The PGA TOUR hits its third stop of the fall swing this week and enters Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual Shriners Children’s Open. The tournament will be played at TPC Summerlin, a par-71 venue that plays at 7,255 yards and has been a staple on the PGA TOUR schedule for many years now. The greens this week will be pure bentgrass.
The fall swing presents us with lots of courses that are set up for low scoring, and this week is no different. TPC Summerlin regularly plays as one of the easiest venues on the PGA TOUR and ranked as the third-easiest venue on the PGA TOUR in 2020-21, playing at -2.141 under par for the week.
Players are helped at TPC Summerlin by the elevation — the thin air helps the ball travel longer — and it’s a course that doesn’t contain a ton of thick rough or penalty areas. Water is in play on four of the holes, but as long as players aren’t too wild with their drives, they’ll be in decent enough position to take aim at the pins on most greens. The approaches are where the scoring is really done on TPC Summerlin, and it’s no coincidence winners at this event tend to spike in the approach department. Three of the last four winners of this event have gained over 4.0 strokes on approach for the week and been in the top 10 of that statistic for the overall tournament.
Greens tend to be much easier to hit at Summerlin, which means proximity stats are something to consider — hitting it close will simply mean your player has to do less to convert those approaches into birdies with the putter. That said, we’ve seen golfers dominate on these greens, and Kevin Na set a single-event record by gaining 14.2 strokes putting at TPC Summerlin in 2019. Na’s performance was somewhat of an anomaly, but this easier setup does make for a more wide-open event, where any player who is hitting the ball at least average will likely post high green-in-regulation percentages and will, therefore, have the potential to challenge if their putter gets hot.
Cameron Davis ($9,200)
Coming off a Presidents Cup where he played in five matches — and played well, grabbing two full wins against a tough American squad — should do wonders for the confidence of a player like Davis. We all know the talent Davis possesses, and his win at the Rocket Mortgage in 2021 cemented the fact this is a player who can take it low enough to win any of these regular season events where the setup demands a high rate of birdies.
Davis may have had a bit of a slow start to his fall swing, logging a missed cut at the Fortinet, but he ranks sixth in long-term form in both birdie or better percentage and strokes gained: approach stats for this field. Over the summer, he posted four finishes of T16 or better and has played well in the desert. Overall, he’s 3-for-3 in made cuts at the Shriners and also has a third-place finish at The American Express in January of 2021, which is played in nearby Palm Springs.
Rickie Fowler ($7,800)
A new season may bring new belief for the five-time PGA TOUR winner, who started 2022-23 strong with a T6 finish at the first fall series event in Napa. Fowler’s top 10 at the Fortinet was his first since October of 2021, but it’s the way he went about achieving the result that should turn some heads. Fowler gained 6.0 strokes ball-striking at the event and was also positive from a strokes-gained perspective on and around the greens.
The setup this week should also be a boon for the 33-year-old, who has had some of his best moments playing on TPC setups (winner TPC Scottsdale and TPC Sawgrass) and in the desert. In four career appearances at TPC Summerlin, Fowler is just 2-for-4 in made cuts, but two of those made cuts have yielded top-25 finishes. He’s worth a roster this week in daily fantasy, as his DraftKings price still remains somewhat depressed, and he’s not likely to draw a ton of rostership just yet, given how poor his 2021-22 season was.
Joel Dahmen ($7,100)
Dahmen had a solid week at the Sanderson Farms, finishing T13 while gaining over 6.0 strokes ball-striking (off the tee and approach) alone. Dahmen is a PGA TOUR veteran with a win under his belt already (2021 Punta Cana), so when we see an uptick in form from him, we should be interested for fantasy purposes.
Dahmen had previously missed four of five cuts, but his record at the Shriners has seen him go 4-for-4 in made cuts over his career while also posting two top-25 finishes over the last four years. In short, he’s got a sneaky good track record at this event, and his approach game is trending well after last week, which is a huge part to having success at TPC Summerlin.
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