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BlogShriners Hospitals Preview and Picks

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

November 2nd – 5th, 2017

TPC Summerlin

Las Vegas, NV

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,255

Purse: $6.8 million

with $1,188,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Rod Pampling

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 22 of the top 100 and 5 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player being #24 Charley Hoffman.  The other top 100 players are  #30 Kevin Chappell, #37 Webb Simpson, #41 Tony Finau, #50 Gary Woodland, #51 Ryan Moore, #53 Jimmy Walker, #55 Billy Horschel, #59 Anirban Lahiri, #63 Bubba Watson, #64 J.B. Holmes, #66 Russell Knox, #67 Patrick Cantlay, #70 James Hahn, #72 Kevin Na, #75 William McGirt, #76 Byeong Hun An, #81 Jamie Lovemark, #86 Chesson Hadley, #96 Bryson DeChambeau, #97 Scott Piercy and #98 Martin Laird.

Last year there were only 7 top-50 players, in 2015 there were 11 so there are 2 less this year over last and six less than in 2015.

The field includes 3 of the Top 25 on last year’s final FedEx point standings.  Those players #15 Webb Simpson, #19 Tony Finau and #20 Charley Hoffman

The field includes 4 of the Top 25 from this year’s final FedEx point standings.  Those players #5 Tony Finau, #6 Chesson Hadley, #9 Ryan Armour and #24 Nick Taylor.

The field includes 8 past champions: Rod Pampling (2017), Smylie Kaufman (2016), Ben Martin (2015), Webb Simpson (2014), Ryan Moore (2012), Kevin Na (2011), Jonathan Byrd (2010) and Martin Laird (2009).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish. One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Player WGC-HSBC Sanderson Farms Nine Bridges CIMB Classic Safeway Open Web.com Tour Tour Championship Dell Technologies BMW Championship DAP Championship The Northern Trust Boise Open
Chesson Hadley
(273.33 pts)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP T3
(60)
T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP Win
(44)
Tony Finau
(212.17 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP T26
(24)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T7
(55)
T65
(0)
T7
(27.5)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP
Rob Oppenheim
(149.67 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T17
(11)
Ryan Armour
(142 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP T51
(0)
Luke List
(140.17 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T13
(37)
T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP T47
(1.5)
T20
(15)
DNP T34
(8)
DNP
Nicholas Lindheim
(134.33 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T46
(1.33)
Anirban Lahiri
(127.5 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
T9
(22.5)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Patrick Cantlay
(126 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(30)
T13
(18.5)
T9
(22.5)
DNP T10
(20)
DNP
Scott Brown
(124.5 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T23
(27)
T62
(0)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
T20
(15)
DNP T25
(12.5)
DNP
Shawn Stefani
(123.33 pts)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jonathan Randolph
(118.67 pts)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T42
(5.33)
DNP T2
(33.33)
Bronson Burgoon
(113.67 pts)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP 5
(46.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Webb Simpson
(111.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP T13
(37)
T75
(0)
T9
(22.5)
DNP T6
(30)
DNP
Jamie Lovemark
(101.17 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T32
(18)
T43
(4.67)
DNP DNP T40
(5)
T33
(8.5)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Austin Cook
(99.33 pts)
DNP T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP T9
(15)
Whee Kim
(94 pts)
DNP DNP 4
(80)
T39
(11)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP DNP T34
(8)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(89.5 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
DNP
Nick Taylor
(89 pts)
DNP DNP T23
(27)
T13
(37)
T9
(30)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Gary Woodland
(85.5 pts)
DNP DNP T40
(10)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP 19
(31)
T18
(16)
T27
(11.5)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Scott Strohmeyer
(80 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Smylie Kaufman
(80 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP 75
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brian Stuard
(80 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tyler Duncan
(78.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T5
(23.33)
Kevin Chappell
(78.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(22)
T35
(7.5)
T12
(19)
DNP T6
(30)
DNP
Benjamin Silverman
(76.33 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP T43
(4.67)
T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T40
(3.33)
Brice Garnett
(76 pts)
DNP T43
(7)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP T29
(7)
Jonathan Byrd
(68 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Harold Varner III
(67.5 pts)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
T23
(27)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP T47
(1.5)
DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP
Kevin Streelman
(67.17 pts)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP T35
(7.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Zac Blair
(64.67 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP T30
(13.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP T57
(0)
Martin Piller
(62.33 pts)
DNP T43
(7)
DNP DNP T69
(0)
T42
(5.33)
DNP DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Morgan Hoffmann
(59 pts)
DNP DNP T23
(27)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP T40
(5)
DNP DNP T67
(0)
DNP
Kevin Na
(58.17 pts)
DNP DNP T47
(3)
T44
(6)
T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP T6
(30)
T53
(0)
DNP T29
(10.5)
DNP
Matt Jones
(58 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T43
(4.67)
T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Andrew Landry
(57.33 pts)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP T5
(23.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Player WGC-HSBC Sanderson Farms Nine Bridges CIMB Classic Safeway Open Web.com Tour Tour Championship Dell Technologies BMW Championship DAP Championship The Northern Trust Boise Open
Kyle Thompson
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T68
(0)
John Huh
(-21.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Harris English
(-21.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Andrew Yun
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T40
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brian Davis
(-18.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T43
(4.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T57
(0)
J.T. Poston
(-16.67 pts)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Ryan Blaum
(-16.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T62
(0)
DNP
Andres Gonzales
(-16.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Robert Garrigus
(-15 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP
Jon Curran
(-12.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP T51
(0)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz

