Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's Shriners Open Tips 2023

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Congratulations if you were on-board Luke List who was a 50/1 chance for the Sanderson Farms Championship last week. Commiserations if you were on Ben Griffin.

This week we move to Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2023 Shriners Hospital‘s Open. The PGA Tour has visited Vegas since 1983 and the tournament has had some high-class winners over the years including Tiger Woods (his first Tour victory), Jim Furyk (twice), Kevin Na (twice), Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Sungjae Im and Tom Kim. Many of this week’s field in Las Vegas will jump on a charter flight and head out to play the no-cut ZOZO Championship in Japan next week.

The highlight of the field, however, is LPGA star Lexi Thompson, who fresh from a Solheim Cup appearance plays the Shriners this week on a sponsor’s exemption.

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Before we go into the detail surrounding the Shriners Children’s Open, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +6,300 strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

Course Guide: TPC Summerlin, based in the suburbs of Las Vegas, has been the sole host of this tournament for over 20 years. The 7,255 yard, Par 71 has a 35-36 set-up and the course is designed to produce low scores. Played at altitude, all 3 of the par-5s are reachable for the whole field and the pure Bentgrass green complexes are large, flat and usually receptive.

2016 saw an opening round -11/60 from eventual champion Rod Pampling, plus -10/61 from both Francesco Molinari and Chez Reavie, highlighting that this course can be smashed by those with a sensible approach and a hot putter. Across the past 3 renewals, we’ve also seen Lucas Glover, Kevin Na, Matthew Wolff and Patrick Cantlay shoot -10/61s, highlighting that ball-strikers and short game experts alike can all torch this course.

TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada: Designer: Weed & Zoeller, 1991, redesign, 2007; Course Type: Resort, Altitude, Desert, Short; Par: 71; Length: 7,255 yards; Holes with Water Hazards In-Play: 4; Fairways: Bandera Bermudagrass; Rough: 419 Bermudagrass 2.25″; Greens: 7,400 sq.ft average featuring Dominator Bentgrass; Stimpmeter: 11.5ft.

Course Scoring Average: 2012: 69.71 (-1.29), Difficulty Rank 40 of 49 courses; 2013: 69.55 (-1.45), Difficulty Rank 43 of 43 courses; 2014: 69.66 (-1.34), Difficulty Rank 42 of 52 courses. 2015: 70.08 (-0.92), Difficulty Rank 34 of 50 courses. 2016: 69.62 (-1.38) Difficulty Rank 40 of 50 courses. 2017: 71.54 (+0.54), Difficulty Rank 10 of 51 courses. 2018: 69.37 (-1.63), Difficulty 38 of 49 courses. 2019: 68.86 (-2.14), Difficulty Rank 39 of 41 courses. 2020: 68.34 (-2.66), Difficulty Rank 48 of 51 courses. 2021: 68.93 (-2.07), Difficulty Rank 42 of 50 courses. 2022: 69.01 (-1.99), Difficulty Rank 42 of 50 courses.

Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for TPC Summerlin and how they compare to recent courses on Tour:

  • TPC Summerlin: 250 yards from the tee: 35 yards wide; 275:37; 300:33; 325:30; 350:31.
  • CC of Jackson: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:28; 300:29; 325:28; 350:25.
  • Silverado: 250 yards from the tee: 27 yards wide; 275:26; 300:24; 325:25; 350:24.
  • East Lake: 250 yards from the tee: 28 yards wide; 275:26; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • TPC Southwind: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:29; 300:28; 325:31; 350:25.
  • Sedgefield: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:28; 300:26 325:23; 350:22.
  • TPC Twin Cities: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:38; 300:31; 325:30; 350:36.
  • TPC Deere Run: 250 yards from tee: 41 yards wide; 275:40; 300:36 325:33; 350:30.
  • TPC River Highlands: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:36; 300:29; 325:29; 350:28.

Course Overview: Part of the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Network of golf courses operated by the PGA Tour, Summerlin is a Private Club that’s played regularly by Vegas-based professionals. Doug Ghim, Harry Hall, Charley Hoffman, David Lipsky, Taylor Montgomery, Ryan Moore, Scott Piercy, Justin Suh and Nick Watney all have residences in the area. Claude and Butch Harmon also have a Las Vegas training centre, hence the entry for Jimmy Walker.

The course itself features Bermudagrass fairways and rough with pure Bentgrass green complexes. That characteristic is shared with few courses on Tour apart from Colonial. The 2013 renewal saw the introduction of new bunkering on 7, 12, 13 (Par 5) and 18, but despite that Webb Simpson equalled the tournament total score record at -24/260.

The course plays as a 7,255 yard, Par 71 which at above 2,000 feet above sea level can be attacked, however the greens have certain nuances where experience tends to pay dividends. 2018 saw 102 new bunkers in-play – it’s the same number as before, but many were relocated with fairway bunkers moved into modern day landing areas. Again this work has been put in place to try and force players to be strategic and discourage “bomb and gouge.” It hasn’t lowered winning totals though with DeChambeau shooting -21/263, Na & Laird -23/261, and Sungjae Im & Tom Kim equalling the tournament total score record of -24/260 over the past 5 years. In summary, you can plot a great score around here.

