By Walker Polivka
The 2022-23 PGA Tour season kicks off this week as it visits the Silverado Resort & Spa North Course for the 2022 Fortinet Championship. Read on below to see our prediction for who will win the tournament, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and player to fade predictions.
Player to Fade: Scott de Borba- Making his second career PGA Tour start this week, de Borba nabbed a spot in this week’s event under the PGA Section Champion/Player of the Year category. De Borba had little of note in his first career start, firing 3 rounds of 74 or worse to miss the cut at the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Although he makes for a solid underdog story, we predict that de borba’s struggles will continue this week as he misses the cut.
Dark Horse: Taylor Montgomery- Entering his rookie season on tour, Montgomery had a strong season on the Korn Ferry Tour this past go-around, with 9 top 10’s and 12 top 25’s in 17 starts, including all 9 top 10’s during his final 12 starts. Montgomery’s game was solid across the board last season, ranking 15th in Driving Distance, 21st in Greens In Regulation Percentage, 2nd in Scrambling, and 3rd in Putting Average. Montgomery finished T-11 at the Farmers Insurance Open during one of his 2 PGA Tour starts last season, proving he has a game that will hold up against the best in the world. With Montgomery’s recent play, a top 25 finish is certainly within his reach this week.
Top 10: Sahith Theegala- One of two rookies to qualify for the Tour Championship last season, Theegala put together a solid campaign, with 5 top 10’s, 11 top 25’s, and just 6 missed cuts in 32 starts. Theegala has had past success at Silverado, finishing T-14 here in 2020. Theegala’s biggest weakness is his putter, ranking 118th last season in Strokes Gained: Putting, losing -.043 strokes to the field in this statistic. Theegala is inching closer and closer to his first career PGA Tour victory, and we predict that he will start his PGA Tour season off on the right foot with a top 10 finish.
Winner: Taylor Pendrith- After missing roughly four months of his rookie season with a fractured rib, Pendrith made the most of his limited playing time, earning 3 top 10’s, 9 top 25’s, and missing just 5 cuts in 21 starts. Pendrith has a pretty solid game throughout his bag, ranking 12th in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and 36th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green last season. Pendrith closed out his season strongly after returning from injury, with 2 top 10’s and 5 top 15’s in 6 starts. Pendrith is knocking on the door for his first career win and we predict that that door will open this week, with Pendrith taking home the victory in Napa!