Whose hot, Ryan Armour:

Last week at the Sanderson Farms we saw 41 year old Ryan Armour finally win on the PGA Tour.  He was the first time winner in his 40s to win since 44 year old Alex Cejka won the 2015 Puerto Rico Open.  For Armour it was more a challenge of sticking to it, yes he is the all-around journeyman of the PGA Tour.  He turned pro in 1999 after graduating from Ohio State and it was a struggle for him.  After a couple of years going to Q-School he made it to the finals in 2003 and finished T-65th, getting him on the Web.Com Tour.  He toiled for three years on that tour and got his PGA Tour card when he finished T-13th at the 2006 Q-School.  He was successful in 2007, finishing 121st on the money list and keeping his card for 2008, but after that it was a struggled.  He wasn’t able to hold onto his PGA tour card and played back and forth between the PGA Tour and Web.Com Tours.  He played on the PGA Tour in 2017, but again struggled and didn’t keep his tour card.  Going into the Sanderson Farms Championship he had played in 104 events and only finished in the top-10, five times.   His best finish was a T-4th in the Mayakoba Golf Classic and he finished T-4th in the last event of 2017 the Wyndham Championship.  Even with the good finish it wasn’t enough for him to save his PGA Tour card as he was 159th in the FedExCup race.  So for him he had to regain his tour card at the Web.Com Finals and he backed up his great finish at Wyndham with a 2nd at the Nationwide Children’s Championship which help him regain his PGA Tour card for 2018.

So the good news for Armour was to have another year on the PGA Tour, but his tour status wasn’t very high so he couldn’t plan his season.  So it was going to be another year of struggle for him, something that has been the norm for Armour over the years.

Armour was a good player as a junior, at the age of 16 he finished T-5th in the U.S. Junior Amateur, losing to Tiger Woods in the Quarter-finals.  The next year again he faced Tiger, but this time it was in the finals after beating Charles Howell III in the Semi’s.  In the finals it went to extra holes before Tiger was able to beat him in extra holes.  Still Armour’s future looked great.  But golf was a frustration for Armour.  Many times he thought of quiting, but he never did.  In talking with his wife and coach, Jason Carbone, in April, Carbone laid out a five year plan for Armour.  His year wasn’t going very well, he was only able to get into nine events and missed the cut in five of them.  His best finish was T-36th at the RSM Classic so he knew that he had to play well just to retain his tour card.  Him and Carbone made some tweaks over the summer and right before the Wyndham he made some equipment changes which help him become more of a shotmaker.

So with the win it’s validation that he is doing the right thing, but we have seen this before with many others in the same boat as Armour.  Wins means job security for two years and in some cases winning for the first time means they can celebrate.  So for a lot of these first time winners, they just can’t cope with the win, they don’t work on things and before you know it, the two years of exemptions is over and it becomes a struggle.  Here is a stat that shows that, between 2010 and 2016 there have been 87 first time winners and out of that, 50 have never won again.  So it just shows what Ryan Armour has to deal with.

