Martin Laird is back to defend, again, just like he did in 2010!
2021 Shriners Children’s Open
Las Vegas, Nevada
|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,255|
|Greens:||A1-A4 Bentgrass; 7,400 square feet on average.|
|Rough:||419 Bermuda at 2 inches.|
|Architects:||Bobby Weed (Fuzzy Zoeller); Opened 1991.|
|Purse:||$7 million ($1.26 winner) plus 500 FedExCup points.|
|Defending Champion (event):||Martin Laird (-23); playoff|
|Fact of the Week:||Average winning score the last three seasons is 22-under.|
|Fact of the Week II:||Five of the last six winners have been T15 or better in Fairways. The other was T25.|
- Full field, 144 players
- Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
2021-2022 Season Winners
*- First-time winner
**- First-time winner AND rookie winner
|Fortinet Championship||Max Homa|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Sam Burns|
Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details on those who play well here.
|2020 – Martin Laird, -23||Defeated Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff on the second playoff hole for his second win here.|
|2019 – Kevin Na, -23||Defeated Patrick Cantlay on the second playoff for his second win here.|
|2018 – Bryson DeChambeau, -21||Held off 2017 champ Patrick Cantlay by a shot to pick up his fifth TOUR victory.|
|2017 – Patrick Cantlay, -9||Won a three-man playoff in extremely windy conditions; highest winning score in history.|
|2016 – Rod Pampling, -20||Became the oldest winner at 47 and tied the course record with 60.|
|2015 – Smylie Kaufmann, -16||Only Cantlay posted a higher winning title; rookie closed with 61 to win for the first time on TOUR.|
Facts and Figures:
|Tournament Record:||260 (-24); Webb Simpson (2013) and Ryan Moore (2012).|
|Course Tournament Record:||60 (multiple times): Rod Pampling 2016; JJ Henry 2013 (neither are entered this week).|
|Recent Defending Champion(s):||None since TPC Summerlin became the exclusive host in 2008.|
|Multiple Winners (event or course):||Martin Laird (2020, 2009) and Kevin Na (not entered 2019, 2011).|
|First Time – TOUR:||Cantlay (2017), Kaufmann (2015), Ben Martin (2014), Na (2011), Laird (2009) and Marc Turnesa (2008).|
|First Time – Event:||Cantlay (2017), Kaufmann (2015).|
|Oldest Winner:||Rod Pampling, 47|
|Youngest Winner:||Smylie Kaufmann, 24|
|Odd Fact:||Course sits almost 3,000 feet above sea level.|
Sittin’ Plush with a Royal Flush, Aces Back to Back
Viva Las Vegas!
What once was a nice stop over on the way back or to WGC-HSBC has turned into a fall frolic just off the strip. This year half of the OWGR top 50 is in attendance and that’s five more than last year!
TPC Summerlin will do its best to resist the winner posting 20-under plus but she’ll need some help from Mother Nature. The forecast looks to be a bit breezy on the weekend and that might separate the wheat from the chaff. Usually with no wind and PERFECT GREENS birdies and eagles rack up like the house after a spin at the roulette table.
Maybe not this year.
Still, the winner will push 20-under even with winds from four different directions. The fairways aren’t wide but the two inches of Bermuda isn’t penal. The A1-A4 Bentgrass is perfect for putting and no grainy Bermuda grass to navigate!
I’m looking for birdie makers who are more solid tee-to-green than super putters. EVERYONE is gonna make putts this week so hit the most fairways and GIR and take your chances. Hell, the cut was a TOUR record SEVEN UNDER PAR here last year and 5-under the year before that.
As I write annually, rounds in the 70s are worthless this week. The Las Vegas resident angle won’t hurt (who doesn’t like to sleep in their own bed?) and I’m a fan of desert golfers as well.
Don’t you let that deal go down!
Last Week – Sanderson Farms Championship
Sam Burns (+1400): One TOUR win makes you the favorite this week! His victory is on the same surface at Valspar and was T3 here in 2018. Looooooooseeanna native should have plenty of support as well. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the top 10. I’m not. He won.
Sungjae Im (+1600): He’s one of my few on the list of OAD plays to get beat in a playoff. Falling to Munoz two years ago won’t be a pleasant memory but he trashes places like this for fun and will make a shit-ton of birdies. T31 with 19 birdies and an eagle. Go lower.
Corey Conners (+1600): I buy the Valero angle this week as well and Conners is a winner on that track too. Super ball-striker with plenty of chances to keep up. Will his putter? First event since T17 East Lake but a great finish to last season. T17 as he was 7th in Putts per GIR.
Will Zalatoris (+1600): Of the three at 16-1, I’m landing here. All of the tools and the strength to carry that toolbox. First of many this week. Win ticket. Can’t have two rounds in the 70s unless you have TWO rounds of 61. He had just one, sadly. LOSING TICKET.
Sergio Garcia (+2000): Justin Ray had the great stat about his performances following the Ryder Cup and the results are very good. Won’t have any issues as defending champ as this isn’t his first rodeo. Surely will find a way into the weekend and top 25. Yep, 4-under was NOT enough to get to the weekend.
Cameron Tringale (+2500): Would have loved him more in the “old” days here! His last top 10s were Valspar and Valero (both Bermuda) so I can see why he’s up here. T11, of course.
