Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas live on Sky Sports 4
The PGA Tour heads to Las Vegas, Nevada this week for the second event of the 2015/16 season, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. This tournament was first staged in 1983 when two time major winner, Fuzzy Zoeller (who co-designed this week’s venue) recorded one of his ten PGA Tour titles. In comparison with recent renewals of this tournament, the field is a strong one, the likes of Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker are all teeing it up in Vegas.
TPC Summerlin has been the regular host of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open since 2008 and it’s one of the easiest venues that the professionals will play all season. In 2012 and 2013 the winning scores were both 24 under par, shot by Ryan Moore and Webb Simpson. The course was made slightly tougher after Ryan Moore’s victory, but it didn’t appear to affect Webb Simpson, nor last year’s winner, Ben Martin who shot 20 under par. Summerlin is a par 71 that measures 7,243 yards, but it doesn’t play nearly that long because the course is at altitude, which means the ball flies further. Finally, due to the easy nature of the course, the birdie average statistic is one which we can pay close attention to this week. Over the past three years, 18 players have finished inside the top five in this event and 13 of those finished the year ranked inside the top 25% of players in the birdie average statistic (which can be found on the PGA Tour website).
Tony Finau – One player who will be accustomed to the high altitude is Tony Finau, who grew up playing golf in Utah. The American had an excellent first season on the PGA Tour, he finished inside the top 25 sixteen times and finished 43rd in the FedEx Cup standings, it’d be no surprise to see him record his first victory on the PGA Tour. Last year, Finau finished 7th in this event which indicates he likes the golf course and he finished the 2014/15 season ranked 7th in the birdie average statistic, which is a bonus. I very rarely back players any shorter than 40/1, but anything bigger than 33/1 on Tony Finau is a great price in my opinion.
2.5pts each way @ 35/1
Will Wilcox – Like Tony Finau, I was really impressed with Will Wilcox throughout the 2014/15 season. In the 17 events he played, he finished inside the top 25 nine times, this includes four top 10’s. In the Frys.com Open last week, Wilcox impressed once again, he tied for 10th position despite shooting one over par in the final round. Wilcox is undoubtedly a very talented player and at 70/1, I think he’s a superb bet. I’ve mentioned above that the birdie average stat is very relevant and Will ranked 24th in the statistic last season.
1.25pts each way @ 70/1
Kevin Streelman – Two time PGA Tour winner, Kevin Streelman is without a doubt my bet of the week at 80/1. He’s proved on a few occasions he’s capable of winning and TPC Summerlin is one of his favourite venues. Streelman’s an attacking golfer, which is important this week as the winning score may exceed 20 under par. The American finished second around this track last year and has also finished 14th, 16th and 22nd in recent renewals of this event. Last week, Streelman finished in 41st position, but his putter was stone cold. This isn’t particularly surprising after over a month off, therefore I’d expect his game to be much sharper this week.
1.25pts each way @ 80/1
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