Safeway Open – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Silverado Country Club’s North Course in Napa, California
7,203 yards – Par 72 – Poa annua Greens
Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1966) and redesigned by Johnny Miller (2011)
Used since 2013-14 edition

Stimpmeter: 11 to 11.5 feet … Slower Green Speeds
Strength of Field Rating: ~240 OWGR … Weaker Field Strength

Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~55% … Hard-to-Hit Fairways
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~67% … Easier-than-Average Greens to Hit
Driving Distance (Field Average): ~284 yards … Average Driving Distance

Tournament Angles

#1 Par 72 Courses
#2 Poa Annua Greens
#3 California Courses
#4 Performance in the Fall
#5 Easy-to-Hit Greens

Previous Winners

2016: Brendan Steele -18 over Patton Kizzire -17
2015: Emiliano Grillo -15 over Kevin Na in a playoff
2014: Sangmoon Bae -15 over Steven Bowditch -13
2013: Jimmy Walker -17 over Vijay Singh -15
2012: Jonas Blixt -16 over Tim Petrovic, Jason Kokrak -15
2011: Bryce Molder -17 over Briny Baird in a playoff
2010: Rocco Mediate -15 over Alex Prugh, Bo Van Pelt -14

54-Hole Leaders

2016: Patton Kizzire -15
2015: Brendan Steele -14
2014: Sangmoon Bae -16
2013: Brooks Koepka -15
2012: John Mallinger -15
2011: Briny Baird -13
2010: Rocco Mediate -17

36-Hole Leaders

2016: Scott Piercy -15
2015: Brendan Steele -11
2014: Martin Laird -10
2013: Brooks Koepka -11
2012: John Mallinger -14
2011: Paul Casey -8
2010: Rocco Mediate -13

Important Interview Quotes

Q. Had you played out here before?
I had not. I played here Tuesday, I played 18 holes on Tuesday and that’s the only time I’ve seen it. Funny story, though. My caddie, this was his high school home golf course his freshman and sophomore year of high school way back in the day -2017

Q. Did you feel like when you were here on Tuesday that this was going to be a course that fit your game?
I thought it would because I think hitting the fairways is important just because there’s a lot of sections in the greens that you’ve got to hit it into. To hit it into those sections from the rough is pretty challenging, so as long as you can get it in the fairway or at least the right side of the fairway, then you’ve got a lot better chance to get it close. -2017

Q. When I saw your name in the field and I thought Silverado North, I thought this seems like a perfect fit. Do you feel that way?
That’s kind of what my caddie and I were talking about. I kind of feel like it’s perfect, but I’ve also played golf courses and been like, man, this place is custom for me and I play terrible. And vice versa, you know, I’m like this place isn’t good and I play great. I think I get why people would say it favors someone that hits it moderately straight, plays boring golf, I understand that. At the same time, you have to execute here. The fairways are very narrow and the greens were receptive today quite early and they’re going to start to get firm as the week goes on or even today as the week goes on. But you have to pay attention, it still has some teeth. -2017

Q. You’re a California guy. Are you used to poa annua greens?
Oh, love it. I grew up on it, I grew up on greens way worse than this at times. So yeah, nothing like a little afternoon poa to get you going. -2017

PHIL MICKELSON: “I like the feel of the golf course,” Mickelson said. “It reminds me of the old Torrey South. The way the holes move, the way the greens have similar contours to them and the length wasn’t overpowering but you had to be very precise to get it close to some of the holes.” -2016,
Q. What do you like about this course?
It’s not a bomber’s course. You have to shape the ball, which I like doing. Short game is a big part of the game out here on this golf course. -2015

Q. What do you like about this course?
Just very fair. You get it in the fairway you can score. Taken the driver out of my hand a few times and just getting it in play. -2015

Q. Golf course is a little bit like a course. Not super long, a ton of rough, but you got to play the ball in the proper spots. If you’re going to miss fairways, you got to miss them on the right side.
Yeah, without a doubt. The greens are way firmer than on the, but it’s still golf in the long run. That’s all I’m doing. I still got 54 holes to play. -2015

Q. On this golf course, which seems kind of short-ish as you look at it, where is the difficulty?
Definitely on the greens. You have to be careful where you leave it. They’re quick and got a lot of slope. A few have tons of slope. Nos. 3, 4, 8, these holes, like if you get on the wrong side you’ve got no chance.

As the week goes on it’s going to firm up. If you’re out of position it’s going to be almost impossible to hold the greens, as it was last year. I think even though there are some shorter holes that they’re really good strategically because they have areas where you can’t be always.

