The PGA Tour returns to The US this week, for The 2019 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada is the host course (Par 71, 7,255 yards) and Patrick Cantlay captured his first ever PGA win at this event a year ago. His finishing score of -9 suggests this a tough track, but there was some heavy winds last season and overall, this is one of the easier courses on tour. Prior to Cantlay’s win, the average winning score was -20 for the four previous seasons.
This Sin City track sits approximately 2,700 feet above sea level, helping every player gain more distance off the tee. This puts accuracy at a premium over distance at TPC Summerlin. Over the last five seasons, each winner in Las Vegas has ranked T18 or better in fairways found. All of them have also ranked inside the top 13 in GIR during their wins.
Plain and simple, if you can’t convert birdies at a high clip, you won’t contend at TPC Summerlin. Over these last five years, every single champ outside of Rod Pampling in 2017, led the field in total birdies. But this doesn’t mean we should discredit Pampling’s performance, as he ranked 2nd in overall birdies during his Shriners win. All of the par fours and fives are easy to score on. Cantlay led the field on the par fives last year and Pampling was the best par four player two seasons ago, showing you that scoring on both types of holes needs to be factored into our models this week.
After three no cut style tournaments, this is close to a full sized field (132 players), with your typical top 70 and ties moving onto the weekend. Lastly, since we are back in America, roster lock is back to being on Thursday morning (6:00 AM EST), instead of the late Wednesday lock we have gotten used to the past three weeks. @Hunta512.
Byrson DeChambeau: (10,800)
Of the top four studs, DeChambeau looks like the best value this week. He has made the cut at TPC Summerlin the last two seasons, with a T7 coming last year. More importantly, he is fresh off an unbelievable season. In 2017 he made 22/26 cuts, had 14 top 25s, nine top tens, and three wins. Since the beginning of the playoffs, nobody has looked better than DeChambeau. He went back to back to start the playoffs, winning at both The Northern Trust and Dell Technologies, and then closed it out with a pair of T19s at The BMW and Tour Championship.
During this run, he gained 7.1 total strokes per event and ranked in the top six in SGT2G, GIR, BS, and BOB%. He was playing some brilliant golf and if he can pick up where he left off, DeChambeau could be starting his season off with a win here at The Shriners. (12/1 via Bovada. T3 for best odds to win)
Si Woo Kim: (7,500)
Kim has opened this season off strong, finishing T10 at The CIMB Classic and then T23 at The CJ Cup. He has now made five cuts in a row and eight of his last ten. We didn’t have shot tracker at those two starts in Asia, but he gained 5.7 SGT per event. He racked up 20 birdies at each course and ranked T8 in P5 scoring at The CIMB Classic. I know it has only been two starts, but Kim has only shot over par in one round in these past eight.
This is a great sign for a player who has so much talent and upside, but can be very volatile at times. Kim’s lone start at TPC Summerlin was two years ago, when he posted a solid T25. In this new form, he should make the cut and has top 20 upside in this weaker field. (55/1 via Bovada, which are tied for the best odds for a player sub $8,000)
Harold Varner III: (7,000)
Sure, he missed the cut in his last start (Sanderson Farms), but this is just a ridiculous price for Varner in this type of field. Before that MC last week, he had made seven consecutive cuts, with three finishes of T17 or better, while gaining an average of 5.3 SGT. He has been steady with his irons (15th in SGT2G, 20th in GIR, and 20th in BS) and as a par four scorer (21st in SG on P4s) in his last 24 rounds.
Finally, he is 2/3 at TPC Summerlin, with the two made cuts coming the past two years. Down in this price range it gets ugly quick and at only $7,000, HV3 sticks out like a sore thumb. At this price, he is a viable option in all formats.
Tony Finau: (11,300)
Finau’s magnificent play continued last week, with a runner up finish at The WGC HSBC Champions. He was tremendous in all facets of his game, gaining a whopping 19 strokes. Now, in his last ten, he is averaging 7.6 SGT. Over his last 24 rounds, he ranks 1st BOB%, SGT, DK points, and SG on P4s. Also, he has made 12 cuts in a row and has posted eight top tens during the course of this run. Finau has never missed a cut here in four tries, with three finishes of T16 or better. He is a sure fire bet for a top ten this weekend.
Gary Woodland: (9,700)
Woodland has been tremendous to start the season, posting back to back top fives. He has now produced 13 made cuts in a row, with eight top 25s coming in his last nine starts. He is arguably in the best form of any player in this field, averaging 6.9 SGT in his last five events. In his last 24 rounds, he ranks in the top five in SGT2G, SG APP, BS, SGT, BOB%, SG on P5s, and DK points. In his first appearance at TPC Summerlin last year, he finished T18th. Woodland is playing some of the best golf of his career right now (#31 player in the world) and just can’t be ignored at a course that is made for ball strikers.
Joaquin Niemann: (8,400)
Niemann has never played here, but the 19 year old should be just fine in his first Shriners. He has made nine of his last 11 cuts, with five top 25 finishes. The stats always stand out for the prodigy and in his last 24 rounds, he is 5th in SGT2G, 3rd in BS, and 10th in BOB%. Niemann should make the cut and has top 20 potential.
Bronson Burgoon: (7,800)
Burgoon has made four straight cuts and just finished T2 at The CIMB Classic. He is a great tee to green player (21st in SGT2G in last 24 rounds) and a strong bentgrass putter, which is the type of greens we will see at TPC Summerlin. (0.14 average SGP) Based on Vegas odds, Burgoon and Kim look like the best values, both sitting at 55/1 to win.
Sam Ryder: (7,300)
Ryder has made seven cuts in a row and is ten for his last 12. Just two weeks ago, he finished T4 at The Safeway Open. He is excellent when approaching the green (3rd in SG APP) and on par fives. (4th in SG on P5s in last 24 rounds) He has been a trendy pick during the fall swing, but hopefully his MC at this course last season, keeps his ownership somewhat low (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), because Ryder is one of the best cheap values of the week.
Brendan Steele: (7,100)
For GPPs, Steele looks like a rather sneaky play. He was awful at the end of last season, missing his last four cuts, but he has started this year, making it to the weekend in all three of his starts. In his last, he posted a T14 at The CJ Cup, which was his highest finish since last February. He is 5/6 at TPC Summerlin, with two top 20s, and if his performance at The CJ Cup was any indication that he is close to being back to player from two years ago (20/25 and ten top 25s), this will end up being a very nice discount for Steele.
Joel Dahmen: (7,100)
Dahmen failed to make the cut at last year’s Shriners, but he has made 12 of his last 16, with ten of those 12 made cuts being top 30s. He always ranks well statistically and over his last 24 rounds, he is the #1 player in SGT2G and SG APP. His main downfall will always be his putting (-2.2 SGP in last five), but if he can salvage an average week with the flat stick, Dahmen could easily get us another top 30.
*Please note that most of these rankings are from Fantasynational.com