Half of the challenge with TPC Summerlin is finding the fairway. In a PGA Tour arena where Driving Accuracy means very little most weeks, it’s interesting to note that hitting fairways on this course is of paramount importance when analysing previous winners’ statistics. Undoubtedly missing fairways adds up here as working approach shots so as to get close to pins around Summerlin is not as easy as you would think, plus on a course where birdies are essential, the penalty for missing fairways are par-saving putts rather than birdie opportunities. Miss greens and both Sand Save and Scrambling difficulty here tends to be in the top 10 most difficult on Tour each season.

And that difficulty around the green really poses a problem if the wind does blow here. Take 2017 when Patrick Cantlay won his first PGA Tour title at a very un-TPC Summerlin -9/275 winning score.

TPC Summerlin in effect is a positional golf course, where outright brute force is negated to a neutral type setting. As Kevin Na said in 2020, “Yes, this is a great golf course for me. I think you have to really drive the ball well and keep it in the fairway so you can control the spin. I know the roughs are not deep, but because of these greens and some of the hole locations, you have to hit the fairway to be able to spin the ball. You don’t have to bomb it out here. Anybody can win out here.”

shriners open tips

Shriners Children’s Open Winners: 2022: Tom Kim (-24); 2021: Sungjae Im (-24); 2020: Martin Laird (-23), 2019: Kevin Na (-23); 2018: Bryson DeChambeau (-21); 2017: Patrick Cantlay (-9); 2016: Rod Pampling (-20); 2015: Smylie Kaufman (-16); 2014: Ben Martin (-20); 2013: Webb Simpson (-24); 2012: Ryan Moore (-24); 2011: Kevin Na (-23); 2010: Jonathan Byrd (-24).

  • 2022: Tom Kim 65-67-62-66 -24/260 AM/PM Wave
  • 2021: Sungjae Im 63-65-70-62 -24/260 AM/PM Wave
  • 2020: Martin Laird 65-63-65-68 -23/261 PM/AM Wave
  • 2019: Kevin Na 68-62-61-70 -23/261 AM/PM Wave
  • 2018: Bryson DeChambeau 66-66-65-66 -21/263 AM/PM Wave

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the winners of the Shriners Children’s Open since 2010:

  • 2022 – Tom Kim: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2021 – Sungjae Im: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 6th.
  • 2020 – Martin Laird: Round 1: 13th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2019 – Kevin Na: Round 1: 43rd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2018 – Bryson DeChambeau: Round 1: 5th, Round 2: 4th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2017 – Patrick Cantlay: Round 1: 6th, Round 2: 8th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2016 – Rod Pampling: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2015 – Smylie Kaufman: Round 1: 26th, Round 2: 48th, Round 3: 28th.
  • 2014 – Ben Martin: Round 1: 19th, Round 2: 5th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2013 – Webb Simpson: Round 1: 6th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2012 – Ryan Moore: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2011 – Kevin Na: Round 1: 28th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2010 – Jonathan Byrd: Round 1: 11th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the Shriners Children’s Open winners since 2010 and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2022 – Tom Kim: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: level.
  • 2021 – Sungjae Im: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2020 – Martin Laird: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: level.
  • 2019 – Kevin Na: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: 2 ahead.
  • 2018 – Bryson DeChambeau: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: level.
  • 2017 – Patrick Cantlay: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 7 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2016 – Rod Pampling: Round 1: 2 ahead, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2015 – Smylie Kaufman: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 7 back, Round 3: 7 back.
  • 2014 – Ben Martin: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 2 ahead.
  • 2013 – Webb Simpson: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 4 ahead, Round 3: 4 ahead.
  • 2012 – Ryan Moore: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: level.
  • 2011 – Kevin Na: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: level.
  • 2010 – Jonathan Byrd: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 1 back.

OWGR of Shriners Children’s Open Winners: 2022: T Kim 21; 2021: Im 29; 2020: Laird 351; 2019: Na 40; 2018: DeChambeau 7; 2017: Cantlay 69.

Cut Line: 2022: -4; 2021: -5; 2020: -7; 2019: -5; 2018: -3; 2017: +1; 2016: -3; 2015: -2; 2014: -2; 2013: -3; 2012: -4; 2011: -4; 2010: -4.

Lead Score Progression:

  • 2022: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -12; Round 3 -19; Round 4 -24.
  • 2021: Round 1 -10; Round 2 -14; Round 3 -18; Round 4 -24.
  • 2020: Round 1 -9; Round 2 -14; Round 3 -20; Round 4 -23.
  • 2019: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -12; Round 3 -22; Round 4 -23.
  • 2018: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -13; Round 3 -16; Round 4 -21.

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

My published predictor is available here. Top 10 of my published predictor are: Tom Kim, Tom Hoge, Si Woo Kim, Ludvig Aberg, Sam Ryder, Cam Davis, Aaron Rai, Mark Hubbard, Akshay Bhatia and Martin Laird.

Our brand new predictor model is running alongside, where you can build your own rankings in live time, using the variables listed on the left hand side.

