PGA Tour: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Golfer lines up shot

We take a look at this week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open taking place from 2 November - 5 November at TPC Summerlin. 

First staged in 1983, this was formerly a pro-am that was staged over five rounds over multiple courses, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open has undergone several critical changes over time. It was changed into a 72 hole event in 2004 and has been hosted exclusively by the lush TPC Summerlin course since 2008. While it hasn’t exactly attracted the crème de le crème of the golfing world, there are still extremely high quality players in one of the events that consistently defies the odds: Pampling won last season for his first win in a decade, defying odds of 500/1.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open | 2 November - 5 November | TPC Summerlin

TPC Summerlin was designed by Bobby Weed- aided by Fuzzy Zoeller- TPC Summerlin is a notoriously easy track: it is rated as the easiest par 71 course on the PGA Tour. This birdie-fest has an average score over -22 over the last 13 editions. There is a huge amount of room off the tee while the bentgrass greens are large and receptive. Added to that is the fact that the yardage of 7,255 yards is really illusory: this event is played at altitude, making this one of the shorter experiences on the tour. Smylie Kauffman shot a 61 here on course to wining while Francisco Molinari shot the same score last year en route to finishing in a tie for 4th.

Tony Finau has been in really consistent form in recent years and perhaps rightfully leads most markets. He isn’t exactly the type of guy who contends often enough to justify his 14/1 odds, so I would rather err on the side of speculation this week, especially with most of the premium golfers in absentia.

Past Winners
2016: Rodney Pampling (-20)
2015: Smylie Kauffman (-16)
2014: Ben Martin (-20)
2013: Webb Simpson (-24)
2012: Ryan Moore (-24)

To Win Outright
Tony Finau 14/1, Webb Simpson 18/1, Patrick Cantlay 18/1, Anirbhan Lahiri 25/1, Kevin Chappell 28/1

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Value Bets

Martin Laird- To Win 40/1, To Place 17/2
Perhaps a good bet this week in particular will be sticking to guys with good course form. Martin Laird from Scotland fits that description. He won this event in 2009 and was runner-up a year later. His form has certainly regressed since then, but he has shown some encouraging signs of coming back to his best recently. He was T17 in the Safeway Open when last seen. He made just shy of 1,8 million dollars on the US Tour last season- which was slightly below average yet still respectable. I think that he deserves a lot of respect considering his course form.

Luke List- To Win 40/1, To Place 17/2
List finished 15th here last year on his first time around the course, which should be a good sign going into this year’s edition. He also caught the eye in the CJ Cup a few weeks, where he finished in a tie for fifth behind eventual winner Justin Thomas. The 32 year-old is coming into the peak of his career and should be a real threat in a field that lacks depth.

Jamie Lovemark- To Win 50/1, To Place 11/1
Lovemark has twice gone close in the desert, first when beaten in a playoff in 2009 on his fourth PGA Tour start before contending for the CareerBuilding Challenge last January. Like Luke List, Lovemark’s career has been beset by injuries and it seems as if he has gotten through the worst of that. Lovemark also struck the ball brilliantly last time out with a fifth place finish in the CJ Cup. He did miss the cut here last season by one shot, although he shot a 67 in the second round. So I wouldn’t discount him at all this week.

The Man to Beat- Byeong Hun An- To Win 40/1, To Place 17/2
After finishing in a tie for 11th at the CJ Cup a few weeks back, I think that the Korean is slowly working his way back into form- a week prior to the CJ Cup he finished 21st in Italy. He is only 26 years old and I’m extremely confident that he can reclaim the form that saw him win the BMW PGA Championship. Another key to An is his excellent desert form. He has been inside the top six in Abu Dhabi as well as both stops on the European Tour in Dubai. He also has a top six in Qatar. He led inside the first 54 holes in Arizona in February before finally settling for sixth.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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