Now the next question will be what kind of player Armour will be after this.  Unfortunately if previous stats mean anything the odds on Armour winning again is very small.  Since 1980 including Armour only 9 players won for the first time when they were over 40.  Of the 8 previous players, only two Bart Bryant and Stephen Ames won again so you can see that doesn’t spell good for Armour.  But maybe Armour can break this jinx when your realize that when Armour won on Sunday he said that he was incline to take some time off and support his wife who is running in the New York Marathon on Sunday.  But instead Armour realize that he has a hot hand going and it would be best for him to play in Las Vegas this week, so maybe Armour can keep the good play up.

So what is the deal on Scott Strohmeyer?

The Sanderson Farms introduced us to a new face on the golf stage, Scott Strohmeyer.  Scott grew up in the Auburn area and played on the University of Alabama golf team, graduating in 2013.  Now while at Alabama he would room with Justin Turner when the team went on the road.  Both turned pro at about the same time after graduating from Alabama, but both went in totally different directions.  Both went to Web.Com Q-school, but while Thomas made it through each stage and earned a Web.Com Tour card, Strohmeyer struggled through the first stage and didn’t move on.  While Thomas had a terrific first year on the Web.Com Tour and then moved onto the PGA Tour, Strohmeyer struggled in mini tour events along with an infection to his body that took years to finally diagnose.  All along he didn’t realize that he had the infection as his body fought it off.  He was married in January of 2015 and two months later was so sick that he couldn’t play golf and went to a clinic.  The infection had gotten so bad that it was in his bladder and prostate and he had to spend a month with a tube inserted into his arm so antibiotics could flow into his body and fight the infection.  After that it took a couple of months just to walk on a golf course.  If that wasn’t bad enough just afterwards he had a stress fracture on his right foot that took the last couple of years just to heal.

Just a month ago Strohmeyer went to Florida and spent some time with his college roommate as he tried to qualify again for the Web.Com Tour, but again didn’t make it out of the first stage.  Despite all of this Thomas has been giving him lot’s of advice and things finally came together in Mississippi.  Last week he shot 68 in the pre-qualifier and in the Monday qualifier shot 68 and waited a couple of hours to find out his faith.  He was tied with three others and went into a playoff for the final spot in the Sanderson Farms.  He won that on the third hole by holing out a bunker shot for eagle on the Par-5 10th hole.  For a guy that had never played in either a PGA Tour or Web.Com event, Strohmeyer looked like a tour veteran shooting 72-67-69.  He didn’t play as well as he would have liked in the final round, but his 71 was still good enough to put him at 10-under to finished T-4th and that gets him into this week’s Shriners Hospitals.

Now to show what a big deal it is Strohmeyer finishing so high in his first PGA Tour event, in the history of the PGA tour only two others have had higher finishes. The best was Jim Benepe who won the 1988 Western Open in his first PGA Tour start, the second best was when Anthony Kim finished T-2nd in his first PGA tour start in the 2006 Valero Texas Open.  Now Strohmeyer isn’t alone with his T-4th finish, Justin Rose also finished T-4th in his first PGA Tour start at the 1988 British Open.

Now for Strohmeyer his future is very fuzzy, unless he has another top-ten finish in Las Vegas, it’s back to Monday qualifying and mini-tour events for him.  Will he ever be back, probably but again it’s a tough grind trying to make it onto the PGA Tour and also the Web.Com Tour.

Advantages of the Wrap-around schedule:

What a great world the PGA Tour is.  Just look at some of the players that had high finishes at the Safeway, CIMB Nine Bridges and Sanderson Farms.  Winners Brendan Steele, Pat Perez, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose and Ryan Armour can now have a comfortable 2018, which is still two months away.  With there victories we know that their Christmas will be special.  The same for players like Tony Finau, he now doesn’t have to worry about the year because he has gotten it off in the proper manner with his runner-up finish at the Safeway.  Even guys like Chesson Hadley, his T-3rd has put $359,600 in his pocket.  Gosh, how far things have gotten, in 1964 Jack Nicklaus won the money race with $113,284 less than what Hadley made.  Oh it took Ben Hogan 16 years on the PGA Tour before he won his first $100,000.  Going a step further, Gene Sarazen collected money on the PGA Tour between 1920 and 1976 and this may seem hard to believe but in his 56 years of playing he won 38 times, seven of them majors and only won $77,787.  So it’s nice to see all these guys doing so well in the 2018 season with 81 days before 2018 official takes place.