Shriners Children’s Open Winning Prices: 2022: T Kim 25/1; 2021: Im 33/1; 2020: Laird 225/1; 2019: Na 70/1; 2018: DeChambeau 14/1; 2017: Cantlay 20/1; 2016: Pampling 300/1; 2015: Kaufman 250/1; 2014: Martin 225/1; 2013: Simpson 20/1; 2012: Moore 14/1; 2011: Na 60/1; 2010: Byrd 50/1. Past 5 Renewals Average: 73/1; Overall Average: 100/1.

Historical Weather:

  • 2022: Thursday: Sunny. High of 92. Wind E 4-8 mph. The first round was suspended due to darkness at 6:29 p.m. PT and with three players left to complete their round. Friday: Sunny. High of 91. Wind E 6-12 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny. High of 90. Wind ESE 5-10 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 89. Wind ESE 4-8 mph.
  • 2021: Thursday: Overcast, with light showers off and on. High of 82. Wind SSE 7-12 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy. High of 85. Wind SE 8-13 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy, with scattered showers. High of 81. Wind SSE 7-12 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with possible showers. High of 82. Wind SW 8-13 mph.
  • 2020: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High of 95. Wind SE 5-10 mph. Friday: Mostly sunny. High of 92. Wind SE 5-10 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny. High of 91. Wind SSW 10-20 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 90. Wind NNE 6-12 mph.
  • 2019: Thursday: Sunny. High of 85. Wind SSW 6-12 mph. Friday: Sunny. High of 85. Wind SSE 6-12 mph. Saturday: Sunny. High of 84. Wind ESE 4-8 mph. Sunday: Sunny. High of 85. Wind NE 6-12 mph.
  • 2018: Thursday: Sunny. High of 77. Wind NNE 10-15 mph. Friday: High of 80. Wind ESE 6-12 mph. Saturday: Sunny. High of 77. Wind N 10-15 mph, with gusts to 20 mph. Sunday: Sunny. High of 78. Wind E 5-10 mph.
  • 2017: Thursday: Sunny, with a high of 78. Wind S 7-12 mph. Friday: Sunny and cooler, with a high of 71. Wind SSW 15 to 25 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high of 71. Wind SSW 15-25, with gusts to 30 mph. Sunday: Sunny, with a high of 69. Wind SW 10-20, gusting to 25.
  • 2016: Thursday: Sunny, with a high of 76. Wind NE at 6-12 mph. Friday: Sunny, with a high of 78. Wind NNE at 5-10 mph. Saturday: Sunny, with a high of 78. Wind light and variable. Sunday: Sunny, with a high of 75. Wind ESE at 4-8 mph.
  • 2015: Thursday: Sunny. High of 78. Wind NE at 4-8 mph. Friday: Sunny. High of 78. Wind NE at 5-10 mph. Saturday: Sunny. High of 79. NE wind at 4-8 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High of 78. Wind E at 4-8 mph.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Las Vegas, Nevada is here. You need plenty of wind here to affect the scoring and if the forecasts are to be believed, it’s not going to happen. With wind levels never increasing over 10 mph, TPC Summerlin will be more than attackable. Temperatures though will be down on 2022 with 22-27 degrees Celsius (72 – 81 Fahrenheit) across the 4 days. Expect sub -20/264 again being the winning total.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the FedEx St Jude Championship which includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour events, where recorded. Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Vincent Norrman; 2) Peter Kuest; 3) Si Woo Kim / Davis Thompson; 5) Akshay Bhatia / M.J. Daffue / Callum Tarren; 8) Ludvig Aberg; 9) Luke List; 10) Troy Merritt; 11) Doug Ghim; 12) Cameron Champ / Trevor Cone / Brent Grant; 15) Justin Suh; 16) Adam Schenk; 17) J.J. Spaun / Adam Svensson; 19) Nick Taylor; 20) Cam Davis / Patrick Rodgers; 22) Davis Riley / Jimmy Walker; 24) Webb Simpson / Erik van Rooyen.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Justin Suh; 2) Erik van Rooyen; 3) Ludvig Aberg / Adam Schenk / Brandt Snedeker; 6) Ryan Moore; 7) Ben Griffin; 8) J.T. Poston / Sam Ryder; 10) Russell Knox / Andrew Putnam; 12) Doc Redman; 13) Eric Cole; 14) Chesson Hadley; 15) Kevin Roy; 16) Taylor Pendrith; 17) Mark Hubbard / Nick Taylor; 19) Si Woo Kim / David Lipsky; 21) Tom Kim / Callum Tarren; 23) Justin Lower / J.J. Spaun; 25) Kelly Kraft.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Joel Dahmen; 2) Cam Davis; 3) Harrison Endycott; 4) Eric Cole; 5) Si Woo Kim; 6) Nicholas Lindheim; 7) Tom Kim; 8) Matt Wallace; 9) Tyler Duncan; 10) Henrik Norlander / Peter Malnati; 12) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Stewart Cink / Taylor Montgomery; 15) Augusto Nunez / Matthias Schwab / Alex Smalley; 18) Adam Svensson; 19) Nick Taylor; 20) Beau Hossler; 21) Luke List; 22) J.J. Spaun; 23) Ludvig Aberg / C.T. Pan / Adam Schenk / Callum Tarren.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Ludvig Aberg; 2) Callum Tarren; 3) Vincent Norrman; 4) Cam Davis; 5) Si Woo Kim / Adam Schenk / J.J. Spaun; 8) Troy Merritt; 9) Davis Thompson; 10) Eric Cole / David Lipsky / Erik van Rooyen; 13) Harrison Endycott / Adam Svensson; 15) Luke List; 16) Tom Kim; 17) Justin Suh; 18) Marty Dou / Kevin Roy; 20) Chad Ramey / Nick Taylor; 22) Nicholas Lindheim / Andrew Putnam; 24) Beau Hossler / Mark Hubbard / Ryan Moore.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Ben Griffin; 2) Adam Hadwin; 3) Ben Martin; 4) Lucas Herbert; 5) J.T. Poston; 6) Garrick Higgo; 7) S.H. Kim / Dylan Wu; 9) Tom Kim; 10) Lanto Griffin; 11) Adam Schenk; 12) Scott Harrington / C.T. Pan; 14) Chesson Hadley; 15) Cam Davis; 16) Troy Merritt; 17) Adam Svensson; 18) Scott Stallings; 19) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Austin Cook / Harry Hall / Luke List / Matthew NeSmith; 24) Si Woo Kim; 25) Emiliano Grillo / Patrick Rodgers / Nick Taylor.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Ludvig Aberg; 2) Troy Merritt; 3) Ben Griffin / Luke List; 5) Tom Kim; 6) Adam Schenk; 7) Cam Davis; 8) Chad Ramey / J.J. Spaun / Erik van Rooyen; 11) Kelly Kraft; 12) Si Woo Kim; 13) Vincent Norrman / J.T. Poston / Adam Svensson / Davis Thompson; 17) Eric Cole; 18) Callum Tarren; 19) Beau Hossler; 20) Vincent Whaley / Justin Suh; 22) Lucas Herbert / Russell Knox; 24) Mark Hubbard; 25) Adam Hadwin / Nick Taylor.

