This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Shriners Children's Open
Course: TPC Summerlin (7,255 yards, par 71)
Winner: $1,260,000 and 500 FedExCup points
The PGA Tour kicks off a brief Las Vegas swing that begins at TPC Summerlin for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open this week and then is followed by the CJ Cup playing in Vegas for the second straight year due to travel restrictions related to COVID-19. It will be the 25th anniversary since Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour title back in 1996 in a playoff over Davis Love III. Since then the tournament has shifted from 90 holes to a traditional 72-hole tournament. This is traditionally a shootout that has seen some really close finishes. Since 1994, the champion won by more than two strokes just twice and three of the last five editions of this event we have seen a playoff.
The field this week features 11 of the top 25 golfers in the OWGR. That also includes a trio of U.S. Ryder Cup team members in Brooks Koepka, Harris English, and Scottie Scheffler. 2023 Ryder Cup hopeful Sam Burns is coming in off his second win in the last five months last week at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Viktor Hovland, Webb Simpson, Louis Oosthuizen, and Hideki Matsuyama are among some of the other notables teeing it up for the Shriners Open. 2020 Champion Martin Laird and 2019 champion Kevin Na will both be looking to add a third victory in this event this week.
Other than the 2017 playing of the Shriners Open when Patrick Cantlay won in a playoff at nine-under-par, the winning score has been at least 16-under-par since the event went to four rounds back in 2004. The forecast this week calls for a fair amount of wind on Thursday and Friday, then dying down a bit over the weekend. Temperatures will peak in round one at nearly 90 degrees before falling into the mid-70's in round two then steadily increasing on Saturday and Sunday.
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 (-21)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Approach
- GIR Percentage
- SG: Off-the-Tee
- SG: Putting
Much like we saw a week ago in Jackson, you're going to have to make a ton of birdies to contend. Last year we saw the lowest 36-hole cut in relation to par in PGA Tour history at seven-under-par. The field averaged 68.34 last season, which was the lowest of all par-71 courses in the last 16 completed seasons on the PGA Tour. Conditions aren't quite as good as last season, with some steady wind in the opening two rounds as mentioned above, but the course should still be there for the taking. The greens are only prepped to run about 11.5 on the Stimpmeter, which will allow players to be very aggressive with all lengths of putts. Another aspect that makes this place friendly for scoring is the rough, which is trimmed down to two inches. That puts more of an emphasis on trying to hit the ball further with less of a penalty for missing fairways. Ultimately in a shootout it typically comes down to approach play and giving yourself as many good looks as possible. Last week en route to his victory in Jackson Sam Burns ranked second in SG: Approach and Henrik Norlander led the field in that category going onto finish T4.
FanDuel Value Picks
Sam Burns ($11,700)
Burns may still be undervalued in this field coming off his win at the Sanderson Farms Championship. His ball striking was some of the best we have seen in all of 2021. If you were worried about a potential let down, Burns' next start after his first win at the Valspar was a solo second at the AT&T Byron Nelson. He has seen TPC Summerlin four previous times as well.
Webb Simpson ($11,500)
Simpson has one of the best track records at TPC Summerlin of any player in the field this week. He's gone 9-for-10 with a win, four top-7s, and seven top-20's. Last season he continued to show how strong he is through the bag, ranking top-30 in SG: Around-the-Green, SG: Putting, SG: Tee-to-Green, driving accuracy, GIR percentage, scrambling, and birdie average.
Will Zalatoris ($11,200)
Zalatoris got time to rest by not making the FedExCup Playoffs due to not officially being a full-time member yet. He will now make his third start in as many events this season after posting top-15's in Napa and Jackson. Zalatoris impressed last season in his debut by posting a pair of 64's en route to a T5 finish. His iron play is top-tier on the PGA Tour and these greens are much easier to convert on versus the ones he played a week ago.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,000)
Matsuyama scored a T6 finish a couple weeks ago in Napa behind some terrific ball striking, ranking third for the week in SG: Tee-to-Green. This will be his fourth career start at TPC Summerlin where he owns a pair of top-20's. Matsuyama has the iron play to give him a ton of chances in this shootout and the greens are not overly challenging.
Longer Shots with Value
Russell Henley ($9,500)
Henley is well-rested having not played since the BMW Championship. The former Georgia Bulldog is another excellent iron player, having ranked sixth in SG: Approach, 18th in GIR, and fourth in proximity to the hole last season. This will be Henley's seventh start at TPC Summerlin, a place where he has three previous top-30 results.
Aaron Wise ($9,500)
Wise is coming off a T26 in Napa that was poised for much better before a 72 in the final round. TPC Summerlin is a place he feels good at, having scored a pair of top-15 finishes in his short career thus far. Wise ranked top-50 in SG: Off-the-Tee, SG: Approach, SG: Around, SG: Tee-to-Green, GIR percentage, and birdie average last season.
Henrik Norlander ($8,800)
Norlander paced the field last week in SG: Approach on the way to a T4 finish to open his season. The Swede showed well in some of the ball-striking categories last season as well, ranking top-30 in SG: Approach, driving accuracy, and GIR percentage. The question with Norlander is the putter, but he should enjoy these slower and friendlier greens in Vegas this week.
Luke List ($8,700)
TPC Summerlin is one of List's better tracks, as he has scored three top-20 finishes there in four starts. He has the power to take advantage of a number of holes out here with a limited penalty for missing the fairway. List is coming off a T17 finish last week where he was second only to Burns in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
This is a sneaky good field this week with a lot of strong options above $10,500. The only options I might hold on is Abraham Ancer, who seems pretty overpriced at $11,800 this week. Jason Kokrak ($10,100) and Joaquin Niemann ($10,000) are a couple other players who I think can provide a lot of production for their given prices. Favor the ball strikers this week on a course with pretty straightforward greens.