The PGA TOUR moves to Vegas for the Shriners Children’s Open, an event that dates back to 1983. The event has been hosted by TPC Summerlin for quite some time now and remains a popular spot for many top players given its proximity to Las Vegas. The event features a full 150-plus man field and will be headlined this year by top-20 players like Patrick Cantlay and last year’s winner Sungjae Im. As with most of the events in the Fall swing there’s also lots of young new talent getting their feet wet on the PGA TOUR at this time of year and some names to watch this week include Ben Griffin, Austin Eckroat and Kevin Yu.
This event generally sees lower scoring (assuming the weather stays nice) and has seen the winner reach 20-under-par or better now in four straight seasons. There’s a regular Friday cutline of top 65 and ties and the cutline at this event often approaches five-under par or better. Expect lots of fantasy points from the winning teams this week.
TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada
Par 71, 7200-7300 yards
TPC Summerlin is historically one of the easiest venues the players will encounter all year, although weather can still play a factor. For example, in 2017 the wind made for poor scoring the entire week, and the event was won at a paltry nine-under-par. However, in 2020-21, the weather was perfect, and the venue played as the third-easiest on TOUR — playing -2.141 strokes under par — and the winner hit 23-under-par.
One of the reasons this is such a low-scoring event is the venue, which is set at high altitude and means pretty much everyone can drive it relatively far. The fact recent winners here have included shorter hitters like Ryan Moore, Kevin Na and Ben Martin should tell us right off the bat that lack of driving distance is not a huge deal. The 2020 playoff was also a massive dichotomy in styles, as you had a bomber in Matthew Wolff, but also a really short hitter off the tee in Austin Cook — and a well rounded veteran in Martin Laird (who ended up winning). That year alone tells us that while TPC Summerlin is all about making birdies, there’s plenty of different ways to go about doing that here and no one style should be discounted.
The second thing helping the players at this venue is that nothing about the setup of this course is overly difficult. The rough generally isn’t very long, and the bentgrass greens are average to above average in size and don’t play too fast. There are three par 5s on the course, and even the longest can be reached in two due to altitude, meaning most players will have an eagle opportunity or two every round if their ball-striking is on track. While there are a couple longer par 4s, only one or two are challenging in the sense that they require players to hit a driver off the tee. Of the 11 par 4s on the course, only three measure in at over 450 yards. The par 3s rate as some of the toughest holes on the course, although only the 17th hole features water around the green.
This course is all about capitalizing on opportunities (of which there will be a lot), and the player who is aggressive this week and can bury the most chances with the putter when they arise will succeed. For more detailed info, look below under winners stats and course notes.
2022 Outlook: There’s not much to discuss when looking at the weather this week. Winds can often get up for a round or two this time of year at TPC Summerlin, but all four days look benign with winds topping out around eight mph in the afternoon. Thursday and Friday are set to be the two hottest days, with highs in the low 90F range. The Thursday PM/Friday AM crowd will be out in the heat and then have to come back and play the next day, on short turnaround, so a slight lean could be given in that regard to the Thursday morning starters. Otherwise, the weather doesn’t need to be dwelt over much this week.
Last 5 winners
2021—Sungjae Im -24 (over Matthew Wolff -20)
2020—Martin Laird -23 (over Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook playoff)
2019—Kevin Na -23 (over Patrick Cantlay playoff)
2018—Bryson DeChambeau -21 (over Patrick Cantlay -20)
2017—Patrick Cantlay -9 (over Whee Kim playoff)
– Eight of the last 11 winners of the Shriners Children’s Open had finished T16 or better at this event in at least prior season before their win.
– Eight of the last 12 winners had a T11 or better finish in at least one their previous five tournaments leading up to their win at the Shriners.
Winners Stats and Course Overview
2021 Winner: Sungjae Im (24-under par)
(2020 lead-in: T28-T65-MC-T65-T6)
- Winners here have generally balled out in one of two different categories: SG: Putting or SG: Approach (Na set a record for putts gained in a single event in 2019 at +14.2 strokes gained).
- 2020, 2018 and 2016 winners (Laird, DeChambeau and Pampling) all gained over +6.5 strokes on approach and 2021 winner SungJae Im gained over +5.5.
- The course is set at a high altitude (2700ft), so drives here go longer than average PGA TOUR stops — the course plays fairly short as a result, and several of the last 10 winners have averaged well under 300 yards off the tee for the season.
- Driving accuracy numbers are slightly lower than the PGA TOUR average, but greens are very easy to hit as the rough isn’t very penalizing, and there are a lot of shorter approaches into greens — GIR % generally five-to-seven percent higher here than normal.
- Scrambling rates tend to be lower than normal but players aren’t challenged much in that regard given the easy to hit greens.
- Players with high birdie rates who have shown the ability to spike with their approach play (and potentially their putter) should be seen as good GPP targets for daily fantasy golf lineups.
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their DraftKings Sportsbook odds of winning this week.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
HORSES FOR COURSES
1. Patrick Cantlay ($11,100; best finish: T3-2016): Cantlay has absolutely dominated this event like no other. He’s finished T8 or better in four career starts at TPC Summerlin, which includes a playoff loss from 2019 and a win from 2017.
2. Sungjae Im ($10,400; best finish: T3-2016): Im has played TPC Summerlin three times and never finished outside the top 15. The South Korean has gained over 2.0 strokes on approach at this venue in each of the past three seasons.
