Most of the PGA Tour's stars will be resting after the playoffs and ahead of next week’s U.S. Open, but Phil Mickelson will headline the 2020-21 season opener in Napa, Calif.
Most of the game’s elite players will rest this week after the three-week FedEx Cup playoff run and before next week’s U.S. Open. Only two of the world’s top 30-ranked players – No. 27 Matt Kuchar and No. 28 Shane Lowry – were scheduled to compete this week in the $6.6 million event, which will award $1.188 million to the winner.
Lowry will be paired with the Safeway Open’s biggest draw, Phil Mickelson, and Brendan Steele, a two-time Safeway champion, at 7:30 a.m. PDT on No. 10 tee. Mickelson, who turned 50 in June, won his debut on the Champions Tour last month and will be among the favorites this week. He will be looking for his 45th victory on the PGA Tour and his first since Feb. 11, 2019, at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He ranks ninth on the PGA Tour’s all-time victory list, and No. 45 would tie him with the late Walter Hagen.
Tournament organizers scrambled for strong storylines. Here’s one: Three former FedEx Cup champions – Jordan Spieth (2015), Brandt Snedeker (2012) and Jim Furyk (2010) – will be paired together at 12:30 p.m. PDT on No. 1 tee.
Also, former Safeway winners Kevin Tway (2018) and Emiliano Grillo (2015) will be grouped with 10-time Tour winner Sergio Garcia at 7:40 a.m. PDT on No. 10 tee.
Golf Channel will air Thursday’s first round at 4-7 p.m. EDT.
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