The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open | 22 October - 25 October | TPC Summerlin
This week, the PGA Tour shows its charitable side as the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open tees off in Las Vegas, and although Justin Timberlake’s presence has been missed over the past few years, this is still an event players and punters alike look forward to.
Hosted at the resort course at TPC Summerlin, this is typically a low scoring affair and there are plenty birdies to be made throughout the four days. This has resulted in some tightly contested Sundays over the years and as we gear up for much of the same, it’s worth pointing out that there will more than likely be some value to be found throughout the weekend. The leaderboard here has a way of changing drastically from day to day, so keep an eye on players who have a tendency to start slow but end strong, they’ll be worth a small bet. Moving onto the ante-post market, it seems like the bookies have it right and all the usual suspects find themselves at the top of the betting. Rickie Fowler is tough to ignore against this type of field, but at 9/1, I’ll be looking for a winner elsewhere.
The course itself offers few challenges and for that reason scores here are generally low. The wide fairways give way to thin rough that isn’t difficult to get out of, so even those wayward drives aren’t punished too drastically. Things don’t change once on the fairway, as the large greens have been easy to read in the past, resulting in some seemingly impossible birdies being made. For this reason, this promises to be an eventful four days of golf, let’s see if we can make it all the more exciting by finding a winner.
To Win Outright
Rickie Fowler 9/1
Brooks Koepka 16/1
Kevin Na 20/1
Brandt Snedeker 25/1
Emiliano Grillo 25/1
Scott Piercy (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
Scott Piercy has taken a bit of a break since he finished the season so well in the FedEx Cup playoffs and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do at TPC Summerlin this week. Traditionally, he’s fared well here and the fact that the course is so forgiving makes me think he’ll arrive confident and ready to take some risks, which should pay off. Piercy has a number of Top Fifteen’s to his name in this event and at the moment his game looks to be the best it’s been in ages, so don’t ignore him this week. I’m backing Piercy each way.
Webb Simpson (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Webb Simpson has been a regular feature on this blog for the past few seasons and although he isn’t playing the quality of golf he was three seasons ago, he’s still worth a bet at TPC Summerlin. He’s always been a bit of a confidence player and nowhere is that more evident than on this course. A win in 2013 was followed by a Top Five last season, and I’m expecting Simpson to be near the top come Sunday. 40/1 is a huge price, so get on before he tees off on Thursday, he’ll only shorten from there.
Ryan Moore (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Everyone is tipping Ryan Moore this week and that doesn’t really surprise me. The Las Vegas local knows the course and the conditions in Vegas better than anyone in the field. He generally starts the season off well before fading into obscurity, and after his impressive Top Ten finish last week he looks ready to repeat the performance he put in here in 2012, where he won comfortably. Sure, there are a host of golfers who seem to have his number but if he loosens that ridiculous tie of his, I reckon he may surprise us all. Each way on Moore is the bet for me.
Russell Knox (55/1 a win, 12/1 a place)
Russell Knox is available this week at an outlandish price of 55/1, but given his previous performances here I’m making him my best bet for this week. He got his season off to a bit of a slow start, but let’s faces it, odds are he’s never going to set the golfing world alight so that doesn’t really come as a surprise. He’s the type of player who will consistently make cuts and get a few wins throughout his career, and I’m hoping that this week, he manages to reward the risk we’re taking in tipping him. A T3 finish here in 2014, proved he has what it takes to get close, now it’s time for him to go all the way.