One last thing, this week is the 21st anniversary of Tiger Woods first win on the PGA Tour.  In 1996 he won the Shriners by beating Davis Love III in a playoff.  For the victory he won $297,000, $5,000 more than what Jonathan Randolph won for finishing 3rd at the Sanderson Farms last week.  Talking about Tiger, he has entered the Hero World Challenge next month, we will see what happens then.

Off to Sin City:

The oldest running fall event, Shriners Hospital for Children has all of the glamour of Las Vegas on a course that a lot of players like to play on.  For some this will be a fun week with a little bit of golf mixed in with the fast-pace action of Las Vegas.

Founded in 1983 as the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro-Celebrity Classic, the event has undergone six name changes in the events history. Frys.Com became the Title Sponsor for the event in 2006, replacing its former title, the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas.  2007 was the final year of Fry’s involvement and in 2008 Justin Timberlake took on the duties of becoming the tournament presenter with Shriners Hospitals for Children sponsoring the event.  Timberlake is no longer associated with the tournament.

At the tournament’s inception, the managers of the tournament prided themselves on running a tournament that stood out amongst the slew of annual PGA events. It was the first event to offer a total purse of $1 million; at the trophy presentation, the winner used to receive his trophy with two showgirls by his side. Though these ideas help separate the event from others, the most drastic deviation from the norm is the tournament’s format, which in a way “borrowed” the format at the Bob Hope Open.

In its inception, the tournament was played over five rounds at between three and four courses. However, in 2003, when the original tournament founders abdicated control to another volunteer organization, the event was immediately switched to the more conventional four round format. Over the years, courses have been dropped and for the 8th straight year it’s only played on the TPC Summerlin.

One thing about this event, it’s always nice winning an event but for some of it’s past champions they never got back to the winners circle again on the PGA Tour.  Look at the 17 past winners since 2000, only seven Ryan Moore (2012), Jonathan Byrd (2010), Martin Laird (2009), George McNeill (2007), Troy Matteson (2006), Stuart Appleby (2003) and Bob Estes (2001) won again.  The others, Rod Pampling (2017),Smylie Kaufman (2016) Ben Martin (2015), Webb Simpson (2014), Kevin Na (2011), Marc Turnesa (2008), Wes Short Jr. (2005), Andre Stolz (2004), Phil Tataurangi (2002) and Billy Andrade (2000) never made it back to the winners circle on the PGA Tour and some of them don’t even play anymore on the PGA Tour.

Course information:

  • TPC Summerlin was designed by Bobby Weed and Fuzzy Zoeller in 1992. The Par 71 course measures 7,255 yards. It has a course rating of 74.3 and a slope rating of 139. The tees, fairways, and rough all comprise of 419 Bermuda Grass, cut at 3/8″, 3/8″, and 2″ respectively. The greens consist of a 1/8″ cut of A-1/A-4 Creeping Bent Grass. This short cut mixed with the always speedy Bent Grass explains the rather Stimpmeter reading of 11 feet. As for hazards, the course features 99 sand bunkers (with 51 around the greens) and water comes into play on four holes.
  • The signature hole at TPC Summerlin is the short 341-yard par four 15th hole. The large elevated green is reachable from the tee; however, numerous bunkers guard the green, making the play risky, but possibly very rewarding. As for accolades, Golf Digest rated this as the fourth “Best in State” course for 1995-96, and the fifth best for 1997-98. Also, GolfWeek awarded it 98th in the category of “America’s 100 Best Modern Courses” for 1997.
  • Last year was the ninth time that Summerlin was the only course used and they made a big change in 2009 changing par to 71 by making the third hole a long par 4 at 473 yards.  In addition to this change, trees were added along the right side of the fairways on Nos. 9 and 16, both par 5s. The rough also was grown longer than in years past and for holes 7, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 16 the fairways are going to be between 3 and 5 yards narrower than in 2008.  All of these changed to try and make the course play a bit tougher.  In 2008 Summerlin played to an average of 69.070, while in 2009 with par reduced it played just about the same, 69.152. In 2010 it played to a 68.956 average, while in 2011 it was 68.883, 2012 was 69.713 and the 40th toughest course at of 49. In 2014 the course played to a 69.546 average and was the 43rd hardest course out of 48.  In 2015 the course played to a 69.659 average and was the 42nd hardest course out of the 52 played.  In 2016 the course played to a 70.080 and was the 34th hardest course out of 50. Last year the course played to a 69.622 and was the 40th hardest course out of 49 courses that was played in 2017.
  • Lot’s of birdies are made on this course, last year 1,820 were made along with 61 eagles.  The finish is demanding with the par 3 17th hole played the fifth hardest hole at 3.053 while the 18th hole was the 12th hardest at 3.942.

