The 2014/2015 PGA Tour season gets underway this week with the Frys.com Open at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. Jimmy Walker is the defending champion.

Lowdown:
The 2014/2015 PGA Tour season gets underway this week with the Frys.com Open at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. Jimmy Walker is the defending champion.

This event was first contested back in 2007 when Canada’s Mike Weir took the title. Since then Cameron Beckman, Troy Matteson, Rocco Mediate, Bryce Molder, Jonas Blixt and Jimmy Walker have been champions.

Last year, Jimmy Walker overtook a faltering Brooks Koepka to claim his first PGA Tour title and kick-start a stellar season that saw him qualify to play in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Walker will be joined in the field by two of his Ryder Cup teammates – Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan. England’s Lee Westwood is also on the start sheet.

The event provides a chance for the new Web.com Tour graduates to test themselves on the main circuit. They’ll be delighted to open their accounts on a track that isn’t known to the more experienced PGA Tour players.

The North Course at Silverado is a Robert Trent Jones Jr layout, dating from the 1960s. It’s 12 years since the resort welcomed a top-level tour event and Silverado co-owner Johnny Miller will act as host for this one. Miller was responsible for a re-design of the course in 2011.

The winner of this competition will gain a spot in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, an invitation to the 2014 Masters and, with FedEx Cup points available, it’s a great chance for those taking part to get a head start in the race to next summer’s playoffs.

The weather forecast looks set fair for the week so conditions should be good for low scoring.

Venue: Siverado North Course, Napa, California
Date: Oct 9-12
Course stats: par 72, 7,203 yards
Purse: $6,000,000 Winner: $900,000
Defending Champion: Jimmy Walker (-17)

TV Coverage:

Thursday 9 – Sky Sports 4 from 10pm
Friday 10 – Sky Sports 4 from 10pm
Saturday 11 – Sky Sports 4 from 10pm
Sunday 12 – Sky Sports 4 from 10pm

Player Watch:
Hideki Matsuyama – The Japanese player was tied third in this event last year, albeit on another course. But, unlike some of the players coming into this tournament, he’s enjoyed a few weeks off and should come into this tournament raring to go.

Chris Stroud – He enjoyed a strong finish to last season and will be looking to start the 2014/15 circuit with a good result here.

Richard Sterne –  After qualifying for the PGA Tour in the 2014/15 season, the South African’s game looked to be in good shape at the Dunhill Links Championship. He finished that event in a tie for sixth.