Shriners Children’s Open
Las Vegas, Nevada
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|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,255|
|Greens:||7,400 square feet; Dominator Bentgrass.|
|Rough:||Bandera Bermuda at 2 inches.|
|Bunkers/Water Hazards||92/4 (in play on 4 holes).|
|Architects:||Bobby Weed, Fuzzy Zoeller (1991).|
|Course Record:||60; Rod Pampling, JJ Henry.|
|Course Tournament Scoring Record (last):||260; Sungjae Im (2021 calendar year).|
|Facts of the Week:||Only two maiden winners from the last seven and none since calendar 2017 (Cantlay).|
|Purse:||$7 million; $1.26 million winner.|
- Field of 144.
- 72 hole stroke play, Top 70 and ties play the weekend.
- New grass on the entire property will play “bouncy”.
Italics – not entered this week
|2021||Sungjae Im (-24)||Ties tournament record and won by a mile, four shots.|
|2020||Martin Laird (-23)||Won for the second time. Won for the second time in a playoff.|
|2019||Kevin Na (-23)||Holed 558 feet of putts and held off Patrick Cantlay in a playoff. Made a triple bogey and still won.|
|2018||Bryson DeChambeau (-21)||Defeated Patrick Cantlay by a shot.|
|2017||Patrick Cantlay (-9)||Won a three man playoff as the winds howled on the weekend. First TOUR win.|
Things we know in Vegas:
It’s going to be a shootout and 13 of 15 times the weather is going to be perfect.
Things we think we know:
Shootouts open the doors to anyone winning. The last seven winners here have painted every category on the priority ranking:
Kaufmann won in his second event with a card.
Pampling set the course record at 47 and won.
Young studs Cantlay and DeChambeau.
Veteran experience with Na and Laird.
And Sungjae just might be in his own category with all of the birdies he makes!
Make birdies. Lots of them. Maybe an eagle or three.
Oh, and get to 20-under like 11 of the previous 14 winners have!
This Week – Shriners Children’s Open
For those of you beautiful bastards and bastardettes playing OAD this fall, I commend you.
I am not.
MENTAL HEALTH BREAK.
Here’s how it works for all of you newbies:
I’ll evaluate the top players identified by my book.
Anybody worse than 25-1 will be DEALER’S CHOICE.
If you don’t see a review of a player you might need, please read the accompanying material. I’m not going to write everything twice.
I will also point out LAWNG SHOTS and FUNNY MUNNY choices for you sickos who need a lottery ticket.
Patrick Cantlay (+650): In a field of 144? Probably not. His stats tell us he’s only been beaten by nine players here in four trips so that’s something. He’s RETURNING to this event so that gives you a clue to his motivation, the site of his first TOUR win.
Sungjae Im (+1100): Birdie machine and defending champ. Half of his 12 rounds here are 65 or better. Like Cantlay, will there be a Presidents Cup hangover? Can’t throw away a round this week to get the rust off.
Max Homa (+1800): Still seething that he had to sit out a round at the Presidents Cup. Who’s hotter?!?!?!? Win at Silverado, 4-0 at PC, what’s not to like? Unless that baby comes early…
Aaron Wise (+2000): Resident will be making start No. 7 so there’s nothing holding him back. T8 is the best of the bunch and he threw that up in event No. 6 so he’s trending. Only win at Trinity Forest was after posting 23-under. Went T8-T5 in the Vegas back to back last year. Ding.
Tom Kim (+2200): Go on, lad. Go on. 61 to close at Wyndham to win on 20-under. Presidents Cup legend. Seal is broken. Good luck getting the toothpaste back into the tube. And yes, it’s “Tom”. It’s officially changed on PGATOUR.COM.
Taylor Montgomery (+2800): He was in my final handful of KFT Power Rankings as he was rolling along. The change to the TOUR has been seamless as he’s added two more top 10 finishes. Oh, he grew up here and lives here as well. Stars aligned?
