After a couple of weeks of slightly weaker fields, the PGA Tour heads to Sin City and boasts a list of premier golfers who took a few weeks off due to the grueling nature of the US Open. It wasn’t all boring in the golf world last week, however. We were able to witness the return of Sergio Garcia who was able to capture the title at the Sanderson Farms making it his first win on tour since the 2017 Masters. His putting had been pretty poor as of late so he employed a new strategy this past weekend and it appears to have worked out just fine. We’ll see if he can keep this momentum moving into the next few events starting this week in Las Vegas, The Shriners Open.
- Course: TPC Summerlin
- Greens: Bent
- Length: 7,243
- Par: 71
- Defending Champion: Kevin Na
As mentioned prior, it is a much more recognizable field of golfers heading into the desert this weekend than we have seen the past two weeks. These next few events will be considered the ramp up for the November Masters and many of the biggest names in golf will be aggressively trying to get their game in the right form before arriving at Augusta in just five weeks.
Headlining the field is the newly crowned US Open Champion, Bryson DeChambeau. He is also a previous winner of the Shriners from back in 2018. He is the favorite coming in this week and for good reason. His dominating driving as of late helped win him the US Open and is sure to be an advantage this weekend as well.
A golfer struggling the past couple of months but looking to find some good form to turn his game around is Patrick Canatlay. He has great course history here with a win in 2018 and a runner up finish in 2019 and 2020.
Other golfers of note returning to the course are Webb Simpson, Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa, and Matthew Wolff, who most recently finished runner up at the US Open.
TPC Summerlin is a par-71 course that is just over 7,200 yards in length. Unlike some other desert courses, Summerlin doesn’t offer too much trouble off the fairways which should allow most golfers to take driver and attempt to be aggressive when it comes to tee shots. We have seen a mixed skillset win this event in the past. Just look at the last two winners: Kevin Na is historically short and keeps the ball in play. Bryson DeChambeau is as long as they come and tends to get wayward with his accuracy. The consistencies that we can identify with previous success here comes from Approach and Putting. The past three winners have all gained positive strokes in both of those key categories. Another key detail is the elevation of the course. It is located roughly 3,000 feet above sea level which will allow the ball to travel further. Even short hitters will be able to attack the majority of holes pretty easily.
Being a par 71, this means that there are only three par-5s compared to the four par-3s. As with most TPC courses, the par-5s will play as three of the easier holes, including the 536 yard par-5 16th hole which, in the past, has seen an eagle rate that almost matches its bogey rate. It also has a birdie rate of almost 50%. The opposite end of this, the par-3s, are some of the more challenging holes. The 8th hole plays around 250 yards and sees only an 8% birdie rate as opposed to a 20% rate of bogeys.
The scoring is typically pretty favorable with the winning score being better than 20-under. The only exception to this was in 2018 when Patrick Cantlay won with a final score of 9-under but that week saw horrendous weather that is not on the horizon for this upcoming weekend. Outside of some potential wind on Sunday, the conditions should be good and the scoring should be plentiful.
The majority of holes the golfers will face are split evenly between 400 – 500 yards. Most approach shots, depending on how the golfers decide to play the holes, will be from roughly 125 – 175 yards, with the exception coming on long par-3s and reachable par-5s. This will bring into play approach shots from over 200 yards. Successful golfers in the past have excelled on approach, gained positive strokes with the putter, and scored well on par-4s, especially from 400 – 450 yards.
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Par-4 Scoring (400-450 yards)
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Birdies or Better %
- Proximity 125-150 yards
Hideki Matsuyama +1800
Hideki has quietly been piecing together a great stretch of golf. Prior to placing 17th in the US Open, he has finished top-30 in seven of his last eight starts. He has always been known for his premier ball striking ability and that has been no different as of late. He has gained 2.4 strokes on approach and 5.4 strokes tee-to-green in his last five starts. Although he hasn’t had a PGA Tour victory since 2017, he remains one of the most consistent golfers there is.
The key struggle with Hideki’s game has always been his putting. It has been a constant problem over the past few years and he would have a handful more victories if he can even remain average with the flat stick. Diving a little deeper into details, it does appear that bentgrass is his preferred putting surface.
|Putts Made Percentage Green Type and Length (past 12 months)|
|0-3 ft||99.5 %||99.6 %||100.0 %||98.9 %|
|4-6 ft||78 %||77 %||80 %||77 %|
|7-10 ft||82 %||83 %||83 %||79 %|
|10-15 ft||25 %||26 %||25 %||24 %|
|15-20 ft||17 %||17 %||21 %||12 %|
He shows the most success on Bent from inside 20 feet over the past 12 months. With how large the greens are at this course, scrambling will not be as big of an emphasis and it will rely more on putting. Hopefully Hideki can stick to this putting trend and get the ball rolling this week in Vegas. He has played this event twice and has finished inside the top 20 both times. Hopefully he can do a little better and claim the title at 18/1.
