Starts: 16th September 2021
Course: Silverado Resort & Spa, CA
Length: 7,166 yards
2020 Champion: Stewart Cink
Overall Profit/Loss: -5.5pts
Pre-Event Bets: -8.5pts
1pt EW Cameron Champ 40/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-8)
1pt EW Si Woo Kim 50/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Harry Higgs 80/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-8)
0.75pts EW Joseph Bramlett 80/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Hudson Swafford 100/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Chesson Hadley 200/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-8)
In-Play Bets: +3pts
17 September 2021(+6pts)
1pt EW Maverick McNealy 28/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
18 September 2021 (-1pt)
0.5pts EWJohn Augenstein 100/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-4)
19 September 2021 (-2pts)
0.5pts EW CT Pan 50/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-4)
0.5pts EW Patton Kizzire 50/1 @ Bet Victor (1/5 1-4)
Tournament played here since: 2014
Type of Course: Classic, tree lined.
Fairways: Tight, tree lined.
Rough: Kentucky Bluegrass, not too penal.
Greens: Small, Narrow, Average Pace, Undulating, Poa-annua.
Water: In-play on 2 holes, 11 and 15.
Par 5's: 5th, 9th, 16th and 18th
Premium on: Strong iron play and scrambling.
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals. It's also the start of a new season on the PGA Tour so some players may be playing with a fresh mindset.
Winning Score: Cink's winning score of -21 was by far the best recent one. The previous five editions were between -14 and -18.
Course Form: 3 of the last 7 winners were debutants and Kevin Tway had never recorded a top 40 in numerous attempts beforehand. Brendan Steele had recorded finishes of 7-21-17 before he won twice. Preferred but not essential.
Recent Form: Only Emiliano Grillo had posted top 10 finishes in his previous 3 events before winning. Form not essential.
Favourites or Outsiders: 6 of the last 7 winners have started at 50/1 or above, including last year's winner Stewart Cink and 2019 champion Cameron Champ who started at 200/1 and 150/1. Outsiders should be chanced here, especially given the field strength.
Driving Distance: Two of the last 7 winners were 1st for driving distance and Cink was 11th last year. Distance can be an advantage here.
Driving Accuracy: Three of the last 7 winners were top 10 for driving accuracy. It is slightly preferred over distance.
Greens in Regulation: All 7 winners were in the top 25 for GIR and Cink was 1st last year. It's of strong importance to hit the greens here.
Scrambling: The last 3 winners were 1st or 2nd for scrambling and all of the last 7 winners have been in the top 10. It seems to be a key stat.
Putting: Only one of the last 7 winners has been in top 10 for putts per GIR. Place less emphasis on strong putters here.
Tough Holes: 13-15 play difficult. 2nd is a 240 yard par 3.
Birdie Holes: 16-18 is an easy stretch. 5th and 9th are reachable par 5's.
Fast or Slow Start: It is possible to win from off the pace. Cink was two back heading into the final round last year. Cameron Champ led by three after round 3 in 2019 en route to victory, but the 5 previous winners all began round 3 at least 2 behind. Steele was 9 back after 36 holes in 2016 and Grillo was 6 back after 36 holes in 2015. Fast starts are not essential.
Fortinet Championship In-Play Blog
19th September 2021, 10.30am (UK time)
Maverick McNealy birdied the last three holes of round three to retain a share of the lead going into the final round in California.
It was a slow start for the former world amateur number 1 as he played his opening nine holes in +2. However, his stellar back nine now sees him priced up at 5/2 to win his first PGA Tour event.
We advised McNealy at 28/1 after the first round (see Round 2 Bets below). However, he'll need to overcome a poor record when in contention to do so. He's been far more impressive when coming from off the pace to date and it'll be interesting to see how he copes with the pressure.
We have McNealy as a 2⭐ rating in our Pressure Performance Ratings. He's tended to take a step backwards on Sundays and whilst we obviously hope he'll win, there's a certain degree of trepidation. We would have much preferred him to come from off the pace today.
The young American is tied with Jim Knous. Knous is playing on a Major Medical Extension and must finish t3rd or better to retain his playing privileges (although he does have one further start after this event). Ten missed cuts from 13 starts this year indicate it's not been the best of years for Jim and he'll surely be nervous as he tries to secure his card for next year. We don't see him winning this.
