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BlogShriners Hospitals Preview and Picks

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

October 3rd – 6th, 2019

TPC Summerlin

Las Vegas, NV

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,255

Purse: $7 million

with $1,260,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Bryson DeChambeau

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 46 of the top 100 and 19 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with three top-ten players in the field.  Those top-50 players are  #1 Brooks Koepka, #7 Patrick Cantlay, #10 Bryson DeChambeau, #13 Tony Finau, #14 Webb Simpson, #17 Adam Scott, #18 Gary Woodland, #27 Chez Reavie, #28 Hideki Matsuyama, #31 Bubba Watson, #39 Brandt Snedeker, #40 Kevin Na, #41 Abraham Ancer, #42 Keegan Bradley, #44 Phil Mickelson, #45 Andrew Putnam, #46 Byeong Hun An, #48 Adam Hadwin and #50 Jim Furyk.

Last year there were 22 top-100 players and 9 out of the top-50 so the field has drastically been improved, probably because of the change of date.

The field includes 18 of the Top 25 on this year’s FedEx point standings.  Those players are #1 Sebastian Munoz, #2 Cameron Champ, #3 Joaquin Niemann, #6 Adam Hadwin , #8 Byeong Hun An, #10 Brian Harman, #T-12 Dylan Frittelli, #T-12 Lanto Griffin, #14 Cameron Percy, #T-15 Carlos Ortiz, #T-15 Scottie Scheffler #17 Nate Lashley, #18 Bronson Burgoon, #19 Mark Hubbard, #20 Kevin Streelman, #22 Robby Shelton, #T-23 Zac Blair and #T-23 Charles Howell III.

The field includes 8 past champions: Bryson DeChambeau (2019), Patrick Cantlay (2018), Rod Pampling (2017), Smylie Kaufman (2016), Webb Simpson (2014), Ryan Moore (2012), Kevin Na (2011) 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 the 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 Safeway Open Dunhill Links Sanderson Farms BMW PGA The Greenbrier Korn Ferry Tour Champ. Tour Champ. Boise Open BMW Champ. Children’s Hospital Northern Trust Portland Open Wyndham Champ.
Sebastian Munoz
(208.17 pts)
T33
(17)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T43
(3.5)
DNP T48
(0.67)
Scottie Scheffler
(192.33 pts)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T7
(55)
T7
(36.67)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP Win
(44)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Cameron Champ
(165.17 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP T28
(22)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP T21
(14.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Joaquin Niemann
(163.83 pts)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(9.5)
DNP T30
(10)
DNP T13
(12.33)
Adam Scott
(150.5 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 6
(60)
DNP T9
(22.5)
DNP 5
(35)
DNP DNP
Lanto Griffin
(146.67 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP 13
(37)
T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brian Harman
(146 pts)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP T6
(20)
Tony Finau
(145 pts)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP 7
(55)
DNP 4
(40)
DNP T30
(10)
DNP DNP
Bronson Burgoon
(134.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Tom Lewis
(133 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-10)
Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Mark Hubbard
(132.67 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP
Brandt Snedeker
(132.67 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP T45
(5)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T5
(35)
DNP T6
(30)
DNP T39
(3.67)
Byeong Hun An
(130 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP T47
(3)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(11)
DNP T38
(6)
DNP 3
(30)
Cameron Percy
(126.33 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP 63
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP DNP
Fabian Gomez
(121 pts)
T56
(0)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP CUT
(-10)
2
(66.67)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP T7
(18.33)
T13
(12.33)
Dylan Frittelli
(115.17 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP T43
(3.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brooks Koepka
(113 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP T24
(13)
DNP T30
(10)
DNP DNP
Charles Howell III
(112.83 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 28
(22)
DNP T37
(6.5)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP T22
(9.33)
Harold Varner III
(109 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP 68
(0)
DNP T3
(45)
DNP T60
(0)
Patrick Cantlay
(108 pts)
T40
(10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP 2
(50)
DNP T12
(19)
DNP DNP
Adam Hadwin
(103.67 pts)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T43
(3.5)
DNP T43
(3.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Zac Blair
(100.33 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T9
(30)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP T24
(8.67)
DNP
J.T. Poston
(100 pts)
DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T16
(17)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP Win
(44)
Webb Simpson
(96.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T24
(13)
DNP T18
(16)
DNP 2
(33.33)
Robby Shelton
(94 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP T28
(22)
DNP T7
(55)
T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP
Kramer Hickok
(93.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
3
(60)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Hideki Matsuyama
(86.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP 3
(45)
DNP T30
(10)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Carlos Ortiz
(83.67 pts)
T40
(10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
DNP T39
(3.67)
Jason Kokrak
(80.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 14
(36)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP T12
(19)
DNP T6
(20)
Harry Higgs
(79.67 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Bryson DeChambeau
(79 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP T48
(1)
DNP T24
(13)
DNP DNP
Abraham Ancer
(76.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP T28
(11)
DNP 2
(50)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Nate Lashley
(75 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP 69
(0)
DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP DNP
Rob Oppenheim
(74 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T24
(26)
T33
(11.33)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP 6
(20)
DNP
Chez Reavie
(73.67 pts)
T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 8
(50)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP T38
(6)
DNP T48
(0.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Safeway Open Dunhill Links Sanderson Farms BMW PGA The Greenbrier Korn Ferry Tour Champ. Tour Champ. Boise Open BMW Champ. Children’s Hospital Northern Trust Portland Open Wyndham Champ.
Nelson Ledesma
(-41.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
(-38.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Martin Trainer
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sepp Straka
(-31.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP T39
(3.67)
Matt Every
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP DNP
Michael Kim
(-28.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Luke List
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T77
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Stadler
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Patton Kizzire
(-22.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP T13
(12.33)
Maverick McNealy
(-22.67 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz

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-paced action of Las Vegas.

Founded in 1983 as the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro-Celebrity Classic, the event has undergone six name changes in the event’s 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 11th 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 its past champions, they never got back to the winners’ circle again on the PGA Tour.  Look at the 18 past winners since 2000, only nine Patrick Cantlay (2018) Webb Simpson (2014), Ryan Moore (2012), Jonathan Byrd (2010), Martin Laird (2009), George McNeill (2007), Troy Matteson (2006), Stuart Appleby (2003) and Bob Estes (2001) won again on the PGA Tour.  The others, Bryson DeChambeau (2019), 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.

The big move in schedule brings out the best field for Vegas:

For the last four years, this event has been stuck in a November slot right after the Asian Tour.  We can see how the fields were poor, there was no real incentive to play here other than the course or city.  This year with the fall schedule moving up a month this event moves up to the first week of October and played right after Safeway and has gotten it’s best field ever.  46 top-100 players with seven top-20 players including #1 Brooks Koepka, U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and past Masters champions Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson make it the best field this event has ever had.

Talking about an early start, for Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz and now Cameron Champ 2020 may be three months away but their season is off to a great start, with their victories we know that their Christmas will be special.  The same for Adam Hadwin, Sungjae Im and Tom Hoge who finished runner-up in one of the three events of the year.  All can now glide the rest of the way, a perfect example of that was Cameron Champ who last year won the Sanderson Farms Championship.  Shortly afterward he finished T-10th at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, was 6th at the RSM Classic and T-11th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.  After that, he started to struggle with every part of his game and in March at the Arnold Palmer noticed some tightness in his back.  He tried to play through it but his back locked up and he had full body spasm.  He played in six straight events without making a check and his game was in full free-fall.  It’s hard to believe after such a great start, in his last 16 starts he only made five checks and his best finish was T-21st in the Northern Trust.  Good news because of his great start he was able to play in two of the three FedExCup playoff events and finish 62nd in the final standings.  He was able to regroup with his swing coach Sean Foley.  He also hired putting coach John Graham and between the two of them, Champ was able to turn things around and won in Tampa.  In just three events it’s been a pretty good year.

So why are so many marque players, playing?