3. Chesson Hadley ($6,900; best finish: T3-2016): Hadley is 5/6 in made cuts at TPC Summerlin over the last six seasons. He’s putted extremely well on the greens at this venue, gaining over 3.5 strokes putting in three of the last five years.
4. Adam Hadwin ($7,700; best finish: T3-2016): Hadwin is another player who absolutely excels whenever the PGA TOUR heads into the desert. He’s finished T6 or better at the Shriners in two of his last three appearances at this venue.
5. Matthew NeSmith ($7,500; best finish: T6-2012, T7-2014): NeSmith is a great iron player who has produced a solid track record at TPC Summerlin. He’s 3/3 in made cuts at this event and has finished T18 or better in each of those starts.
1. Taylor Montgomery ($9,500; T9-T3): Montgomery is absolute en fuego right now. He’s finished inside top 10 in five of his last six starts and has gained over 5.0 strokes putting in each of his first two Fall starts on the PGA TOUR.
2. Emiliano Grillo ($9,500; T5-T25): Grillo had yet another near miss last week. The Argentine has three top-five finishes over his last seven PGA TOUR starts and is fourth in strokes gained total stats over the last six weeks.
3. Taylor Moore ($7,600; T24-T36): Moore continued his consistent performance with a T24 last week at the Sanderson Farms. He’s made nine cuts in a row now and has gained over 3.0 strokes on approach in four of his last seven starts.
4. Thomas Detry ($7,900; T9-T12): Detry has had a great late summer/early Fall. The Belgian has posted T12 and T9 finishes in his first two PGA TOUR starts of the new season and was also T5 against an elite field in England three weeks ago.
5. Dean Burmester ($8,500; 4-MC-T5): Burmester finished T5 at the Korn Ferry Championship last month and followed that up with a fourth place finish last week in his first start as an official PGA TOUR member. The two-time DP World Tour winner is worth tracking as the Fall progresses.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Stick with Sungjae
SungJae Im ($10,400) decimated this venue last year to the tune of 24-under-par and comes into this year’s event with similar or better form. Im produced a runner up at the season ending Tour Championship and now has three second-place finishes in his last six starts. With a putter that’s gained him over 2.0 strokes at each of his last six starts on the PGA TOUR, there’s little reason not to love him as an anchor play given he sits as just the third most expensive play this week. Both Adam Hadwin ($7,700) and Matthew NeSmith ($7,500) set up as solid values for this format as well. I mentioned both in the horses for courses section and, at under $8k, they showed a good uptrend in ball-striking last week at the Sanderson Farms.
Tournaments: Don’t say no to Noren
If Alex Noren ($9,100) wasn’t coming over from overseas (he played the Alfred Dunhill Links last week in Scotland), he likely would have been my main pick. The Swede is a high-end putter who has beat up easy courses of late on the PGA TOUR. His second-place finish last week showcases a player ready to win again soon and this is a good track for him to accomplish that feat. The jet lag definitely makes him risky, however, so keeping him to big field lineups only where his ownership should be low, feels like the correct move here. Rickie Fowler ($7,800) is in a similar boat. He played extremely well at the Fortinet, gaining over 6.0 strokes ball-striking. As an outright play on the DraftKings Sportsbook at +6000 or GPP play in big fields I do like Fowler who finished T4 at TPC Summerlin in 2018.
MY PICK: Cameron Davis ($9,200)
The Presidents Cup in 2019 produced a big time surge in International winners with the likes of Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman and Sungjae Im all finding wins shortly after that event took place. This year we have several young players on the International side like Cameron Davis who should be in a good place confidence-wise after they stood their ground admirably against the USA.
From a setup standpoint, the low scoring nature of TPC Summerlin also makes this a great spot for Davis to potentially experience further success. The Australian ranks sixth in birdie or better percentage over the last 50 rounds and still ranks in the top 15 in SG: Approach over the same time period. While he can smash it with the best of them off the tee, Davis has tended to do his best work on shorter courses, grabbing a T2 this year at the par-71 Harbour Town and a T3 in 2021 at the Amex — which took place in nearby Palm Springs.
Davis is uber talented and a player who we should expect a follow-up win from soon — after his 2021 win at the Rocket Mortgage. Getting him here at $9,200 on DraftKings and at +4000 on the DraftKings Sportsbook feels like good prices to play for a player trending well and coming in with an added boost of confidence.
MY SLEEPER: Stephan Jaeger ($7,200)
Jaeger had a roller coaster week at the Sanderson Farms, starting off strongly by shooting seven-under through his first two rounds, before cratering on the weekend to finish T30. While his metrics will showcase the fact he lost strokes ball-striking for the week, two of his rounds were very positive in that regard and he gained +2.2 strokes on approach in round one alone.
It all seems mental for Jaeger at the moment, who has turned into a birdie machine on the PGA Tour (second in birdie or better rate over the last 24 rounds), but hasn’t found the consistency needed to really challenge for a win yet. This week’s setup isn’t as demanding off the tee, however, and as discussed above, his approach game has proven elite at times — to the point where he also ranks 13th in this field in SG: Approach in long-term form.
With this being his fourth career start at this venue, I’d not hesitate to target him for big field GPPs or even as a top five or 10 play on the DraftKings Sportsbook. Even a small uptick in consistency could see him return great value this week given his extremely high birdie rate.
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