For a summary of the Strokes Gained Performances from this week’s field here at the Country Club of Jackson since 2016 click here.

Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the Strokes Gained Stats of the Shriners Children’s Open winners here at TPC Summerlin since 2016 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this desert Par 71:

Strokes Gained Tournament Trends:

  • 2022, Tom Kim (-24). SG Off the Tee: 32nd, SG Approach: 5th, SG Around the Green: 19th, SG Tee to Green: 3rd, SG Putting: 1st.
  • 2021, Sungjae Im (-24). SG Off the Tee: 9th, SG Approach: 6th, SG Around the Green: 13th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 9th.
  • 2020, Martin Laird (-23). SG Off the Tee: 27th, SG Approach: 4th, SG Around the Green: 15th, SG Tee to Green: 2nd, SG Putting: 20th.
  • 2019, Kevin Na (-23). SG Off the Tee: 54th, SG Approach: 35th, SG Around the Green: 54th, SG Tee to Green: 55th, SG Putting: 1st.
  • 2018, Bryson DeChambeau (-21). SG Off the Tee: 6th, SG Approach: 3rd, SG Around the Green: 7th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 45th.
  • 2017, Patrick Cantlay (-9). SG Off the Tee: 1st, SG Approach: 22nd, SG Around the Green: 39th, SG Tee to Green: 7th, SG Putting: 32nd.
  • 2016, Rod Pampling (-20). SG Off the Tee: 32nd, SG Approach: 2nd, SG Around the Green: 1st, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 39th.

Strokes Gained Tournament Skill Averages:

  • SG Off the Tee: 23rd, SG Approach: 11th, SG Around the Green: 21st, SG Tee to Green: 10th, SG Putting: 21st.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of the winners here since 2010 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2022, Tom Kim (-24). 298 yards (70th), 73.2% fairways (14th), 87.5% greens in regulation (3rd), 34’8″ proximity to hole (26th), 100.0% scrambling (1st), 1.65 putts per GIR (12th).
  • 2021, Sungjae Im (-24). 316 yards (26th), 73.2% fairways (19th), 86.1% greens in regulation (1st), 35’2″ proximity to hole (15th), 90.0 % scrambling (1st), 1.66 putts per GIR (10th).
  • 2020, Martin Laird (-23). 323 yards (15th), 78.6% fairways (5th), 80.6% greens in regulation (15th), 33″9″ proximity to hole (20th), 64.3 % scrambling (28th), 1.66 putts per GIR (10th).
  • 2019, Kevin Na (-23). 316 yards (28th), 71.4% fairways (25th), 75.0% greens in regulation (46th), 38″5″ proximity to hole (59th), 72.2 % scrambling (11th), 1.50 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2018, Bryson DeChambeau (-21). 313 yards (30th), 78.6% fairways (4th), 83.3% greens in regulation (4th), 32″2″ proximity to hole (9th), 75.0 % scrambling (3rd), 1.67 putts per GIR (13th).
  • 2017, Patrick Cantlay (-9). 324 yards (13th), 64.3% fairways (5th), 72.2% greens in regulation (17th), 43″7″ proximity to hole (56th), 55.0 % scrambling (39th), 1.71 putts per GIR (9th).
  • 2016, Rod Pampling (-20). 308 yards (38th), 60.7% fairways (15th), 77.8% greens in regulation (11th), 36″3″ proximity to hole (34th), 68.8 % scrambling (13th), 1.68 putts per GIR (17th).
  • 2015, Smylie Kaufman (-16). 328 yards (5th), 64.3% fairways (7th), 76.4% greens in regulation (13th), 36″11″ proximity to hole (51st), 52.9 % scrambling (49th), 1.60 putts per GIR (3rd).
  • 2014, Ben Martin (-20). 296 yards (64th), 64.3% fairways (18th), 81.9% greens in regulation (4th), 34″3″ proximity to hole (21st), 30.8 % scrambling (71st), 1.58 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2013, Webb Simpson (-24). 300 yards (55th), 64.3% fairways (13th), 86.1% greens in regulation (4th), 31″1″ proximity to hole (4th), 62.5% scrambling (10th), 1.65 putts per GIR (5th).
  • 2012, Ryan Moore (-24). 313 yards (22nd), 66.1% fairways (10th), 83.3% greens in regulation (3rd), 33″1″ proximity to hole (14th), 66.7% scrambling (5th), 1.57 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2011, Kevin Na (-23). 314 yards (17th), 66.1% fairways (12th), 75.0% greens in regulation (40th), 40″7″ proximity to hole (67th), 77.8% scrambling (5th), 1.61 putts per GIR (5th).
  • 2010, Jonathan Byrd (-24). 307 yards (12th), 78.6% fairways (3rd), 84.7% greens in regulation (12th), 31″11″ proximity to hole (18th), 63.6% scrambling (15th), 1.69 putts per GIR (10th).