Let’s take a look at key stats that are important for those playing at TPC Summerlin:

This is based on the most vital stats from TPC Summerlin based on data from last year’s Shriners Hospital for Children and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2017.
TPC Summerlin has a long history on the PGA Tour, it was first part of the Shriners rota in 1992 just after the course opened when the tournament was 90 holes and utilized three courses. Starting in 1995 it was the home course of the event and became the sole venue of the tournament in 2008. The course has always been well respected and for a desert course is one of the hardest. The Par 71 course measures 7,255 yards. It has a course rating of 74.3 and a slope rating of 139. The players love the course, many since they can score low on it on a normal day without wind.

Last year the course played to a 69.62 scoring average, a shot and a half under par. It was the 40th hardest course on the PGA Tour. One of the reasons for the low scoring is the three par 5s, they played to an average of of 4.54, as the field of 144 was 598 under par. So with that thinking you may think the course is a bombers delight, but it really isn’t. If you look at the winners of this event since 2008 only one bomber won the event, Smylie Kaufman in 2016. But in looking at all of the other winners, champions like Rod Pampling, Ben Martin, Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore and Marc Turnesa have always been part of the bottom third of drivers so they don’t hit it far. So what kind of players wins at TPC Summerlin?

Of the ten champions since 2007, five of them were in the top-five of greens in regulation and only one champion, Kevin Na, was higher than 13th (Na was 40th when he won in 2011). Another important item is putting, five of the winners were in the top-10 in putting average with only two not in the top-20. The one stat that seems important is that of the ten winners, seven of them were in double digits in under par figures on the par 4s. 2010 winner Jonathan Byrd was the best at 14 under, last year Rod Pampling was 13 under on the par 4s.

In looking at the course averages from last year, the one thing that sticks out is that TPC Summerlin was the 7th hardest course to drive it on the fairway. Last year it was the hardest in looking at the history of the course, in 2016 it ranked 11th and in 2015 it was 17th so hitting it straight is important. In looking at our champions since 2009, all of them finished in the top-20 with last year’s winner Rod Pampling ranking T-15th. Some other keys to playing well is making lot’s of birdies, last year Pampling had 24 birdies and 2 eagles, so meaning that for every three holes he played, he was under par on 1 hole.

One important item is the weather, everyday is mostly perfect in Las Vegas this time of year with lot’s of sun and temperatures in the mid-70s. But if the wind blows, that is the only true challenge for the players. Last year there was very little wind, reason for the low scores. But this year it will be windy, on Thursday it will blow 12 mph, on Friday and Sunday 14 mph and Saturday the wind will blow at 17 mph which will make things harder for the players.

So in looking at our four categories, we see how much driving hit straight and far makes a difference. So we pick Strokes Gained off-the-tee because driving is the key to playing well. Our second important category is proximity to the hole. The course ranked 39th in greens hit which means lot’s of greens will be hit, but something that is striking is the course ranked 11th last year in proximity to hole, averaging 37 feet, 3 inches from the hole. So in order to make birdies, the person that gets his shots from the fairways close will do very well. Next up we pick not only scrambling but Sand saves, because if the greens are missed you have to still make par. Last year the field averaged 11th in scrambling and with 51 greenside bunkers, the field was 5th in sand save percentage so our third category is strokes Gained Around-the-Green. Last we pick par breakers which is the combination of birdies and eagles made during the round. Making lot’s of birdies and eagles is always important, especially on a desert course like TPC Summerlin.

