US PGA Tour: Shriner’s Hospital for Children Open Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

Damien Kayat previews the Shriner’s Hospital for Children Open taking place in Las Vegas from the 1st to the 4th of November. 

Shriner’s Hospital for Children Open
TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada
1st November-4th November 

Some of the stardust of the PGA Tour returns this week after last week’s WGC event in China. This event was first staged in 1983 and was originally a pro-am event that took place over five rounds. It was also initially played over multiple courses in much the same manner of the Alfred Dunhill Links.

It was condensed into a four round event in 2004 and has been played exclusively at TPC Summerlin since 2008. Perhaps what is most notable about the DNA of this year’s event is Jordan Spieth’s involvement. He is playing this week as a means of ameliorating the PGA Tour after not fulfilling his quota of events last season: the cheeky boy from Texas missed qualification for the Tour Championship by one place. 

TPC Summerlin is a traditionally benign course that is continuously voted the easiest par 71 course on tour. 

There have been some changes to the bunkering this year, with the sheer length of modern players off the tee prompting a rethink. Opened in 1992, this course was designed by Bobby Weed in close collaboration with Fuzzy Zoeller.

There is plenty of space to be found from the tee while the course is at altitude, making a mockery of the 7,255 yardage. The large bent-grass greens are receptive and we can once again expect top scoring, with only moderate winds expected for the weekend. 

Tony Finau and Ricky Fowler make for an intriguing double bill atop the markets, especially considering their dual propensity to blow winning opportunities. The red-hot Finau once again failed to cash in his chips at the WGC HSBC. 

Bryson DeChambeau will be looking to bounce back after a disastrous Ryder Cup while Webb Simpson was perhaps one of the top performers on the USA team. Jordan Spieth will likely enjoy the lion’s share of the galleries while Jim Furyk returns to action after a difficult stint as Ryder Cup captain. 

Past Winners

  • 2017: Patrick Cantlay (-9)*playoff
  • 2016: Rodney Pampling (-20)
  • 2015: Smylie Kauffman (-16)
  • 2014: Ben Martin (-20)
  • 2013: Webb Simpson (-20)

Betting Favourites (To Win): 

  • Tony Finau (11/1)
  • Ricky Fowler (11/1)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (12/1)
  • Jordan Spieth (12/1)
  • Webb Simpson (14/1)

Joaquin Niemann- To Win (55/1)
Young Chilean Joaquin Niemann enjoyed a memorable rookie season last year and looks to be one of the future heavyweights of our game. The former World Number 1 amateur enjoyed a slew of top 10 finishes. 

That included brilliant finishes in strong fields such as the Greenbrier and the Memorial. The South American isn’t exactly in the greatest form with no top 20’s in his last six starts. But I feel that he still represents outstanding value when you consider the general quality of the field. I can’t imagine that Niemann- in this company- will be priced outside of 50’s very often.

Sam Burns- To Win (70/1)
Sam Burns is developing at a steady rate and has picked up some notable results in his 14 PGA Tour starts thus far. He finished 3rd last week, whilst he also possesses finishes of 6th, 8th and 12th.  Burns actually coupled the iconic Tiger Woods in the Honda Classic, impressing the great man himself en route to an 8th place finish. That result saw him qualify for the Valspar, where he once again impressed with a 12th place finish. The former Tour winner also has experience around this course, having placed in a reasonable 20th last year. 

Jim Furyk- To Win (100/1)
This one is for the speculative- and perhaps sentimental- amongst us. Furyk’s travails as the Ryder Cup Captain are well documented and he could have been easily forgiven for perhaps shirking the spotlight for longer. 

But the ultra-pragmatic Furyk has no time for tears and is playing in an event that he has some history in. In fact, Furyk is the only multiple winner of this event, winning it on three occasions in the past.  Furyk finished in a highly creditable 4th at the Wyndham Championship in his last professional start, indicating that he still has more than enough to be competitive at the top level, especially in the place markets.

The Man to Beat- Patrick Cantlay- To Win (16/1)
Towards the top end of the market I have opted out of some of the more fancied picks and gone with the metronomic defending champion.  Patrick Cantlay is surely a future Ryder Cupper and will be hoping to join Furyk as a multiple winner of this event. Cantlay made 21 cuts out of 23 starts last season, which included a remarkable 15 top 25’s.  Among those was a brilliant tie for 12th at the Open Championship. Cantlay’s relentless precision and consistency will make him a perennial contender on tour, especially if he can properly address some of his putting deficiencies. 

 Written by Damien Kayat for

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