Only one 3rd round leader has converted in the last six years. In 2019, Cameron Champ converted when leading by three strokes through 54 holes but it's been a tournament to oppose the leaders going into the final round. Given our concerns over the leaders we are looking to a couple of players who are capable of fast finishes from further down the leaderboard.
Conditions will be dry with a gentle breeze for the third round. The wind is expected to peak around 9mph.
Round 4 Bets
- 0.5pts Each Way CT Pan 50/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-4)
CT did us a favour at the Olympics last month when he finished with a final round 63 to take the bronze medal. Four shots back of the leaders, he'll need a similar effort today but there's a lot to like about him at 50/1. Bogey free over his last 42 holes, he's striking his irons brilliantly (4th SG: Approach). His putter is also working nicely (4th SG: Putting) and if he can somehow find a few more fairways he can post a low final round score.
- 0.5pts Each Way Patton Kizzire 50/1 @ Bet Victor (1/5 1-4)
If birdies are required from the chasers today, who better than the man who ranks 3rd best in the field for birdie average for the 2021 season. Only Jon Rahm and Webb Simpson averaged more birdies than Patton in this field last season and we find ourselves drawn to him. A two time winner on Tour, he has had a strong year with several top 3 finishes. Patton led here through 54 holes in 2016 before being pipped by Brendan Steele shooting a 65. It would certainly be fitting were Patton be the one to shoot a low final round and avenge that defeat.
18th September 2021, 8.15am (UK time)
An eagle at the last gave yesterday's in-play tip, Maverick McNealy, a two shot lead at the top of the Fortinet Championship.
McNealy is now a general 11/4 to win for the first time on the PGA Tour and has everything going in his favour. His post round interview highlighted just how comfortable he is with the way he's playing ("I'm swinging it the way I want to"). He's also extremely "comfortable" in the area being a relative local with plenty of friends and family supporting him this week.
We also shouldn't underestimate the fact his roommate, Joseph Bramlett, won on the Korn Ferry Tour two weeks ago. McNealy referenced Bramlett's win in his post round interview and it wouldn't be unusual for him to take inspiration from his close friend's win.
If McNealy is to win he'll need to overcome recent trends at Silverado. None of the last six 36 leaders have been able to convert. Backing outsiders has been profitable at the halfway stage in this event and that's where we focus our attention this morning.
Conditions will be dry and breezy for the third round. The wind is expected to blow around 13mph
Round 3 Bet
- 0.5pts Each Way John Augenstein 100/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-4)
John is a name unfamiliar to most given this is only his 12th start on the PGA Tour. However, he was a highly rated amateur, ranking 4th in the amateur rankings and reaching the final of the 2019 US Amateur. He also made the cut as an amateur at the 2020 Masters. His iron play has been exceptional so far this week, ranking 2nd SG: Approach. Five shots off the leader, he'll need a couple of good rounds but we've seen players do that here before. He'll need to continue that fine iron play to have any chance over the weekend but three figure odds means there is plenty of reward for taking the risk.
17th September 2021, 9.15am (UK time)
|Six Players Tied||-5|
Chez Reavie has backed up his 3rd place here last year and takes a one shot lead into the second round. Cameron Tringale and Adam Hadwin are nicely places one back but a total of 23 players are within three shots.
Massive pre-event favourite Jon Rahm could only manage level par and has his work cut out to contend. He spoke after the round that his illness that caused him to miss the pro-am on Wednesday is "way, way worse" than when he had Covid in June so it doesn't sound optimistic for Rahm backers.
As a result, this event is now wide open and you can get any player at double figures. Our preview highlighted that there has been some massive comebacks after 36 holes here - Grillo was 6 back in 2015, Steele was 9 back in 2016 and Cink was 8 back last year.
With that in mind, we will keep most of our powder dry until tomorrow but there is one player we would like to get on side.
Round 2 Bet
- 1pt Each Way Maverick McNealy 28/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
Maverick is one of the large group at four under par, three back of Reavie. He ranked 1st off the tee and 2nd tee to green, hopefully a small improvement with the putter will help him climb the leaderboard today. He has made his last eight cuts, seven of which have been top 30's which is incredible consistency. 4th at the Heritage where Stewart Cink also won last year is a great indicator he could perform well this week and 2nd at Pebble Beach was even more impressive given how he performed down the stretch. Overall, 28/1 is a generous price in this field.