*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: Looks at the combination of length off the tee and accuracy, then getting the ball on the green so it determines who is best at all of these items.

*Proximity to Hole: The average length of that a shot going into the green leaves a player.

*Strokes Gained Around-the-Green: Looks at the combination of gaining strokes by getting up and down after missing a green.

*Par Breakers: Combination of birdies and eagles to get a percentage of holes played under par

93 of the 144 Players from this year’s field with stats from 2017:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is the link to the other 83 of 144 players playing in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open:

Key stat for the winner:

Making lots of birdies is important.  The average for the last 13 winners since the course reverted to a 72 hole affair is is 22 under and the winners average making 25 birdies per event or six and a quarter per round.  So the secret is to make a lot of birdies.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • With fairways that are wide open, fairways with lots of roll, dominating the par 5s has been a key.  It’s also interesting to note that in the last 13 years the winners have averaged 10 under par on the par 4s.  Last year Rod Pampling was 13 under on the par 4s, in 2016 Smylie Kaufman was 6 under on the par 4s while Ben Martin was 9 under in 2015 and in 2014 Webb Simpson was 12 under the same as Ryan Moore was in 2012. Jonathan Byrd was the best at 14 under in 2010 while the least lowest was 6 under by George McNeill in 2007.
  • Being an accurate driver, a long driver or a person that hits a lot of greens doesn’t give you a big advantage.  Scrambling is very important it ranked 10th on the PGA Tour last year.  If there ever was a tournament that favors the newcomer, this is it.
  • Most of the time the weather is wonderful, but every now and then high winds bring big challenges to the players, those that can handle these conditions have the advantage.  But this year it will be windy, on Thursday it will blow 12 mph, on Friday and Sunday 14 mph and Saturday the wind will blow at 17 mph which will make things harder for the players
  • You have to realize were your at, in Las Vegas “lady luck” is very important in winning, a lot of players that you would never think would win have found the “luck factor” in victory.

Who to watch for at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Best Bets:

Webb Simpson

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T31 T56 T4 Win T4 CUT

Of all the players in the field he has the most upside of anybody, for playing well of late to being able to win at TPC Summerlin. He is good with the driver, getting it onto the greens and scrambling.

Chesson Hadley

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T62 CUT T5

The hottest player in the field he finished 2nd last week and T-3rd at Safeway. Knows how to play TPC Summerlin, he was T-5th in 2014.

Anirban Lahiri

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Another who has played well of late, has been in the top-ten in his last three starts. Never played in this event. Another thing that plays in his favor, he makes a lot of birdies.

Best of the rest:

Tony Finau

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T41 T16 T7

Playing well right now, has shown with his T-7th in Vegas in 2015 that he can play this course.

Kevin Na

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T2 WD CUT T22 Win T45 T15 T19 T24

Has played well in the past including a win at TPC Summerlin, great in hitting shots into greens and scrambling.

Luke List

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T15

Not only was he T-15th last year, but was T-9th in Korea and T-13th at the CIMB, guy makes a lot of birdies and eagles.

Ryan Armour

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT CUT T66

Comes into this event on a high after winning in Mississippi.

Solid contenders

Ryan Moore

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T15 T43 CUT T9 Win CUT T7 T24 T54 T85 T16

Past champion who lives in Vegas, he always finds his way up the leaderboard on the weekends.

Patrick Cantlay

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Has all of the stats that point to a good week, good with the driver and makes lot’s of birdies. Was T-15th in China last week, never played in this event.

Kevin Chappell

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T62 CUT T40

Another of those quiet type of guys to watch, finished the year strongly and hasn’t played since Tour Championship so should be ready to go.

Jamie Lovemark

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T13

Another sleeper to watch, he played well in Korea and should play well this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Scott Brown

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T73 T10 CUT T46

Has played well this year including T-5th in Korea.

Alex Cekja

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Was runner-up in 2016 at TPC Summerlin, finished Web.Com Tour strongly.

Chad Campbell

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T61 T8 CUT T36 T54 T23 T28 T2 T3 T74 T16 T67

Plays his best on desert courses and in high wind.

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