Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Recap: Birdies for Days

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Recap: Birdies for Days

This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.

When we think of birdie-fests on the PGA Tour, the Hawaii tournaments come to mind, The American Express, the John Deere Classic, the 3M Open, among others. The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas is right there, and an argument can be made that it's the biggest birdie-fest of them all.

Four golfers shot at least 20-under-par at TPC Summerlin last week. Three of them – Martin Laird, Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook – hit 23-under, and they ended up in a playoff won by the Scotsman Laird. If you didn't shoot at least 16-under, you didn't crack the top 20.

Year after year, Summerlin has produced among the most total birdies and eagles on Tour. And when you consider there are only 144 golfers in the field, and used to be only 132, and that there are only three par-5s on the par-71, 7,255-yard track, that makes the case even stronger. That's not a long course to begin with by today's standards, but also factor in that it is situated at an altitude of 2,700 feet.

Nine times in the past 11 years, the winning score has been at least 20-under. Patrick Cantlay won at a mere 9-under in 2017 – and that goes to show what a howling wind can do to a golf ball, even on the easiest of tracks.

Laird totaled 21 birdies and three eagles. Co-runner-up Austin Cook had 22 and two. The other runner-up, Matthew Wolff, had only 18 birdies, but

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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