Tournament Skill Averages:

  • Driving Distance: 30th, Driving Accuracy: 12th, Greens in Regulation: 13th, Proximity to Hole: 30th, Scrambling: 19th, Putting Average 7th.

Let’s take a view from players as to how TPC Summerlin has set up in the past and what specific skills it requires:

Tom Kim (2022): “I think it’s a great golf course for me. It’s a great setup. I really like the way it’s designed and it kind of suits my eye a little bit. I’m really excited to be here. I was actually here last year in Vegas. I didn’t play this event, but I was here during that week, and I remember I wanted to play, and I’m excited to finally be able to play here this week.

In terms of learning, I feel like just with distance control a little bit I can always learn. Like sometimes you might get some firm bounces, and you might get some soft bounces. So just kind of managing that and kind of knowing what clubs are going to release a little bit, what clubs are going to spin.

I think getting used to it, yes, that’s one, but also the pins were very gettable today. There were some pins where you kind of need to be just a little bit disciplined with it, but if you had good numbers you could take some pins on. I think for me, as well, I had a few good numbers and I had a few good pins I could go at, so a few good birdies there. That’s why I had a good round.”

Matthew Wolff (2021): “I feel like I really like this course. I like the way it sets up. I didn’t know that I shot every round in the 60s here, but I think knowing, just being here, feeling good, being comfortable with the lines off the tee, the breaks on the greens, and I feel like I’m definitely starting to come into my own too. It’s only my third year out here or maybe even, no it’s my third year, I think. But there’s guys out here who have played this course for 10, 15 years, and I think I’m finally starting to remember breaks on greens, oh, this one last year didn’t break as much, and that’s starting to help me out a little bit. So the experience definitely helps.”

Martin Laird (2020):”Yeah, I feel like it’s definitely a course that some local knowledge, you know the greens are tricky sometimes with the way they break. I kind of know where to hit it around here and know the holes you judge just play a little more conservative and the holes you can play aggressive. I needed an exemption to get into this week. I wasn’t in this week after having surgery last year, so I was appreciative that he gave me a spot. I came here wanting to show my appreciation, and obviously the way I’ve played first two rounds I’m very happy.

Really happy, hit the ball nicely; got the ball in the fairway a lot, which is what you got to do around here. If you get it if the fairway you can be aggressive. All around solid round all aspects. I have had good rounds every day, so I’m not going to change anything. More of the same. Pick my spots, be aggressive when you’ve got a wedge in your hand to the fairway, and some other holes just the middle of the green is never a bad place.”

Kevin Na (2019): “Yes, this is a great golf course for me. I think you have to really drive the ball well and keep it in the fairway so you can control the spin. I know the roughs are not deep, but because of these greens and some of the hole locations, you have to hit the fairway to be able to spin the ball. You don’t have to bomb it out here. Anybody can win out here. You definitely have to make some putts. You know, the scores are going to be low. The greens are getting firmer, and that’s the only protection they’ve got. The winds are supposed to be light again. I know the course can play difficult if it’s windy, but it’s not going to be windy, so I think I’ve just got to keep making birdies.

Yeah, I mean, I feel like I’m a pretty good putter. I’m a player that I feel like I get better as I get closer to the greens. That’s a strength of my game, a part of my game that gets stronger.”

Bryson DeChambeau (2018): “Yeah, I like the golf course. Suits my eye really well. When I do mis-hit it I can mishit it in the right spots and I’m able to get up and down. When I can attack flags and make some putts it’s good combo out here for me. I feel good out here. You know, honestly, they told me I hit 14 fairways after today and I was surprised. Really? I had 14? It was kind of like a smooth, easy day and executed it really well off the tee and was able to keep it in the fairway on every hole; that allowed me the opportunity to hit it pretty close on almost every hole. Unfortunately a couple mishaps on my wedges. Other than that, it was a pretty solid day. When I hit it close I was able to make it.

