It may only be September but the new 2021/22 PGA Tour season kicks off on Thursday and the first event taking place is The Fortinet Championship, previously known as The Safeway Open.

This week's event at Silverado Country Club, California will be the first of 47 scheduled tournaments on the American circuit and it promises to be a low-scoring affair based on previous editions.

Stewart Cink claimed the spoils last year with a record 21-under-par score and although he won't be defending his title, the crop of players that will be teeing it up have the ability to potentially better that total.

The Fortinet Championship Betting Odds

World number one Jon Rahm is certainly a player that can overpower a course and he is the 4/1 favourite to pick up the win. However, with the Ryder Cup taking place next week, will the Spaniard's thoughts be more focused on the Whistling Straits adventure?

US star Webb Simpson, who has failed to make his country's Ryder Cup team, is next in the betting at 16/1, while Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Na are both priced at 22/1.

Last season's PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Will Zalatoris, is available at 22/1, ahead of 40/1 Cameron Tringale, 40/1 Harold Varner and 40/1 Cameron Champ, who won this tournament in 2019.

The Fortinet Championship Long Shot

Matthew NeSmith to win - BET NOW

 

With several of the leading players opting to skip this event to prepare for the Ryder Cup, there looks to be some value further down the betting and the 300/1 available on Matthew NeSmith looks very interesting.

Silverado is only 7,123 yards, so there is no real advantage for the bigger hitters, and the secret to winning this event is all about hitting greens in regulation and having a solid short game.

NeSmith certainly ticks the first box, having ranked fourth in GIR on the PGA Tour last season, while his ranking of 11th in strokes gained: approach-the-green also makes for good reading.

An improvement with the flat stick will be required but there is every chance the 27-year-old, who is still searching for his maiden PGA win, could give you a good run for your money this week.

The Fortinet Championship Prediction

Emiliano Grillo to win - BET NOW

 

Sticking with the theme of backing players that impressed in GIR percentage and the name of Emiliano Grillo gets thrown into the mix. The Argentine ranked third in greens in regulation and he was also 20th in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

In Cink's victory last year, he led the field in GIR and ranked second in SG-tee-to-green, proving just how crucial these two areas are to delivering success around Silverado.

Grillo's only PGA title to date came in this event back in 2015, when it was named the Frys.com Open, and he looks like a big price at 50/1 to claim the spoils for the second time in California.

Russell Knox to win and - BET NOW

 

The final pick comes in the shape of Russell Knox, who was eighth in GIR last season and therefore ticks one of the requirements that has proven to be so crucial around this course.

The Scot has only played this tournament five times but it is worth noting he produced his best performance last year, ending up tied-ninth after opening with a brilliant round of 63.

Knox showed some promising form when T24 at the Wyndham Championship towards the end of the last campaign and the few weeks he has taken off to recharge the batteries can help him start off this season in a strong fashion.

The Fortinet Championship Betting Tips

1. Matthew NeSmith to win - BET NOW
2. Emiliano Grillo to win - BET NOW
3. Russell Knox to win - BET NOW

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