You have to play in the fall now, it’s not a “junk” section.  We are talking about 11 official events in 10 weeks.  That’s a fifth of the 49 events on the PGA Tour.  Between the start of the season and the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January there will be $81,750,000 in prize money given away, which isn’t peanuts.  You just can’t sit at home and let all of this money and FedExCup points go away without dipping into it.  So that is why you are seeing more and more marquee players like Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas now playing.  It’s a small fortune they are playing for these days.  To think just 23 years ago in 1996 the year Tiger Woods joined the PGA Tour Tom Lehman won the money list with $1,780,159.  In three starts in the 2020 season, Sebastian Munoz has won $1,458,086.  50 years ago Frank Beard won the money title with $164,707, about the same amount that Cameron Tringale, who is 35th on the money list has won in 3 starts this year. 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.  Doc Redman is 58th on the money list with winnings of $75,700 in just three starts, oh how times have changed.

One last thing, this week is the 23rd 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, $19,250 more than what Justin Thomas, Charles Howell III, and Zac Blair won for finishing T-4th at the Safeway Open last week.

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 11th 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. In 2017 the course played to a 69.622 and was the 40th hardest course out of 49 courses that was played in 2017.  In 2018 due to high winds it had a course rating of 71.54 making it the 10th hardest course on tour.  Last year with no winds the course ranking was 69.13 and it was the 43rd hardest course on tour.

Lots of birdies are made on this course, last year 1,785 were made along with 53 eagles.  The finish is demanding with the par 3 17th hole played the 8th hardest hole at 3.015 while the 18th hole was the 7th hardest at 4.017.

Let’s take a look at vital 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 2019.
TPC Summerlin has a long history on the PGA Tour, it was the 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 with calm conditions the course played easily at a 69.13 average which ranked 43rd on the PGA Tour. But the year before in very high winds up to 25 mph on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the course played a lot tougher than previous years with a 71.54 scoring average, a half over par. It was the 10th hardest course on the PGA Tour, showing how weather can affect things. In 2017 Summerlin played to a 69.62 average and was the 40th hardest course on tour. So with that, it changed the minds of many who thought the course was a bombers delight, 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. Last year’s winner Bryson DeChambeau was 30th for the week and T-34th over 2019 while Patrick Cantlay in 2018 was T-8th in driving distance and 33rd for the year. So what kind of players wins at TPC Summerlin?

Of the 13 champions since 2007, six of them were in the top-five of greens in regulation and only two champions, Patrick Cantlay in 2017 was T-17th and Kevin Na, were both higher than 13th (Na was 40th when he won in 2011). Another important item is putting, six of the winners were in the top-10 in putting average with only two not in the top-20 (Cantlay was 9th last year). The one stat that seems important is that of the last 12 winners, eight of them were in double digits in under par figures on the par 4s. 2010 winner Jonathan Byrd was the best at 14 under, in 2017 Rod Pampling was 13 under, 2018 champion Patrick Cantlay was 9 under on the par 4s and Bryson DeChambeau was 12 under last year. (This is important, Cantlay led the par 4s with the best average, it was down due to the winds).

In looking at the course averages from last year, the one thing that sticks out is that TPC Summerlin was the 28th hardest course to drive it in the fairway in calm conditions but in windy conditions in 2018 it was the 8th hardest course to drive. In 2017 it was 7th, 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 Bryson DeChambeau ranking 4th in driving accuracy while Patrick Cantlay ranked T-5th in 2018. Some other keys to playing well are making lots of birdies, last year DeChambeau had 22 birdies while in 2018 Cantlay had 20 birdies which were tied for the most of the tournament and an average of one in every 3 and a half holes played.

One important item is the weather, every day is mostly perfect in Las Vegas this time of year with lots of sun and temperatures in the mid-80s. The good news for the players, each day the winds will be low averaging about 6 mph.
https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/1041657:5:US

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 T-13th last year and 44th in greens hit last year. In 2018 in the wind, it was 5th in Proximity to Hole and 28th in Greens in Regulation which means lots of greens will be hit. 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 5th in scrambling and with 51 greenside bunkers, the field was 11th in sand save percentage so our third category is Strokes Gained Around-the-Green. Last we pick par breakers which are the combination of birdies and eagles made during the round. Making lots 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

122 of the 144 players from this year’s field with stats from 2020. Players like Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Gary Woodland and Webb Simpson don’t have stats yet:

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

Here is a look at the other 112 players and their stats for 2020

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:
  • Brooks Koepka – $11,700
  • Patrick Cantlay- $11,100
  • Bryce DeChambeau – $10,700
  • Webb Simpson – $10,200
  • Adam Scott – $10,000
  • Tony Finau – $9,800
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $9,700
  • Gary Woodland – $9,500
  • Collin Morikawa – $9,500
  • Joaquin Niemann – $9,400
  • Cameron Champ $9,300
  • Brandt Snedeker – $9,200
  • Adam Hadwin – $9,100
  • Byeong Hun An – $9,000

What a great field, the best that Las Vegas has gotten in years.  With it, I see no players to really shy away from which makes it tough.  What has happened on Tour in the first three events is some really young great stars winning, something that is different.  In past years fall events have produce winners that had no sticking power but we saw this changing last year when Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Champ and Charles Howell III won.  So yes we are still looking for that future star, but more upon the lines of a Byeong Hun An or a Scottie Scheffler or even Lucas Bjerregaard.  Again it’s very easy to say hey Brooks Koepka and Patrick Cantlay are your guys for this week but as we know DraftKings is more than picking winners, we have to also pick guys that produce lots of birdies and eagles.

So first up is Brooks Koepka at $11,700 yes he is Brooks Koepka and yes he will probably contend.  Last time he played in this event in 2017 he finished 2nd and made the most birdies 25.  He missed the cut in 2016 but finished T-4th in 2015, making 3 eagles and 13 birdies so yes he is a very good pick despite the fact of no playing in over a month.  Now Koepka didn’t play since the Tour Championship and revealed to the media on Wednesday at the Shriners that on September 2nd he had a stem cell procedure done on a partially torn patella tendon that had been bothering him since March.  He spent 3 weeks rehabbing the knee and says that for the first time his body is 100% pain free.  Brooks had some wrist problems in 2018 and that is now finally 100% so it will be interesting to see how he does.  Patrick Cantlay at $11,100 is also a great choice and probably better than Koepka when you consider he was 2nd in this event last year with 26 birdies and won in 2018 with 20 birdies.  So frankly we shouldn’t have to go any further in this price category, you have two good choices.  But we will go through the motions. Bryce DeChambeau is $10,700 and won this last year with 22 birdies and one eagle and he was T-7th in 2018.  He also played good last week in Safeway which could muddle things up a bit.  Webb Simpson is $10,200 and plays well in this event, nothing in the order of the first three but Simpson won here in 2014.  He is playing for the first time this year and frankly when you have such great numbers for the others above him why think about Simpson, he is a no for me.  Adam Scott at $10,000 is someone to think about, he has never played in this event but he has played very well of late, makes lots of birdies and even though you can’t take him should consider him because I think he is ready to win and win soon.  Tony Finau at $9,800 I say no because he hasn’t played that great in Las Vegas and is coming back from playing in Europe.  Hideki Matsuyama is $9,700 and despite finishing T-10th in his only Vegas start in 2015 I say no just because he doesn’t have the power to make enough birdies to keep pace with others.  Gary Woodland at $9,500 is someone to think about, he has been ok in Vegas finishing T-10th last year.  But he hasn’t played since the Tour Championship so I say no to him.  Collin Morikawa at $9,500 is a rookie and many will take him because he can do anything but I am going to hold off on him because his price is too high.  The same with Joaquin Niemann at $9,400, yes he won three weeks ago and finished T-10th but his price is way too high.  Cameron Champ at $9,300 is a not just because he won and will have a lot of baggage with his grandfather who is about to die, they were very close.  Brandt Snedeker at $9,200 is a not, sorry just not a good enough record in Vegas and doesn’t make enough birdies.  Adam Hadwin at $9,100 could be a good choice due to him finishing 2nd last week in Safeway but he doesn’t have the numbers in Vegas and he is another no.  Last is Byeong Hun An at $9,000 and he is another no, just not enough birdie power.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money:

Dylan Frittelli at $8,900 may be a rookie in this event but he finished T-6th at the Sanderson Farms and T-7th at the Safeway.  On top of that, was 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-te-Green and 1st in Par Breakers.  Scottie Scheffler at $8,800 is expensive for a rookie but he is playing well this year and is 3rd in Par Breakers along with being 10th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green.  Take a look at Charles Howell III at $8,500, he has a good record at TPC Summerlin with 4 top-tens but I like that he is 6th in Par Breakers for the year.  J.T. Poston at $8,500 is my top pick, he was T-4th in this event in 2018 and for the year was T-11th at the Sanderson Farms were he was 5th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, 4th in Strokes Gained Around-the-Green and 6th in Par Breakers.  Kevin Na is $7,700 and he has a Jeckel and Hyde record at this event, but he is a past winner and you never know.

*Some of the “bargains” this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Hard to believe that you can get Keegan Bradley so cheap at $7,500, at that price it’s a no-brainer since he is 13th in Par Breakers.  Like Lucas Bjerregaard at $7,300 who has returned from Europe and is ready to go.  Chesson Hadley is $7,100 is a great choice considering that in five starts he has three top-seven finishes including a T-7th last year and T-4th in 2018.  It may be worthwhile placing Lanto Griffin at $7,200 on your team, he has been in the top-20 in all three starts this year.  Also like Zach Johnson at $7,100, he has played well this year.  Nobody will be picking Cameron Percy at $7,000, this Aussie has played well the last two weeks and could do well this week.

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

The key stat for the winner:

Making lots of birdies is important.  The average for the last 15 winners since the course reverted to a 72 hole affair is is 22 under and the winners average making 24 birdies per event or six 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 15 years the winners have averaged 10 under par on the par 4s.  Last year Bryson DeChambeau was 12 under the best of anyone in the field.  In 2018 Patrick Cantlay was 1 over the only time a winner has been over par but remember it was very windy.  In 2017 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 6th 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, it should be that way this year, with very little wind.
  • You have to realize where you’re 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:

Adam Scott

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

I really think he is on the verge of winning soon and that is this week.

Brooks Koepka

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
2 CUT T4 CUT

He should own this place, it’s perfect for his game with his straight driver and tee to green game. He also makes a lot of birdies, the only problem he hasn’t played in a bit and may treat this week as a pre-season workout.  Says that he had a knee procedure done on September 2nd and now for the first time since March is pain free and able to practice, so he may be even stronger in the coming year.

Patrick Cantlay

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
2 Win

Course is great for him and he has proven it with his good play on it.

Best of the rest:

Bryson DeChambeau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
Win T7 T36

Loves this course and his game is coming around.

Scottie Scheffler

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

A rookie but he is playing well this year and is 3rd in Par Breakers along with being 10th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green.

Hideki Matsuyama

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T10

Course is perfect for his game, he should have a good week.

Joaquin Niemann

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T10

Like him on this course.

Collin Morikawa

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

First start of the year (Sorry, was T-10th at Safeway), look for him to have a great week.

Solid contenders

Webb Simpson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T15 T20 T31 T56 T4 Win T4 CUT

Past champion that can do anything on this course.

Charles Howell III

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T15 70 T18 T5 CUT T18 T54 T10 CUT

Guy has played a lot of golf at this event, has been hit or miss so it’s a toss-up on how he will do.

Tony Finau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T36 T16 T41 T16 T7

Coming back from playing in Europe, he is good on this course.

Gary Woodland

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T10 T18

His driver is perfect for this course, could be a bit rusty.

Cameron Champ

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T28

Winner last week, only problem I see is the health of his grandfather but the course is good for him.

Long shots that could come through:

Dylan Frittelli

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

A rookie in this event but he finished T-6th at the Sanderson Farms and T-7th at the Safeway.

J.T. Poston

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT T4 CUT

Was T-4th in this event in 2018 and for the year was T-11th at the Sanderson Farms were he was 5th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, 4th in Strokes Gained Around-the-Green and 6th in Par Breakers.

Cameron Percy

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T72 T52 T2

This Aussie has played well the last two weeks and could do well this week.

Comments

  1. Morikawa finished T10 at the Safeway last week. It is not his first start of the year.

  2. Ok, have fixed

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