I love the golf course. It’s dry air. It’s kind of what I grew up. Fresno, California is not really humid. Kind of the same vibe and feel and conditions. There is a little elevation; that’s just a change. But I love this time of environment. Heat is always good for me.”

Patrick Cantlay (2017): “Well, it was really two different days out there. It was really like the first 14 holes, and then the last four holes. The first 14 holes was a shootout. For me, it felt like every time I wasn’t making a birdie I was losing ground. Then the last four, with the wind kicking up, I mean, that wind in and off the left on 18 makes that hole particularly difficult, and I was just trying to hit quality shots all the way to the end. The finish did not happen how I thought it would, but it was just enough.

Rod Pampling (2016): “No, this is a good golf course for the shorter hitters. Would it be nice to hit it long? Absolutely. But you don’t need to. You know, it’s just a good course for that. You don’t have to be the bomber to do it all. Playing with Brooks today, he hits it a long way, but he was hitting a lot of irons off the tee, so it’s still a positional golf course, and that’s what you need to do is position yourself properly and give yourself the chances.

Kevin Na (2015): “Yeah, I think this is the toughest condition I’ve ever seen out here. The greens are drying out. They’re getting firm. You see a little bit of purple in it. I thought it would be playing easy. I was surprised that it was playing difficult. This is the most difficult I’ve seen it. Wednesday playing the pro-am in the morning the greens were really soft, and overnight it just firmed up. I think a little bit of breeze helped. I think they cut the water off, and they’ve done a good job.

Webb Simpson (2013): “I love this golf course because it reminds me of the course I grew up playing. You have a lot of options off the tee and greens are undulating and fast. So I’m just comfortable here, comfortable playing this kind of golf. The main thing is I made a lot of putts and you’ve got to do that this week. There’s three par 5s, all reachable, and a reachable par 4. So you have to take advantage of the short holes and make putts.

Ryan Moore (2012): “On a golf course like this and playing in these conditions it is right now: no wind and perfect temperature, greens are reasonably soft and rolling nice on top of that. So it’s one of those days that you just keep putting it in play. You know you’re going to have a bunch of pitching wedges, 9-irons, 8-irons into these greens, and a few shorter irons, too. I know I’m going to hit the wedge and 9-iron. I’m going to have enough pretty darn good birdie chances if I’m just in the fairway. I’m not spectacular out of the rough. It’s one of those courses. It’s certainly not impossible if you haven’t played it, but there are little quirks and subtleties to the greens. The more and more you play you get the sense of it.

Kevin Na (2011): “First of all, you know the golf course very well because guys come out here and practice and you know the greens. I think the big key is distance control here because the ball goes further out here. Some of the guys have trouble adjusting to that. But if you live out here you know how far your ball is flying, so it’s easier to club yourself with the irons. That’s a big edge on everybody else in the field. If I was honest put my money on the guys, if you gave me a handful of guys to pick, I would pick all the local guys.

Jonathan Byrd (2010): “I think guys play well when they hit the ball in the fairway. And I think this year the tournament being a little sooner, I think we’ll have more rough, and I think that’s going to make the course play more difficult. So I don’t think this golf course is easy. I think there’s a lot of opportunities, but I don’t think it’s easy. If you’re not sharp by hitting the ball in the fairway, I think this course can be very difficult. And you’ll see guys making a lot of birdies, and it’s hard to make birdies if you’re not in the fairway. So you have to place them, be strategic and you have to drive the ball well.

Incoming Form of Shriners Children’s Open winners since 2010:

  • Tom Kim: 54th BMW/13th St Jude/1st Wyndham/7th Rocket Mortgage.
  • Sungjae Im: 31st Sanderson/23rd Tour/3rd BMW/16th Northern Trust.
  • Martin Laird: 28th Sanderson/65th Corales/MC Safeway/ MC Lincoln Land.
  • Kevin Na: MC Safeway/14th Greenbrier/77th Northern Trust/ 43rd WGC St Jude.
  • Bryson DeChambeau: 19th Tour/19th BMW/1st Dell Tech/1st Northern Trust.
  • Patrick Cantlay: 15th HSBC/20th Tour/9th BMW/13th Dell Tech.
  • Rod Pampling: 42nd Sanderson/MC Safeway/12th Nationwide Children’s/24th Boise.
  • Smylie Kaufman: 10th Fry’s Open/MC web.com TC/MC Nationwide Children’s/43rd Small Bus.
  • Ben Martin: MC Fry’s Open/MC Deutsche/46th Barclays/MC PGA.
  • Webb Simpson: 4th Tour/24th BMW/53rd Deutsche/15th Barclays.
  • Ryan Moore: 3rd Tour/10th BMW/10th Deutsche/24th Barclays.
  • Kevin Na: MC Deutsche/MC Barclays/10th PGA/25th Reno.
  • Jonathan Byrd: 30th Fry’s Open/66th McGladrey/5th Viking/56th Barclays.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2022 – Tom Hoge – AM Wave -8/63 – 60/1
  • 2021 – Sung Kang – AM Wave -10/61 – 175/1
  • 2020 – Bryson DeChambeau – AM Wave -9/62 – 20/1
  • 2019 – Nick Taylor – AM Wave -8/63 – 125/1
  • 2018 – Uihlein – AM Wave -8/63 – 90/1
  • 2017 – Whee Kim – AM Wave -6/65 – 100/1
  • 2016 – Pampling – AM Wave -11/60 – 250/1
  • 2015 – Aldridge, Hearn, Hubbard, Thompson – 3 AM / 1 PM wave split -7 64.
  • 2014 – Cink, Laird – both AM Wave -7/64.
  • 2013 – J.J. Henry – AM Wave -11/60.
  • 2012 – Ryan Moore – AM Wave -10/61
  • 2011 – McGirt, Vegas – both PM Wave – 8/63.
  • 2010 – Garrigus, Mackenzie, Senden, Tringale – equal AM/PM wave split -7/64.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of pure Bentgrass green PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 4 – Webb Simpson.
  • 3 – Ryan Moore.
  • 2 – Stewart Cink, Jason Dufner, Martin Laird, K.H. Lee, Troy Merritt.
  • 1 – Cameron Champ, Dylan Frittelli, Emiliano Grillo, Jim Herman, Charley Hoffman, Michael Kim, Tom Kim, Russell Knox, Ben Martin, Vincent Norrman, J.T. Poston, Chez Reavie, Brandt Snedeker, Scott Stallings, Kevin Streelman, Nick Watney.

Course experience here certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all. George McNeill (2007), Marc Turnesa (2008), Smylie Kaufman (2015), Patrick Cantlay (2018) and Tom Kim (2022) all won this tournament on debut across the past 15 renewals. Indeed, since 2011, Tommy Gainey (3rd), Jonas Blixt (3rd), Ryo Ishikawa (2nd), Luke Guthrie (5th), Chesson Hadley (5th), Patton Kizzire (2nd), Brett Stegmaier (2nd), Francesco Molinari (4th), Beau Hossler (7th), Will Zalatoris (5th), Hayden Buckley (8th) Harry Hall (8th) and SH Kim (4th) have all finished in the each-way places on course debut.

Other trends are difficult to highlight. Winners across 2011 to 2014 from an Official Golf World Ranking perspective ranked 88th (Martin), 20th (Simpson), 44th (Moore) and 76th (Na) in the OWGR. Remember a place in the top 50 by close of the year is a really huge deal, especially for those players who didn’t qualify for the Tour Championship. 2015/16 saw Smylie Kaufman at 226th and Rod Pampling at 451st in the OWGR come from left-field, but 2017 again saw a motivated and classy sort in Patrick Cantlay win his first PGA Tour event here. He was 69th in the OWGR, up an amazing 1355 spots across the calendar year. 2018 saw Bryson DeChambeau capture his 4th win in 12 tournament appearances following on from Memorial Tournament, Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship triumphs, as he won this at 14/1 on his first appearance of the new season. He had made 2 appearances at TPC Summerlin with a best finish of 7th.

In 2019 we went back to the OWGR angle with Kevin Na. Kevin was ranked 40th when winning this 36 months ago. He’d already won in 2019 at Colonial, securing passage to The Masters and the Tournament of Champions, but had missed out on the Tour Championship, so remaining in the World’s top 50 was important as it secured Major and WGCs spots for the following year. 2020 saw another big price left-field winner in the form of Martin Laird who was 351st in the OWGR arriving in Las Vegas. A past Shriners Open champion (2009), Martin had also finished 2nd (2010) when defending and had contended in 2014, 2018 and 2019, before falling back over the weekend. A desert golf specialist, he’d finished 28th the week before in Mississippi, his best result since returning from a knee injury 4 tournament appearances earlier.

2021 and 2022 has seen 2 elite South Koreans dominate here at TPC Summerlin. Sungjae Im picked up only his 2nd PGA Tour title here in 2021. He had qualified for the Tour Championship, but took the opportunity to end an 18 month winless drought at a course where from 2 previous appearances he had finished in the top 15 both times. And last year we were on-board Tom Kim at 22/1. Tom had won the Wyndham Championship in August to gain full PGA Tour status. From there he made it to the BMW Championship, falling just short of the Tour Championship. 2 points at the Quail Hollow hosted President’s Cup had also highlighted that Kim was a real talent prior to arriving in Las Vegas. Sungjae (29th) and Tom (21st) were both inside the OWGR top 30 when triumphing.

My Final Shriners Children's Open Tips Are As Follows:

Ludvig Aberg 3pts EW 14/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

Ludvig Aberg is the first player in my TPC Summerlin squad this week.

The talented Swede, straight off a Sunday night Ryder Cup victory party and long flight from Italy, showed his true class at the Sanderson Farms Championship last week. Not playing his best stuff on the greens, he almost sleep-walked into a 5-man play-off to win the event, and that shows the level of ability which the 23 year-old, who European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald described as “a generational player, he’s going to be around a long time and he’s going to do amazing things,” truly has.