So you know, okay, if I’m going to lay up here I need to lay up left so I can come in this way or you have the tree in your way or there is a bunker on the other side. If you’re hitting good shots you can score well, and if you’re not hitting good shots it’ll penalized you a little bit. -2015

Q. What’s the key for you on this golf course?
I think just hit tee shots. I feel like if you can — most of the time if you can put the ball in the fairway you can be pretty aggressive to the flag with the conditions we’re going to have. If it firms up that might change a little bit.

Playing out of the fairway this week is huge. -2015

Q. Does this course suit your style of play? I mean 67, 67 is real nice. Does this kind of suit your eye playing out here?
Yeah. When I played on Tuesday, I liked the golf course right away.

You know, I think it does suit my game because the greens are getting kind of firm, especially in the afternoon. And with the course not being the longest golf course to play, there’s some tight pins on the front of the greens that some guys just can’t get to if you don’t hit it high. And you know, I hit it high. So coming in with mid irons, coming in landing soft is definitely a big advantage as opposed to maybe hitting a slightly longer club and coming in a little flatter. -2014

I like to cut the driver, and there’s few holes that set up just perfect for cutting a driver, and then I like to draw my 3-wood and there’s kind of two or three holes where I would hit 3-wood anyway. They’re right-to-left holes.
So yeah, as soon as I played here on Tuesday, I liked the golf course. It sets up good for me, and hopefully I can continue. -2014

Q. You mentioned something interesting, the first six holes. Are those the toughest six holes in a stretch on this golf course?
You know, I don’t know if I’ve played the course enough to work out what the toughest stretch of holes are yet. You know, the whole golf course is good. I mean holing No. 4 is a short little hole. It’s a 3-iron and 9-iron for me, but it’s one of the hardest hole out here because the greens are so severe. And I like that about a golf course where you gotta think about where your miss is going to be if you’re going to miss it as opposed to just picking dead aim all the time at flags and firing away.

You know, it’s just a tricky little golf course. If you get it in the wrong spot, it’s very hard to get it up and down or to get it close to the flag, even if you miss it in the rough, if you miss it on the right side of the fairway, you’re okay. That’s what I like about it. You gotta think about your way around this golf course. -2014

Q. What’s the challenging part about putting on these greens here?
Well, the Front 9 is so undulating it’s unbelievable. The putt I had on 8, I think I just, I don’t know how it stopped there to begin with, but just tapped it and it went about five feet past the hole. So you know, you put yourself in the wrong places around these greens, you’re putting defensively, and that’s not what you want. -2014

Q. How different was this golf course this morning, colder, a little chillier, overcast as opposed to what you saw on Thursday afternoon?
Yeah, it was pretty cold this morning. So it was a little confusing club choice, iron shot and distance.
But a lot of guys had the same problem, same trouble, so this course is honestly not easy, but I like this course. -2014

Q. The course in the morning was really, really cool, and I think the afternoon scores might be a little bit better because of the heat, but they’ve got to deal with the greens. The greens are going to be a little bumpy; they’re poa annua.
That’s right. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m happy to be around the lead, to be where I’m at. -2014

Q. Nicely done out there. Maybe not your best ball-striking day, but you got around the course really well, five birdies, 3-under par 69.
You do have to drive it well here. That’s something that’s probably not the strongest point of my game. If you hit it crooked and long, that’s great. I’m not either; I’m crooked and short. I think that’s critical around here four days. I think you can get away with it now and then. Ball-striking is important. The greens are pretty fast and pretty firm at times, depending on where those pins are. I think a real ball-striking course, but if you can manage to get four, five, six birdies a day you can sort of get away and hide a few things. But good step. -2014

Q. As you look at today’s round, a little cooler temperatures this morning. How did the golf course play out there?
Well, it played long early, and with a few weeks off or a couple weeks off, I’d have to say we all were probably a little jittery, just because you’ve had a little bit of time off. But the good thing is we got on those smooth poa annua greens in the morning and that makes a difference because they’re good greens but they’re a little soft, and in the afternoon it’s going to be tougher to hold that line. -2014

Q. Can you describe sort of what kind of course it is? This is obviously the first time an event have been here in 30?something years. Do you feel like it’s a good test for this level?
I do. It suits my eye well. I like tree-lined courses with big trees, and poa annua grass is what I’ve grown up on with the greens, so I feel pretty comfortable out here. I think you have to hit every shot out here. You have to shape shots around trees. You can hit driver, you can hit 3-wood, you can hit whatever you want, but I don’t know if anybody is going to be overpowering the course except for on some par-5s, but most of the par-5s are reachable, it just depends how short a clubs people are going to be coming in with. -2014

Quotes found at unless otherwise noted.

Tournament Notes:

2016-17 Edition: The final round was delayed two hours by rain that began soaking Silverado on Friday and led to delays the rest of the way. The third round was not completed until Sunday morning.