Weather forecast for Thursday: It takes a while to warm up and the very early starters will play their rounds in cloudy conditions and with temps struggling to reach 60. They rise later in the morning and into the afternoon but the p.m. wave have slightly fresher winds so there's a bit of a trade off. I'll spread my bets across the day.
Merritt can make his mark
Troy Merritt has a decent record at Silverado with a fourth place in 2018, tied 15th in 2016 and tied 16th last year.
Those good finishes were all fuelled by fast starts, his 18-hole position 12th, 6th and 4th respectively in those three events.
Merritt ended his 2021/22 season by making five straight cuts and in his penultimate appearance he opened with a 65 to sit eighth after the first lap of the St Jude Championship.
In fact, three of his last nine rounds have been 65s so he has a nice mix of recent low numbers and fast starts at the course.
Merritt is an afternoon starter at 1.27pm.
Hodges to hit the birdie trail
Lee Hodges has had a couple of decent knocks in California in his early PGA Tour career - a third at the 2022 American Express and a tied 11th in the Barracuda.
He's also on a run of fast starts which moves him into the crosshairs.
Last time out he opened with a 65 at the St Jude Championship to lie eighth after lap one while he fired 66s on day one of both his previous two starts - the Wyndham Championship and the Rocket Mortgage.
In the latter, that ws good enough for third place at Thursday's close.
Hodges was also the first-round leader at The American Express earlier this year thanks to a 62.
The 80/1 shot tees off from the 10th at 07.00am.
Jump in for Joseph
I'll move down to the 100/1 mark for my final pick.
Joseph Bramlett is a born-and-bred Californian and played his college golf at Stanford.
He's played this event a couple of times and done okay with tied 35th way back in 2016 and tied 42nd in 2001, breaking par in all those eight rounds.
Bramlett has made seven of his last eight cuts in California and sprinkled several top 20s
Some good performances at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals secured his PGA Tour place for another season and in two of those events he was quick out of the traps.
Bramlett opened with a 65 at the Boise Open and a 66 at the Nationwide Childrens Hospital Championship. That gave him day one positions of eighth and fifth.
He begins his bid here at 08.50am from the 1st.