Brendan Steele defends Safeway Open

The 2017-18 PGA Tour season gets underway this week at Silverado in California

Brendan Steele defends Safeway Open
Brendan Steele defends Safeway Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The PGA Tour’s 2017-18 wraparound season gets underway this week with the Safeway Open in California. Brendan Steele is the defending champion at the Silverado Resort & Spa.

Only two weeks after the Tour Championship, the PGA Tour is off and running again for the 2017-18 season. It’s the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort & Spa where Brendan Steele defends the title.

The Safeway Open began life as the Fry’s Electric Open in 2007 and then became the Open. Winners have included Mike Weir, Rocco Mediate and Emiliano Grillo. In 2016, Safeway took over as title sponsor and Brendan Steele was the champion, he finished one clear of Patton Kizzire.

Steele will be back to defend his title and will face competition from the likes of Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau and Adam Hadwin. Former champion Sangmoon Bae rejoins the tour with a one-year-exemption following mandatory two years military service in South Korea.

The Silverado Resort in the Napa Valley began life as part of an estate owned by a Civil War general. In the 1960s it was converted into a resort with a golf course by Robert Trent Jones Jnr. Johnny Miller bought Silverado in 2010, together with two business partners, and Miller oversaw an upgrade of the courses on site.

It’s set to be very warm this week with temperatures close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Venue: Silverado Resort & Spa (North), California Date: Oct 5 - 8 Course stats: 7,166 yards, par 72 Purse: $6,000,000 Defending champion: Brendan Steele (-18)

TV Coverage: Thursday 5 – Sky Sports Golf from 10pm Friday 6 – Sky Sports Golf from 10pm Saturday 7 – Sky Sports Golf from 10pm Sunday 8 – Sky Sports Golf from 10pm

Player Watch: Tony Finau – Look out for him in the 2017-18 season, Golf Monthly has tipped him as a possible Ryder Cup player next year. He had eight top 10s in the last PGA Tour season.

Phil Mickelson – He showed some fine late season form and then put in a great showing in the Presidents Cup, winning 3.5 points. He recorded a top-10 in this event last year.

Ryan Moore – Last season wasn’t his best and he’ll look to start this one with better form. He’s a talented player and he has finished in the top-10 in this event in the past.

Key hole: 18th. A par-five of 575 yards where a good drive turning from right to left should give the players a chance to get home in two shots. The chance of a closing eagle could see exciting swings at the climax of this tournament.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?