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PGA TOUR: Mike Glasscott's Fortinet Championship preview

Welcome back!

The two-week break after the FedExCup Playoffs is over! It’s time for the FedExCup Fall beginning in Napa, California at Silverado Resort and Spa. 

The final seven events of calendar 2023 will determine the 2024 eligibility and priority for the players outside of the top 70 who did not qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. 

There are plenty of reasons to play and play often over the next two-plus months. Every winner will be eligible for The Sentry to start next season on top of the two-year exemption. The 10 players who accumulate the most points in these seven events (not already eligible) will qualify for the first two Signature Events after The Sentry.

The truncated schedule will take the next two weeks off before returning to play the first three weeks of October. After a week of travel between Japan and Mexico, the TOUR will play the first three weekends of November to determine the final rankings.

Silverado Resort (North Course) will host for the 10th consecutive season. Johnny Miller’s redesign rewards power ball-strikers who can dial in wedges and navigate Poa annua greens. The Par-72 tips at 7,123 yards for the fourth consecutive season. The routing of 10 holes is different this season. Only Nos. 1 through 7 and No. 18 remain from last year. 

Max Homa returns to defend his title for the second consecutive season. The native Californian will look to win this event for the third year running.

Top of the Board 

Max Homa (7/1): Not only will he be battling a field of 155 others, but history will not be on his side either. Since 2011, many have tried, but all have failed, to win an event three consecutive times. Steve Stricker, at the John Deere Classic in July of 2011, is the last man to climb that mountain. The Californian is 35-under in his last two visits and enters the week in RED-HOT form. Racking up four consecutive top-10 paydays, his worst finish from his last six events is T21. I’m a sucker for historic performances, so I’ll sprinkle a win ticket here, just in case.

Sahith Theegala (14/1): Picking up T15 and T13 in two FedExCup Playoff events should bang him back into rhythm. Missing three cuts before the Playoffs, his last top 20 was T5 at Harbour Town the week after the Masters. The Pepperdine alum cashed T14 in 2020 on his debut and hit the top 10 last year with T6. Never missing the cut in three starts, he will look to pick up his first win on TOUR.

Justin Thomas (16/1): Cashing in the top 10 in his last three visits at Silverado has not helped his number for those looking for value this week. After being named a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup by Zach Johnson, I don’t think he’s longing in the confidence department. The pressure of making the FedExCup Playoffs didn’t flip the switch. Perhaps the freedom of being a member of the USA team headed to Italy next week will be the tonic. I’ll let you show me.

Cameron Davis (20/1): The Australian’s blazing sprint to make the FedExCup Playoffs and then qualify for the second event, the BMW Championship, isn’t lost on me. Picking up five top-10 paychecks in his final 13 starts, he’s already qualified for 2024 so his arrival this week tells me everything I need to know. The big-boy ball-striker will look to improve on T17 on his debut at Silverado in 2018. I’m going to saddle up here.

Stephan Jaeger (22/1): Racking up 13 consecutive weekends, the German has been on fire. Conversely, he’s produced just two top-10 finishes from 26 cuts made in 29 events. Securing just four top-10 paydays from 122 TOUR starts, his best payday in Wine Country is T30 in 2017.


Stewart Cink owns the tournament scoring record on 21-under (267) in 2020 but missed the cut in his other two visits.

Homa, posting 19 under in 2021, would have won every other Fortinet Championship.

The course record is 61, posted by Chesson Hadley (2018) and equalled by Ricky Barnes in 2019. 

Almost half of the events have been won by two players. Californians Max Homa and Brendan Steele (not entered) have each won twice with both successfully defending their title. Cameron Champ makes it five from California in nine events to lift the trophy.

Emiliano Grillo (not entered) and Kevin Tway (2018) are the only first-time winners on TOUR to win at the North Course.

Others to Consider:

Mark Hubbard (60/1): Northern California native cashed T10 at the Barracuda at Lake Tahoe in July. In three of his last four visits, he’s been T21 or better.

Stats Matter

SG: Tee to Green

7Kevin Yu
17Max Homa
19Justin Thomas
21Stephan Jaeger
26Cam Davis
32Akshay Bhatia
35JJ Spaun
37Luke List
39Ryan Palmer
40Charley Hoffman

Plenty of familiar names in the chart above and this column above! Tight driving conditions and small targets on approach (on average) will highlight the tee-to-green masters. The more pop from the tee box will put more loft for attacking the greens, regardless of 2.5 inches of Bluegrass/Ryegrass rough. The North Course has hosted nine times, and five previous winners have led the field in this category. Ranking first, second, or third, eight of the nine winners have dominated this category.


3Matt Kuchar
4JJ Spaun
6Andrew Novak
9Brendon Todd
10Aaron Baddeley
11Max Homa
15Cameron Percy
16Andrew Putnam
18Austin Cook
22Eric Cole

Missing fairways will result in missing greens. Getting up-and-down will be necessary. Silverado ranks in the top five annually in hole-outs on TOUR and not all of those are from the fairway! 


James Hahn (160/1): Went close here in 2020 before stalling out on Sunday. Growing up down the road in the East Bay, he cashed T6 at Barracuda in July. Fun long shot for a top 10, but I’m expecting a top 40.

Cameron Percy (200/1): Long-shot course horse has never missed the cut in five attempts. He’s cashed T26 or better in four of the five weekends and was T7 in 2019. I’m going to play him lightly three ways, top 10, top 20, and top 40.

Russell Knox (200/1): In his last three visits he’s posted T25-T58-T9, including a round of 63. His streak of six straight on TOUR ended at Wyndham in early August. Sneak him in for a top 40.

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