PGA Tour Betting Picks: Safeway Open

The timing is a little off but we are teeing off on another season in golf.

The PGA Tour wrapped up the 2019-2020 season with just one major tournament played but we crowned a champion anyway.

Dustin Johnson won the FedEx Cup on Monday. Boy, did he come out of nowhere! After missing the cut at The Memorial and then withdrawing the following week at the TPC Twin Cities 3M Open.

He kept grinding, though, and played the next couple of weeks including the PGA Championship where he finished runner up to Colin Morikawa.

After a 2-week break before the playoffs, DJ began to play out of his mind. 30 under to win the Northern Trust! Then, he lost out in a playoff to Jon Rahm at the BMW Championship.

That’s okay, though, because this put him into first place in the FedEx Cup standings and he used all of those starting strokes to his advantage by never relinquishing the lead for the entirety of the tournament and winning quite comfortably by 3 strokes over the 72-hole winner Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas.

We took him at (+180) to win the Tour Championship. It was very nice to end the season with a tourney winner, albeit at less than 2 to 1 but I’ll take it.

This week is almost like a bye week for the PGA Tour.

They are saying that the season is kicking off this week at the Safeway Open but in actuality, almost all of the world’s best golfers are resting up after the playoffs because the US Open is right around the bend.

Next week, actually! How cool is that?

Usually, when the season starts for the PGA Tour, we have to wait over 6 months before we get to see our first major. See, 2020 isn’t so bad, is it? I say that with a strong cringe, though, believe me. I’m trying to be positive here!

Leading this week’s field at the Safeway Open is the resurgent Si Woo Kim. As soon as I saw his name on the betting board, I said: I’m picking him to win!

BetOnline.AG has the PGA Tour golf betting odds for the Safeway Open. Let’s make some picks to place and/or win the tournament!

Si Woo Kim

To Win
+2000
Top 20
+120

Mr. Kim is one of the most dangerous golfers on the PGA Tour when he is on. Make no mistake about that. The problem is that he hasn’t been “on” in some time. He is only 25 years old which may surprise a lot of people who remember his name clearly from several years ago.

Kim didn’t have the same level of success as him but some would say Si Woo is the Korean version of Jordan Spieth.
At least both golfers have experienced the same phenomenon.

Torrid starts to their respective careers at a very young age and then both completely disappearing into the Mojave desert like a couple of loose-lipped wise guys in the early 80s.

  • Spieth was the 2013 rookie of the year and then won the Masters, the US Open, and the FedEx Cup in 2015.
  • In 2018, though, crickets. Zero wins.
  • 2019 came and went without a win.
  • 2020 is rolling right along and nothing for him this year either.

Let’s look at Kim.

He was the youngest golfer to ever graduate from the official PGA Tour’s Qualifying School at the age of 17 years and 5 months. Then, Si Woo won the Players Championship at 21 making him the youngest winner of the tournament all-time.

The Spieth comparison might still be a reach but I’m telling you guys, Kim is very good and at the age of 26, he could be coming into his own as a professional on the PGA Tour.

After missing 4 straight cuts in 2020, Kim finished 11th at the Travelers in late June. 18th at The Memorial in mid-July.

He’s coming around.

13th at the PGA Championship which tied his best finish for a major when he snagged the unlucky number at the US Open back in 2017. This is when I took notice.

I have tried to pick the time he was going to come out of his slump a year or so ago and I think he missed another cut.

The lesson for today is:

Don’t do that. Don’t try to stare into your magic ball and predict when an athlete is going to come out of their slump.

He’s due.” Those are bad words. Nancy Reagan already told y’all. Just say no.

When I was looking at who to pick for the Wyndham Championship, I saw that Si Woo had been putting together some top 20s lately and it appeared he was primed for a top 5 or 10 on a course where he had played well in the past.

He was in a position to win after the third round but he shot even par on Sunday while the winner and runner-up shot 7 and 5 under, respectively.

Still, 3rd place was good for me and the (+400) for a Kim top ten was even better.

He struggled in the fourth round again the next Sunday at the Northern Trust when he shot 2 over to finish in 38th place at 9 under par.

He clearly has his stuff back and he is the favorite to win at this week’s Safeway Open. This tournament has rewarded tee-to-green artists more than anything in the past 5 years or so. Putting hasn’t been as important as it has been in the past.

Kim doesn’t have the favorable course history here. He has actually only played here one time. Looking at it for the rest of the field’s course history is mind-boggling. Inconsistency across the board.

Brandan Steele won this thing back-to-back in ‘16 and ‘17 then didn’t break the top 50 the past couple of years.

Kim does lack some power off the tee but his accuracy and subsequent iron play have been fantastic. Not many golfers in this week’s field have been better from tee to green over the past couple of months or so.

Anytime you can get the favorite of a golf tournament at plus money to finish inside the top twenty, I think you have to take it.

The past 5 winners here have averaged around 320 off the tee and Kim is a 300 guy.

For that reason, I will lay off the bet to win and take the value for a top twenty.

Pick: Kim Top 20

Sam Burns

Top 20
+240

Great number here for the young off the tee talent, Burns.

Both his name and Kim’s jumped off the page at me. Then I saw the favorable numbers even for top 20 finishes for these two and I have to take these odds.

Sam Burns is still a little moist behind the ears but he can absolutely crack!

Cameron Champ is another young, green guy with superpowers when the driver is in his hand, and he won this thing last year over a much more talented field. That was impressive considering the narrow fairways and filthy rough.

Sam Burns is 24 from Shreveport. He ranked 16th this season on shots gained off the tee. That is definitely his specialty at this point in his career but this course has rewarded such qualities lately.

He was top 30 putting this year which is great and a good number for this tournament.

8th in driving distance… He didn’t put up Cameron Champ numbers but who does, really?

More than anything here, I like Sam’s aggression.

He is either going to fall on his face with weak iron play or be at the top if his ball-striking can match his off the tee and flat stick games.

I like Burns here and the number is even better.

Pick: Burns Top 20

The Picks
Kim Top 20
+120
Burns Top 20
+240

In Conclusion

I know it’s a pretty light field this week and even when there has been more talent, the winners have been coming from way down on the betting board.

When I saw that Si Woo Kim was the favorite this week, it made me hesitate because maybe the betting odds weren’t going to be very hot. Honestly, I had him capped to win before I even saw the betting line.

He has struggled late in tournaments having bad Sundays so I don’t want to pick him to win. The plus money for a top twenty is excellent value, though.

And Sam Burns, he is a hard charger. He could be better valued for a higher placing, honestly, because of his style of play but nearly 2 and a half to 1 for a top twenty is good enough for a player of his level.

Get your bets in now and next week will be better with the US Open!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.