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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Defending champ Steele to renew love affair with Silverado

Californian can bag more Safeway birdies

Brendan Steele has returned to a happy hunting ground
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, from 10pm Thursday
Starts 4pm

Brendan Steele could be gunning for a hat-trick of Safeway Open titles this week if he had enjoyed a bit more luck in 2015 and the Californian clearly relishes the Silverado venue.

Steele can be fancied to account for Kevin Na in a your-choice Safeway match. The tip was the final-round leader two years ago, before a back-nine 40 blew his chance, but redemption was secured with victory 12 months later.

The defending champion is preferred to the erratic Na, while a pair of top-class maidens who approach this tournament desperate to make an impression can be followed against older opponents in two other matches.

Jamie Lovemark took his game to a new level this year, performing well in his three Majors (27-22-33), and a US Tour breakthrough looks entirely feasible before he turns 30 at the end of January. Competing in his home state this week, Lovemark can outscore Martin Laird at Silverado.

More golf

Safeway Open preview

Dunhill Links preview

Bud Cauley, like Lovemark, appears close to becoming a US Tour champion in his late 20s. This assignment particularly suits Cauley, as his approach shots are typically magnificent. The small greens at Silverado provide tiny targets, but Cauley will be confident of hitting them.

Lucas Glover was labouring with a knee injury in the FedEx Cup playoffs and it is a surprise to see him bothering with the Safeway. The fitter and more focused Cauley can leave Glover behind.

B Steele to beat K Na
1pt 10-11 Betway, Hills
J Lovemark to beat M Laird
1pt 10-11 bet365
B Cauley to beat L Glover
1pt 5-6 bet365

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The small greens at Silverado provide tiny targets, but Cauley will be confident of hitting them
E.W. Terms
Sky bet