2022 Fortinet Championship leaderboard: Final yr’s champion Max Homa close to lead once more in first occasion of season

September 16, 2022

A brand new PGA Tour season — the final with the autumn swing as we all know it — started on Thursday in Napa, California, with a prolonged climate delay and a reasonably fascinating first-round leaderboard. The complete subject was unable to complete Spherical 1 on account of some early fog on the West Coast and a handful of golfers will end up their first 18 holes on Friday morning.

Let’s check out a feel-good story on the prime of the board after {a partially} accomplished Spherical 1 and a few large names who obtained their new seasons off to an ideal begin.

The chief

1. Justin Decrease (-9): All people most likely remembers his teary press conference after narrowly lacking making the highest 125 final yr on the Wyndham Championship. Decrease later retained his PGA Tour card by being bumped up as a result of among the gamers forward of him within the prime 125 moved over to LIV Golf, and he took benefit of it on Thursday on the Fortinet Championship.

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Decrease’s T8 end final yr on the Barbasol Championship is the most effective of his profession by OWGR factors earned, however he is in an ideal place to higher that and put himself in an ideal spot to get effectively forward of the curve of creating the highest 125 when this season concludes. Decrease mentioned after his 63 on Thursday {that a} yr of expertise on the Tour makes all of the distinction on this planet.

“I left this course final yr sort of in shock, truthfully,” Decrease mentioned. “I used to be like, ‘God, if that is how the Tour is, I must get loads higher in a short time.’ Yeah, I really feel much more assured than I did at this level final yr simply being the final card final yr after which being the place I’m this yr, I really feel much more assured with my recreation and much more comfy, for certain.”

Different contenders

2. Max Homa (-7)

T3. Ben An, J.J. Spaun, S.H. Kim (-6)

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T6. Greyson Sigg, Nick Taylor, Rickie Fowler, Sahith Theegala, Emiliano Grillo, Scott Harrington, Matti Schmid, Sung Kang, Brice Garnett, Robby Shelton (-5)

This dawned on me final yr at this very event, which Homa received, however he has turned himself into one of the crucial constant threats to win on your complete PGA Tour. He shot his third consecutive 65 at this occasion (relationship again to final yr when he shot 65-65 on the weekend to win) and picked up proper the place he left off on his finest yr ever on the PGA Tour final season. With the Presidents Cup coming subsequent week, Homa’s type is a superb signal for the U.S. crew and maybe a good higher signal for him as he tries to win this event for the second straight yr (Brendan Steele did the identical in 2016 and 2017).

Rickie’s return

Rickie Fowler has had a tough few years, however he had an superior Thursday with a 5-under 67, which is his second-best spherical for the reason that Wells Fargo Championship in Could. Rivalry from him this weekend could be extremely fashionable and absolutely the good begin for the PGA Tour to a brand new season.

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“Like we have talked, simply making an attempt to get again to being extra constant,” Fowler mentioned. “I’ve had some good weeks previously few years, however it should not simply be a couple of weeks in these years, there must be extra. That is sort of the most important factor is simply getting again to enjoying some constant golf, constantly being in rivalry and having possibilities to win tournaments.”

2022 Fortinet Championship up to date odds and picks

  • Max Homa: +350
  • Justin Decrease: 9-1
  • Sahith Theegala: 12-1
  • J.J. Spaun: 14-1
  • Emiliano Grillo: 14-1
  • Hideki Matsuyama: 20-1

I believe Homa has the most effective likelihood to win, however I do not like his quantity right here. I would quite have Theegala at 12-1 and even any individual like Adam Svensson — who was fifth in strokes gained tee to inexperienced on Thursday — at 55-1.