Safeway Open: Jam-packed leaderboard makes for an interesting final round

Safeway Open: Jam-packed leaderboard makes for an interesting final round article feature image

The final round in Napa appears to be wide open.

Rookie Tyler Duncan maintained his one-shot lead at 14-under in just his second tour start and heads into Sunday at +500.

Our 50-1 pre-tournament selection Chesson Hadley is one back and will go off as the +400 favorite.


Brendan Steele and Bud Cauley are both two back and sit at +500 with Duncan.

I’m just going to ride Hadley and Kevin Na, who is five back, and hope there’s the winner or maybe a couple of top-fives.

If I had no action on this, Graham Delaet at 10-1 would intrigue me. He’s three back and is No. 1 in strokes gained: approach this week. With the poa annua greens getting bumpy late in the afternoon, it’s going to be the guys with their irons dialed in who are making a run.

I’d also consider Harold Varner at 50-1. I like his tee to green game right now. I don’t believe Duncan will win this until I see it. So with a Hadley ticket, the number I’d be looking at is Cauley and Steele at 12-under, and I’d want to figure out who can track them down. Of the guys in the 9-under range who might make that run, I like Varner’s ability to go low the best. Plus he has the earliest tee time, so the greens could be slightly better.

Looking at Saturday’s plays, the tournament went to groups of three rather than pairings, which was a little odd since there was no secondary cut and the weather was perfect. So the matchups I tabbed didn’t happen. Instead, I posted a couple of three-balls. Both lost, dropping the record to 2-3 for a two-unit gain this week. Chez Reavie was tied with Bill Haas on No. 17 tee, and Steele was tied with Duncan and Hadley on No. 18 tee, so it was a little unlucky to get nothing out of that.

With more three-balls on tap for Sunday, I’ll be backing off the matchups and just waiting to see how Hadley does.

Joshua has spent the last five years writing about sports and the last 10 years betting them, mostly on golf. He’s one of approximately five people who will watch the PGA over the NFL in November. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaPerry22

Photo: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

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