Scottie Scheffler +2800
He has been one of the most consistent golfers on tour throughout this summer. Since the middle of July, he has yet to miss a cut and his worst finish was 37th. This run has also seen three top-5s, including the Tour Championship and PGA Championship. At first glance, someone may be low on him due to him only placing 37th in a weaker field this past week but it was his first tournament that he actually lost strokes on approach in his last seven starts. I’ll chalk that up to taking the last four weeks off and will anticipate the irons rebounding this week in Vegas.
As far as long term form goes, he has gained strokes in all key categories over the past 34 tournaments, including 3.4 strokes: tee-to-green. Even with his strong long-term form, he is still finding a way to continue to get better.
|Tournaments||SG: Total||SG: T2G||SG: OTT||SG: APP|
Scheffer tends to succeed at tournaments that can turn into birdie fests. This week should be no different and he is 4th in this field in birdie or better %. I expect him to be aggressive this week when it comes to attacking the flags and there is no reason that he can’t go as low as anyone. Even with the high-end names at the top of the board, Scottie Scheffler at 28/1 is a great bet.
Brendan Steele +10000
Anytime that we can get Steele at triple digit odds in birdie fest I am willing to take my chances. Another golfer who is piecing together a very consistent summer, Brendan Steele has not missed a cut since the Charles Schwab back in June. That is a streak of seven straight weekends played and this run has also seen a 6th, a 13th, and a 22nd at the PGA. With all the highly ranked golfers in this field, it is actually Steele who is 6th in strokes gained: approach. He is also top 25 in par-4 scoring, proximity from 125-150 yards, and birdie or better %. This is just too many details that line up correctly for someone this far down the odds board. He has played this event seven times and has made the cut five of those appearances with his 2019 start ending in a top-30. I’ll be diving into top 5 and top 10 bets for Steele as well as pulling the trigger outright at 100/1.
Bryson DeChambeau vs Patrick Cantlay
Cantlay is a golfer who will get a lot of buzz this week due to his past history at this event. He not only won in 2017 but he then finished 2nd both of the next two years. On paper that may look solid but if you dig in deeper you would find that he was in good form each of the past three years heading into the Shriners. All three of those years he had a top 10 finish in one of the previous three starts prior to the event. This year? He hasn’t finished inside the top 10 since July. Course history is definitely worth looking at but a combination of history and recent form should still be taken into account.
How can you not like Bryson heading into this week. He finally had his major breakthrough and won the US Open a few weeks ago. He has proved that the bombing drives approach to golf is an effective strategy at any course. That shouldn’t be any different this week. Some might say that after such a big win there may still be a slight emotional hangover and this could be a let down spot. The US Open was three weeks ago so he has had plenty of time to recover. While I don’t think he wins again this week, I do love him in this matchup and will be taking the extra 1.5 strokes as well.
The picks: Bryson DeChambeau (-1.5) -110
Collin Morikawa -120 vs Harris English +100
Have we so quickly forgotten about the golfer who took the world by storm just a couple months ago? All it took was Bryson to win a big event and the lights turned off on the young phenom, Collin Morikawa? I’m not willing to forget that fast. Morikawa is one of the elite golfers not only in this field, but in the world. Yes, he did miss the cut at the challenging US Open but right before that he had finished 6th at the Tour Championship. Collin historically has found more success at courses that have lower scoring. He is 3rd in this week’s field in birdie or better %. He struggled at the challenging US Open but succeeded at the much easier East Lake right before. 3rd in approach, 9th off-the-tee, and 15th in proximity from 125-150 yards. I’m loving Collin Morikawa this week.
Harris English is the exact opposite. Yes, he has been playing some amazing golf. But when looking at what he excels at (scrambling, putting, consistency) he is not built to compete at a course where the scores should be south of 20-under. He is more suitable for events that end around 5 or 6 under par. For example, a 4th at the US Open and a 13th at the Memorial show just that. With how easy the greens will be to hit at TPC Summerlin, scrambling won’t be too much of a factor and that is one of the strengths of English’s game. Collin Morikawa should be much more of a favorite in this matchup than the odds show.
The pick: Collin Morikawa -120