Shriners Hospitals for Children Open was founded 34 years ago in 1983 and is played annually in Las Vegas. The tournament is currently held at TPC Summerlin. In 1984 it became the first PGA Tour event in history to offer a purse exceeding a million dollars.
Designed in 1992 by Bobby Weed and Fuzzy Zoeller, TPC Summerlin incorporates traditional golf design with the natural desert terrain of the region. It annually ranks among the easiest layouts on the schedule. There is plenty of room off the tee, the greens are large and receptive and the tournament always produces a low-scoring birdie-fest.
TPC Summerlin was home to Tiger Woods first PGA Tour victory. The win came in the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational for a 20 year old Tiger who just making his fifth start on Tour since turning pro.
The Par 71 course can stretch to 7,255 yard and is located at an average elevation of 2,700 feet (820 m) above sea level. Greens are large by Tour standards averaging 7,500 square feet and are very scoreable.
Finding greens and putting well are the key attributes for success at the Shriners Hospitals Open
Last year, Kevin Na captured the Shriners Hospitals Open for the second time having previously won the tournament in 2011. He closed with a final round -1 (70) to finish on a total -23 (261) for the week.
It was an error ridden back nine for Na highlighted by a triple bogey on the 10th hole without finding a hazard. However, he kept his nerve to force a playoff with Patrick Cantlay, eventually winning on the second extra hole.
“It came down way too close”Kevin Na
Na’s victory can be solely attributed to his putter. He set the record for most feet of putts made in a 72-hole tournament since the PGA Tour started tracking statistics with ShotLink in 2003. Click here for a breakdown of Na’s strokes gained for the tournament.
In 2018, Byrson DeChambeau closed with a final round -5 (66) to finish on a total -21 (263) and capture his fourth PGA Tour title in 12 months. A spectacular 58ft eagle on the Par 5 16th greatly helped his one stoke victory over the defending champion, Patrick Cantlay.
The 2017 edition of the tournament saw Patrick Cantlay win his first PGA Tour title in a playoff with Whee Kim and Alex Cejka. He bogeyed the final two holes of regulation for a -5 (67) and a total -9 (275) at a very windy TPC Summerlin. Gusty winds resulted in a field average of 71.542 establishing a 20-year high for the tournament.
In 2016, Rod Pampling, birdied four of the last six holes to capture his first win in 10 years. His victory included a bogey free opening round with seven Birdies and two Eagles for an -11 (60). The Australian finished the week 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green gaining almost 13 strokes on the field average. He finished the week 38th in Driving Distance, T15 for Driving Accuracy, T11 for GIR and T12 in Putts per GIR.
In 2015, Smylie Kaufman, closed with a final round 61 to separate himself by one stroke from a group of seven players. Kaufman led the field in Total Birdies, Total Driving, All-Round Ranking and Par Breakers.
The 2014 champion, Ben Martin, posted four rounds in the 60s on his way to victory which included a 62 on the Saturday.
In a nutshell, this week is all about players putting themselves in position for scoring, racking up birdies and avoiding any unforced errors
Shriners Hospitals Open Betting Tips
Hideki Matsuyama 22/1 (E/W) – this is his second look at TPC Summerlin having finished T16 last year on his Shriners Open debut. First time teeing it up since a T17 finish at the recent US Open at Winged Foot. A stellar all-round game puts him 5th in this week’s Stats Analysis (based on last season’s statistics). Will go toe-to-toe with anyone on Tour when it comes to a tee-to-green game. However, his Achilles heel has always been the putter. It he unlocks the mysteries of the flat stick this week and sees some putts drop early then he will be a ‘tour de force‘. The consummate pro is long overdue a return to the winners circle.
Harris English 25/1 (E/W) – best finish at TPC Summerlin is a T4 in the 2016 edition of the Shriners Hospitals Open. Finished solo 4th in his last outing at the US Open, continuing his steady and impressive run from the close of last season. Features inside the Top 10 in this week’s Stats Analysis (based on last season’s statistics). His skill set and impressive run puts him firmly on this week’s radar. Continues to manufacture one superior performance after another and will be arriving to Las Vegas in confident mood. Should be in the mix come back-9 on Sunday.