Rested after a further 7 days in the United States, I’m reckoning that Ludvig will be raring to go in Las Vegas and he’s already shown he can score low totals as a young professional. 65-65 at the Travellers Championship; 65 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic; 64-63 at the John Deere Classic (finished 4th); 64 at the 3M Open; 64-64 when winning the Omega European Masters on the DP World Tour; plus 66-66 at Wentworth, it’s worth remembering he lead the BMW PGA Championship heading into Sunday.

A Friday morning win over Max Homa and Brian Harman plus that Saturday morning 9&7 record win over Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka at the Ryder Cup, when paired with Viktor Hovland, must only have boosted Aberg’s confidence even higher heading to the Shriners Open, where a first win on the PGA Tour beckons. RESULT: T13

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Si Woo Kim 1.5pts EW 25/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

Si Woo Kim is a rarity in this field. A 4-time PGA Tour winner – the latest of those wins have come in 2021 and this year. A short course specialist, all of his wins have come on Bermudagrass agronomy golf courses. That’s Sedgefield (2016), TPC Sawgrass (2017), PGA West (2021), and Waialae (2023). 3 of those wins have also come at -21/259 (2016 Wyndham), -23/265 (2021 American Express) and -18/262 (20230 Sony Open). So Si Woo knows how to go low on short, scoreable golf courses, where birdies are the true currency.

16th at the FedEx St Jude Championship and 31st at the BMW Championship, Si Woo made only his second Tour Championship this season and played well enough to finish 20th in the final rankings. Notably he shot 68 on Saturday and 66 on Sunday at East Lake, the latter of which tied with the likes of Patrick Cantlay and Tommy Fleetwood.

25th (2015), 15th (2018), 8th (2020) and 8th (2022) here at TPC Summerlin, he’s a proven desert golf course winner having won The American Express at PGA West in 2021. Yes I’d prefer Bermudagrass putting surfaces, but the rest of this course is bedecked in his favourite grass, and of the players who have played this tournament more than twice Si Woo’s Scoring Average of 67.91 is 7th best in the field.

He’ll also be buoyed on arrival having 2 weeks ago been part of the South Korean team, along with Sungjae Im, who won the Gold Medal at the Asian Games in China. His -23/265 total was good enough for 4th place individually, and in winning gold he became exempt from the government-mandated 21 months of military service that South Korean men have to take part in before they are 35 years of age. RESULT: MC

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Andrew Putnam 1.5pts ew 45/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Andrew Putnam is an accurate plotter who tends to come to the party on short, scoreable course set-ups. He performs well on the west coast of the United States and in the desert; in and around the top 60 in the Official World Golf Rankings, he still has plenty to play for in 2023 – including a 2024 Masters invite if he can hit the top 50 pre-Christmas.

5th at the Memorial Tournament in June and 10th at the BMW Championship in late August, Putnam on the right course can mix it at the top of leaderboards, and at pretty much this point 12 months ago he finished 2nd at the ZOZO Championship in Japan.

Andrew’s desert form on the PGA Tour is also eye-catching. 1st (2018) and 2nd (2021) at the Barracuda Championship across both Montreux and Old Greenwood venues in Nevada and California, Putnam has also finished 17th (2018), 10th (2020) and 14th (2022) at PGA West in the Californian desert, where they play The American Express. 7th (2021) at TPC Scottsdale again highlights a player who is more than comfortable at altitude.

From 6 appearances here at TPC Summerlin he’s made the cut 5 times and finished 18th (2019), 11th (2021) and 12th (2022). Leader here in 2015 after 36 holes when on course debut – he eventually finished 33rd – 2021 is interesting as he entered Sunday right in the mix for victory with the likes of Sungjae Im, Sam Burns, Adam Schenk and Mathew Wolff. In this week’s far weaker field I think the 34 year-old is far more comfortable to mix it on a Sunday. RESULT: MC

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Davis Thompson 1pt EW 55/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Davis Thompson is another talented sort to get behind this week.

Ranking 6th across our Shriners Children’s Open Strokes Gained Rankings, the Georgia-based 24 year-old in in his extended first season on the PGA Tour and is currently sitting 74th in the FedExCup standings and is now having the benefit of arriving at Tour courses for the second time of asking. I tipped him up a few weeks ago at the Fortinet Championship where he had finished 9th last year – he finished 30th. I continue to like Davis as he continues to show a liking for west coast assignments.

12 months ago he finished 12th here at TPC Summerlin before finishing 2nd at The American Express at PGA West in January. He also finished 6th on the Korn Ferry Tour last year at TPC Colorado.

5 top-31 finishes in his last 6 outings, namely 24th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, 31st at the John Deere Classic, 22nd at the Wyndham Championship, 30th at the Fortinet and 16th last week at the Sanderson Farms Championship, highlight a player whose confidence is growing and Thompson’s numbers were super eye-catching in Mississippi.

From a Strokes Gained perspective, he was 5th for Off the Tee, 15th for Approach and 13th for Tee to Green. That translated in old money to 12th for Driving Accuracy, 3rd for Total Driving, 7th for Greens in Regulation, 4th for Total Accuracy, 2nd for Ball Striking and 6th for All-Round. RESULT: T35

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 14:40BST 9.10.23 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.