Charley Hoffman (+2500): Steady spaghetti everywhere but the Valero connection is real here as well. His last top 10 was Colonial and before that Valero. Write him down for the spring in Texas. Write him down this week for a top 10 and top 20. 71 on Sunday was a killer and two more losers!
Mito Pereira (+2800): Top six in four of his last six includes the Olympic Games. If you stretch back he’s 8 of 10 across both TOURs with T6 or better (2 wins on KFT) in six of those! Gotta run hot horses! Top 10, Top 20. Co-led the field in GIR and didn’t crack the top 30! T3. More damage.
30-1 or Worse
Cam Davis (+3500): Hasn’t MC since his win in Detroit. First event since BMW at Caves Valley (T29). 66 and 63 on the card last year suggest he’s figuring it out. Nibble win ticket. Complete whiff. MC. Loss.
Si Woo Kim (+3500): Loves Bermuda and Ross (Wyndham), loves a tough driving track. Don’t love the price but his T11 last week wasn’t gonna help. Top 10, Top 20. Finally two winners.
Kevin Streelman (+3500): If the requirement is pounding GIR to keep up, he qualifies quite easily. One of the few to have multiple top 10s here. Add another. Top 10, Top 20. Annnnnnnnnnd two more losers.
CT Pan (+6500): Big Olympics, top 10 last week, T12 here last year. Always pesky at Wyndham. Make it T6 and now T11 on the new season.
Chad Ramey (+6500): Local lad back for more. Hopefully got the MC out of the way last week. Read HFC for more. T63.
Adam Schenk (+8000): 16 straight of par or better here. 18 now, but MC on 4-under.
John Augenstein/Mattias Schwab: Vandy boys playing well. Hopefully they shared a rental to the airport Friday night to save a few bucks.
Peter Malnati (+10000): If there’s ONE place, this might be it. 3 rounds in the 70s = T51.
Sahith Theegala (+13000): Hit it GREAT last week but no love. Led after 18, co-led after 36 and was 54-hole leader. T8 but still.
Austin Cook (+15000): Flashed lately and is a super putter on this surface. T67 of 68 players in putting this week. Hahahahaha.
Davis Riley (+15000): Mississippi native, third time playing this event. I’ve made dumber long shot selections. Another 4-under casualty.
Dawie van der Walt (+15000): T22 last time out, Bermuda no biggie. Another 4-under MC.
Chesson Hadley (+20000): Play all 72 is the next step. Bermuda trumps. Fell apart on Sunday with 73. Still gotta close 72 holes.
Matthew NeSmith (+20000): Flushes it. “It” must have been toilets this week. 4-over on THIS track?
This Week – Shriners Children’s Open
Abraham Ancer (+2200): Pair of T4 in 2 of his last 3; fantastic thru the bag as I wrote earlier. He’s my selection in Expert Picks this week.
Viktor Hovland (+2200): If these are some of the easier greens to putt, his value increases because he’ll hit all of them in regulation.
Sam Burns (+2200): We’ll see the killer instinct this week. Or we’ll let him enjoy his second win and a bit of nightlife on The Strip. Kids, eh?
Scottie Scheffler (+2200): Has a 59 to his name on Bentgrass at TPC Boston.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2500): He’ll enjoy the challenge of flag hunting and funneled pin placements. Desert delight at TPC Scottsdale over the years.
Brooks Koepka (+2500): If he’s healthy, I’m always down. T2 and T4 from the “old days” here should bring back decent memories. BUT, will the focus be the match v DeChambeau in Vegas over Thanksgiving? I don’t know. I rarely play him in NON HUMONGOUS events anyhow.
Will Zalatoris (+2500): T5 here last year and a pair of top 15 results in the first two events. Go on son. I loved you last week and you found 61. Find two more this week!
Webb Simpson (+2800): Gotta. Win ticket. Top 10. Top 20.
30-1 or Worse
Louis Oosthuizen (+3000): Hasn’t played in a month. Can’t have a breakfast ball round here if the cut is gonna hover around 4-under. Careful.
Harris English (+3300): Sprinkled across the board, WIN, Top 10 and Top 20. Too many positives to ignore.
Paul Casey (+3500): Easiest greens to putt? I think I prefer him on faster ones.
Sungjae Im (+3500): Top 20 or bust.
Si Woo Kim (+4500): Too bad it’s not Bermuda but it might not matter. Another top 10.
Maverick McNealy (+5000): Super putter and home game. Already went close this season. Nibble win ticket, Top 20.
Mito Pereira (+5500): Gets lost in this field but was T1 GIR last week on smaller greens. Find that flat stick!
Aaron Wise (+7500): Resident and his only TOUR victory included posting 23-under at Trinity Forest. Top 10, Top 20.
Marc Leishman (+8000): No problem on Bent or going low. Should have his full attention.
Sahith Theegala (+12500): Got a big-time taste of it last week. Bounced from T14 at Fortinet to 54-hole leader. Take the final step! Top 10, Top 20.
Nick Watney (+15000): Been a regret the first two weeks not having him in here.
Cameron Young (+15000) Made 27 birdies, best in the field, last week.
Hayden Buckley (+15000): Roll on Uncle Mo'(mentum).
Denny McCarthy (+17500): Wait, the greens and fairways are BIGGER this week!
Nate Lashley (+27500): Top 20 minimum.
Mark Hubbard (+27500): Guys who make cuts get attention.
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