The fall schedule of the PGA Tour rolls on, as a strong field takes on TPC Summerlin for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, NV.
Here’s everything to know about the tournament before placing a single wager on it.
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: The Field
This week marks a significant ramp up of high profile events on the PGA Tour. Many top players took a few weeks off following the U.S. Open and now will use the next few weeks to tune their games for The Masters in November.
Headlining the field is 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who had the last laugh after “pundits” doubted his ability to bomb and gouge Winged Foot. He’ll look to employ the exact same strategy this week in his preparation for The Masters.
Also in the field is Patrick Cantlay, who is the definitive Horse for the Course at TPC Summerlin. Cantlay won this tournament in 2017, finished 2nd to DeChambeau in 2018 and lost in a playoff to Kevin Na in 2019. He’s struggled lately, but a return to one of his best performing golf courses could give him a jolt.
Other notables in the field include Paul Casey, Jason Day, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Hideki Matsuyama, Francesco Molinari, Collin Morikawa, Louis Oosthuizen, Scottie Scheffler, Webb Simpson, and Matthew Wolff.
For the full field, click here.
The Golf Course
TPC Summerlin first opened in 1991 in the outskirts of Las Vegas. It was designed by Bobby Weed, who is a Pete Dye protégé. Bobby Weed is a very respected golf course architect and is noted for several high profile golf courses. Some of his work includes TPC River Highlands, the Dye Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass, Grove XXIII (Michael Jordan’s new golf course in Jupiter, FL), and renovations to Medalist Golf Club and Timuquana Country Club.
The golf course itself runs just a little over 7,200 yards on the scorecard and is sodded with bermudagrass fairways and rough. Depending on how cold the nights get in Las Vegas, the bermudagrass might go dormant and turn brown. However, the greens are bentgrass and must be carefully maintained by the superintendents in the hot Las Vegas climate. The greens typically run around 11 on the stimpmeter, which is slightly below average on the PGA Tour.
Many TPC golf courses are soulless and unnatural, but Weed did a nice job matching the golf course to the surrounding desert landscape. Rocky waste areas are utilized as either forced carries or as natural hazards around greens. There is also a good use of elevation changes around the golf course. There is a good variety of uphill and downhill holes, along with some elevated green complexes.
Signature holes on the golf course include the split fairway 3rd…
…and the driveable Par 4 15th.
Birdies are plentiful in this tournament. Kevin Na and Patrick Cantlay both finished last year at -23 before heading to a playoff. Bryson DeChambeau won in 2018 with a winning score of -21. And since 2010, the winning score has eclipsed -20 eight times. The only time the tournament showed teeth was in 2017 when Patrick Cantlay won the event at -9. That year, the golf course was unseasonably cold and windy, which is the only defense it has against the players.
The cut line at this tournament is usually between -3 and -5. Players who struggle on the greens Thursday and Friday usually are not long for this event.
Temperatures will be in the upper 80’s to mid 90’s all week long. Winds will be light to moderate Thursday and Friday, but the golf course could see blustery conditions over the weekend. That might put a ceiling on the winning score, but the cut line should still be well under par.
Shriners Hospitals for Children Betting Strategies
While TPC Summerlin is designed with the vision of Pete Dye principles, it’s a fairly straight forward track without many tricks. Pete Dye golf courses typically are tough tests that demands precision and strategy. While this golf course isn’t necessarily one that favors bomb and gouge style, it’s one that doesn’t present many challenges for short, long, accurate or inaccurate hitters off the tee.
The greens at TPC Summerlin are very large, averaging a little over 7,500 sq. feet per green. Unless the golf course sees wind, players are going to be hitting the green in regulation at very high rates. Tournaments with benign weather conditions where players pepper greens at high rates make for low scoring, meaning that the tournament often turns into a putting contest at the end of the weekend.
This is evident by looking at the relative skill-set plot chart of the golf course:
Distance isn’t a prerequisite for success, although as a basic principle it’s an advantage. Accuracy and iron play aren’t as important for the reasons as described above. However, strong short games and putting are key attributes of players who have success at TPC Summerlin. Bogeys are very penalizing because of how low scores are for the tournament. The confidence to get up and down for par or hitting medium to long range birdie putts are a must for those who want to place highly on the leaderboard.
Players in the field with at least 12 rounds at TPC Summerlin who have gained over 1 stroke per round at the golf course include Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau (pre-bulk up), Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Beau Hossler, Adam Hadwin, Tony Finau, Kevin Na, Matt Kuchar, Aaron Wise, Chesson Hadley, Russell Henley, and Si Woo Kim. Many of these players have great all-around games and have the ability to get hot with the putter (though sometimes not consistently).