10/08/2014

The PGA Tour season is already underway for the second installment of the “turnaround season.” The 2014-2015 campaign begins the same way the 2013-2014 did, with October tournaments formerly known as “The Fall Series” starting the FedExCup points accumulation season.

We start with the Frys.com Open!

CordeValle Golf Club had hosted this event every year since 2010, but will no longer host moving forward.

New Venue

Located smack dab in the middle of wine country, Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course in Napa, California hasn’t hosted the PGA Tour in some 30 years, but the 7,200, par-72 course is hosting the world’s best players again.

Johnny Miller, with two business partners, purchased the resort in 2010 and renovated the facilities–primarily the golf courses. The destination is one of Golfweek’s Best Resort Course, ranked inside the top-50.

Originally a Robert Trent Jones design, the course is a classic resort style layout with creative bunkering and water hazards. The heavy air, wine-ideal air and rolling airs provide beautiful scenery for the start of the 2014-2015 season.

Photo Credit: Troon Golf

Photo Credit: Troon Golf


TV Times

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Contenders

Jimmy Walker

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He is the defending champion of this event and fresh off a solid performance for the American team at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. I am going to throw out any speculation surrounding “burn-out” here and place Jimmy firmly inside the top-25 by the end of the week.

The guy was so steady in 2013-2014, he will bring game sufficient to succeed. I know the venue differs from the site of his win last fall, but he’s one of the most talented players in the field and his result will prove as much.

Justin Thomas

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Perhaps a future Ryder Cupper, the 21-year old Alabama grad will want to hit the ground running in the Frys.com Open. Thomas has some PGA Tour experience already, logging a T10 at last winter’s Farmers Insurance Open and a few other missed cuts at the Humana Challenge, McGladrey Classic and last year’s Frys.com.

But this kid is talented.

In his first full season of professional golf, he compiled the third lowest scoring average on the Web.com Tour and breezed his way to a PGA Tour card for 2014-2015. Along the way, he even registered a win– at the Web.com’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.

Winner

Brandt Snedeker

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Quest for the 2016 Ryder Cup team begins here for Brandt.

Last season ended sour for the former FedExCup champion. His back-to-back missed cuts in the opening two playoff events and failure to secure a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup were a damper on an otherwise solid month of August.

He’s never played in the Frys.com Open before, but with a new venue I do not see that being relevant in his success here. He made news this week when he smoked the clay-pigeon out of the sky,