Cam Davis (+3500): Has no problem racking up Par-Breakers and that’s needed this week. Already has a win under his belt so that won’t be hanging over him down the stretch.
Emiliano Grillo (+4500): Heat shows three top 5s from his last seven on TOUR. Number here suggests they’re not convinced. Better get in before the putter wakes up. Hard to ignore at this price.
KH Lee (+6000): Just whisper in his ear that this is the TPC Craig Ranch of Nevada.
Matthew NeSmith (+6600): Read HFC. And top 10 last week. Converge.
Andrew Putnam (+9000): Streak is six straight on TOUR. Sat 16-under here after 54 holes last year. Get some.
Longer Shots/Funny Money
Nick Taylor (+10000): Only MC here in eight tries was 4-under last year.
Robby Shelton (+12500): Won twice on KFT last season, only multiple winner and let the KFT in Putting Average. Making a ton of putts this week will not hurt!
Kevin Yu (+17500): Knows a bit about golf in the desert from his days at ASU. Very solid ball-striking week in Mississippi and riding a sponsor’s exemption.
Rory Sabbatini (+20000): Don’t rush him to the front of the ticket but his last two are his best two here by miles. Nibble.
Harrison Endycott (+35000): Got back in after Davis Riley WD. KFT grad will need to use every opportunity to move up the reshuffle.
Danny Lee (+40000): Shootout on Bentgrass. Please don’t WD.
Last Week – SFC
Sam Burns (+1000): King of the court this week as reigning champ and Presidents Cup darling. This isn’t a normal week or a normal defense. The talent is unquestioned the sleep and adulation might be haha! T30 as four rounds in the red is nice but not enough to contend at CCofJ.
Sahith Theegala (+2000): Second choice this week after T6 at Fortinet last time and leading or co-leading here for 54 holes last year. He was the “problem” last year and you’ll find that in shootouts. The door is open to many. MC.
JT Poston (+2500): Shootout master on a course he’s enjoyed over the years makes sense to me. Has no problem going low and racking up par breakers. MC as he only beat seven players.
Russell Henley (+2500): Ball-Striking and making birdies is never the problem. All three of his wins are on Bermuda. The putter’s heat will determine the payday. 74-74 MC.
Scott Stallings (+2500): One top 10 in seven starts at CCofJ. He won at Annandale in 2012, a different track. Of his last seven last season five went for T13 or better. Sat three off the 54 hole lead before blowing a tire with 73 on Sunday for T13.
Denny McCarthy (+2500): Massive course horse who just hasn’t finished on Sunday. Sat 18-under after 54 holes here last year. Like Burns, four rounds of 71 or better but that’s not enough here. T39.
Davis Riley: Hattiesburg born and bred has seen this course more than many. T19 but quiet after opening with 66.
Taylor Montgomery: Last two starts on TOUR (non-majors) was T11 last year at Torrey Pines and solo third two weeks ago. Not bothered. Two TOUR starts this season and the only player to hit the top 10 twice. T9.
Keegan Bradley: Led after 36 holes in his last visit. T5 after 72 holes this time.
Trey Mullinax: T4 last year and won a shootout at Barbasol last summer. T12 or better in three of his last six on TOUR and PLENTY of ammo to bomb away here. MC.
Harris English: At that price, I can’t ignore it. Plenty of class thru the bag. NARRATOR: He should have ignored it. MC.
Justin Suh: Interested to see how he rebounds after his first MC in some time. Beat three players 76-76 MC. I still love him.
Justin Lower: Big finish to start in Napa continued an outstanding few months of golf. T45.
Matthew NeSmith: Preferred surface and a monster tee to green. T9, on schedule.
CT Pan: Sniffing around… T67.
Davis Thompson: T1 GIR last week in cashing his first top 10 (T9) on TOUR. T67 after T57 GIR this week.
Ben Silverman: Monday Q has a top 10 here previously. MC.