Image for Matt Cooper Matt Cooper - October 14, 2022

The Fortinet Championship: The First Event of the PGA Tour’s 2022/23 Season

  • The first event of the PGA Tour’s 2022/23 season
  • The tournament returns to the Silverado Resort in California’s Napa Valley
  • Max Homa defends the trophy

The Fortinet Championship Odds

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Player Odds 
Hideki Matsuyama +1400
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Max Homa +1400
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Corey Conners +1600
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Cam Davis +2800
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Maverick McNealy +2800
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Sahith Theegaa +2800
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Taylor Pendrith +2800
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Davis Riley +3300
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Emiliano Grillo +3300
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Tom Hoge +4000
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The Fortinet Championship Picks

Tom Hoge is the outright pick at +4000 with Unibet

Andrew Putnam +700 top 10 and +6600 win with bet365

Chez Reavie top 40 at +130 with bet365

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Fortinet Championship Tom Hoge

The Fortinet Championship Profile

A new season in America but no immediate re-start for the game’s stars.

Many of them remain in Europe, taking a look at next year’s Ryder Cup venue in Rome, while others (mostly Americans) are keeping their powder dry ahead of next week’s President’s Cup.

Still, the very popular Max Homa does return to defend his trophy and he’s fighting for favoritism at the head of the market with Hideki Matsuyama and Corey Conners.

This is the ninth edition of the tournament and it has proved popular with the players given its proximity to the vineyards of the Napa Valley.

Punters, meanwhile, have enjoyed the fact that the host course has a distinct flavor which makes it a good one for betting purposes.

Course Report

The North Course at the Silverado Resort & Spa is a par-72 set at 7,123 yards.

It was opened in the mid-1950s but had a renovation by Johnny Miller shortly before it became home to the tournament.

It is not thickly tree-lined, but those trees do impede clumsy shots and the greens are tricky both in shaping and because of the Poa Annua grass on them.

This is an aspect of the game which always features on certain Californian courses. Think Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and Riviera.

Some golfers can cope with the patience game required by the bumpy surfaces, others are infuriated by that requirement.

The Favorites

In contrast to the Americans, quite a few of the International team for next week’s Presidents Cup start this week and Hideki Matsuyama leads the charge.

He began the last season with two wins before injury aggravated his summer progress.

He’s finished third and sixth at Silverado, and also had top five finishes at Riviera and Torrey Pines, but he has no top 10 anywhere since June.

His teammate for next week, Corey Conners of Canada, also plays this Thursday.

He finished 13th at Silverado in 2019 but in general, he has a poor record in California and on Poa Annua.

He was fifth in his penultimate start at the BMW Championship but that is his only top 10 since June.

Defending champion Max Homa is a Californian specialist.

The Los Angeles-born player has a win at Riviera plus top 10s at Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines in his logbook.

When last seen he was a very fine fifth in the Tour Championship (closing 62-66-66).

Oh, the Hoge Cokey

Last season was a breakthrough one for Tom Hoge who started it in fine form, with top four finishes in the RSM Classic and The American Express, before landing his first win on the PGA Tour at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

He played well at both THE PLAYERS Championship and PGA Championship, but his summer was largely a letdown until he rediscovered form with fourth at the 3M Open.

He then opened the Tour Championship with three rounds of 66 and closed with a 69 to be the fifth low scorer of the week – and finish 10th for the tournament.

He’s got multiple top 15 finishes at both Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines, and he has a record at Silverado that is better than it seems on first glance.

He was the first-round leader in 2017, sat inside the top 10 through 36 holes in 2020, and last year he was in the top 10 through the middle 36 holes.

Off the back of that sneaky form and his excellent golf at East Lake three weeks ago he looks a great bet.

Take him each way in the outright at +4000 with Unibet which pays out seven places.

Time for Two-Putnam

Andrew Putnam has one PGA Tour title to his name, in the 2018 Barracuda Championship, but this week looks a good opportunity for him to make it two wins at this level.

He ended last season in nice fashion with four top 30s in a row, a run that included a fine fifth in the St Jude Championship and 23rd in the BMW Championship – both up against elite fields.

He’s also played Poa greens very well in the last 12 months.

He was sixth in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (when leading after 54 holes), 48th in the Genesis Invitational and 30th in this tournament 12 months ago (when 104th after 18 holes).

He was also seventh with 18 holes to play in this event in 2017.

Split your stake, with half on a top 10 at +700 and half on the win at +6600 with bet365.

Reavie at Home in Cali

Chez Reavie has a fine record in the state of California.

The 40-year-old nearly won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2018, nearly won the US Open at the same course the following year, and nearly won this event a year after that.

He finally got the victory late last season in the Barracuda Championship, an event played on greens with a bent grass and Poa mix.

That’s the key with Reavie – Poa on the putting surface.

He’s landed a top 40 finish in six of his last 10 starts in California on Poa, has done it 10 times in the last 15, 14 times in the last 20 and 17 times in the last 25.

That’s mighty consistency and we can take advantage this week.

He’s +130 for another top 40 with bet365 this week.

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How to Watch The Fortinet Championship

Tournament The Fortinet Championship
Location North Course, Silverado Resort & Spa, Napa, California
When Thursday September 15 – Sunday September 18
How to watch Thursday-Sunday: 6-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). And all four days on Sky Sports.
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AUTHOR

Matt Cooper

68 Articles

Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]

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