Upcoming Match-ups

2018 Safeway Open Odds: Can Brendan Steele Three-Peat?

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in Golf

Updated Mar 25, 2020 · 10:14 AM PDT

Brendan Steele
Brendan Steele has won the past two Safeway Opens. Photo by Punishar (Wiki Commons)
  • A new PGA Tour season is already upon us
  • Should Patrick Cantlay be trusted as the favourite to win?
  • The golfers with the best value to emerge victorious

If you blinked then you’ll be forgiven for thinking the PGA Tour season just ended – because it did, only two weeks ago at the Tour Championship.

The 2018-19 PGA Tour campaign begins in earnest this week at the Safeway Open with most of the worlds best taking the week off.

Only two of the top 50 ranked players in golf – Patrick Cantlay (22) and Phil Mickelson (24) are competing.

Odds to Win 2018 Safeway Open

Player Odds to win 2018 Safeway Open
Patrick Cantlay +1200
Brandt Snedeker +2000
Ryan Moore +2200
Joaquin Niemann +2200
Emiliano Grillo +2200
Phil Mickelson +2500
Adam Hadwin +3300
Brendan Steele +3300
Beau Hossler +3300
Abraham Ancer +3300

Pass on Cantlay and Mickelson

Patrick Cantlay is one of the top young talents in the game, having secured his first PGA Tour victory last year.

He failed to secure a top-10, however, in the final three playoff events and is playing this golf course for the first time. The value just isn’t there with him.

Don’t get fooled into buying Phil Mickelson stock, either. Sure, he’s finished t-3rd and t-8th at this event the last two years, but he’s been absolutely dreadful of late, losing both Ryder Cup matches, finishing last in the Tour Championship, 58th at the BMW Championship and hasn’t had a top 10 finish since May.

Previous 5 Safeway Open Champions

Year Winner
2017 Brendan Steele
2016 Brendan Steele
2015 Emiliano Grillo
2014 Sangmoon Bae
2013 Jimmy Walker

Is it Worth Betting on Steele to Three-Peat?

The immediate reaction is that betting on Brendan Steele is an absolute must, given he’s won this event the last two years.

However, Steele has fallen off a cliff since May, with his best finish in his last ten events being a pedestrian tie for 47th.

Steve Stricker was the last golfer (2009-11), to successfully pull of a three-peat at the same event, and the seven golfers attempting to accomplish the feat since then have a mixed bag of results. Don’t pull the trigger on Steele.

How Golfers Fared in Bid to Three-Peat Since 2011

Player Years Won Tournament Result
Jhonattan Vegas 2016-17 RBC Canadian Open T-29
Daniel Berger 2016-17 FedEx St. Jude Classic CUT
Hideki Matsuyama 2016-17 Waste Management Phoenix Open W/D
Justin Thomas 2016-17 CIMB Classic T-17
Matt Every 2014-15 Arnold Palmer Invitational CUT
Jimmy Walker 2014-15 Sony Open in Hawaii T-13
Ryan Moore 2013-14 CIMB Classic T-10

Safeway Open Best Value Picks

  1. Luke List (+4000): Destined to finally get that breakthrough victory. Posted five top-5 finishes last season. The 5th-longest driver on tour is too good to not have a PGA Tour victory.
  2. Kevin Tway (+5500): Made 12 of final 13 cuts last season, including a 54-hole co-lead at RBC Canadian Open, to go along with three other top 10’s.
  3. Kelly Kraft (+15000): Ultimate boom or bust player: two 2nd place finishes and two 3rds in last two seasons, but also a ton of missed cuts. At such long odds, worth the gamble.
Author Image