard range is the key.

The Poa Annua greens are large in size and run pretty slow – it’s pretty cool in Napa at this time of year outside of the main daylight hours, and so the dancefloors remain dense and pristine.

There are occasional bunkers and bits of water on this Ben Harmon design, but in general the theme is one of early-season low scoring – that’s aided by a three-hole finish that incorporates two Par 5s and a drivable Par 4.

Weather Forecast for Napa, CA

Top temperatures of around 77˚F will be pleasing enough for the players this week, although you should note how cool the AM wave will feel each day.

The mercury will barely scrape 53˚F for those hardy souls teeing off at 07:00, and while these sorts of things can level themselves out over the course of 72 holes, you maybe don’t want your fantasy picks to be shivering at dawn light as they set out to win the tournament.

Otherwise, there is minimal chance of rain – as you would expect in this part of the country – and the wind speeds will hover at around 10mph throughout the four days.

NAPA WEATHER

Last Year’s Results from the Fortinet Championship

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It takes a bit of all-sorts to win the Fortinet Championship, and that’s exactly what Max Homa brought 12 months ago.

He averaged more than 310 yards off the tee, approached well from close range and putted well – anyone that ranks second for SG: Tee-to-Green and 12th for Putting in tandem is going to go pretty close to winning a golf tournament.

Homa proved that the North Course is a venue where you can give away ground and still catch up – a so-so opening 36 holes of 67-72 were followed by a pair of weekend 65s as the champion clicked into gear.

He still needed a solid stint through that volatile final three holes – birdieing 16 and 17 and making par at the last – to see off the challenge of Maverick McNealy, whose bizarre conclusion saw him make a double-bogey at the penultimate hole prior to an eagle at the last.

Where to Play Fantasy Golf for the Fortinet Championship this Week

So how are we going to kick off the new season….by going in hard and fast or treading carefully? It’s a tough decision, and so here’s a contest that satisfies both the high risk-reward players and the more conservative ones.

  • PGA TOUR $20K Long Drive: If the excitement of the new season is such that you want to get off to the best possible start, then this $100 entry game only features 222 teams and could see you net a cool $3,000 to set you up perfectly for the new campaign.
  • PGA TOUR $100K Drive the Green: The low budget pick of the week is arguably the Drive the Green game, where you’ll get up to 20 entries – at $5 per turn – to draft the lineup that wins the $25k top prize.

Where to Play Fantasy Golf for the Fortinet Championship this Week

The last five winners of this event have been Homa, Stewart Cink, Cameron Champ, Kevin Tway and Brendan Steele, and you don’t need to be Inspector Clouseau to figure out what they all have in common.

To a man, they are long 300+ yard drivers of the golf ball, and given that the rough is down – and the holes are reasonably short for the most part on the North Course – again you don’t need to be an FBI agent to work out the winning formula in the Fortinet Championship.

Other strategies have enjoyed success here, but for context in last year’s edition nine of the first ten players on the leaderboard averaged over 300 yards off the tee, and in T6 Patrick Rodgers found just 28% of fairways.

So hitting quality approaches from 150 yards and shorter, be it from the short grass or the longer stuff, is vital this week, as is stuffing a few putts down the hole.

If you are looking for correlating courses, the likes of TPC Scottsdale, TPC San Antonio and even Colonial tend to favor bombers with excellent short-range approach games, but remember that we’re on Poa Annua greens this week – that in itself suits some players far more than others.

Our Top 5 (and Top 2 Sleeper) Fantasy Picks and Odds to Win the Fortinet Championship

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Fantasy Golf Predictions Last Season (2021-2022)

43

Tourneys Played ’21 -’22

51947153

Season Earnings YTD

Total Top 3s
Total Top 10s
Total Top 25s
Total Winners Picked
Total Runners-Up Picked
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)

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