The strongest field of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season ascends on TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, NV for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. With several of the top golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking such as Brooks Koepka (1), Patrick Cantlay (7), Bryson DeChambeau (10) and Tony Finau (13) in attendance, there’s suddenly much better value at the sportsbooks than we saw in the first three tournaments of the season. Here, we look at longshots, values and the best betting picks for the 2020 Shriners Open.
Each of the season’s first three PGA Tour winners in Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz and Cameron Champ are scheduled to tee off Thursday morning. Five of the last six champions of TPC Summerlin are present, with those being DeChambeau (2019), Cantlay (2018), Rod Pampling (2017), Smylie Kaufman (2016) and Webb Simpson (2015). Jim Furyk, the only multiple-time winner at TPC Summerlin, seeks his first title here since winning thrice from 1995-1999.
The course: TPC Summerlin
The 7,255-yard par-71 course was designed by Bobby Weed and features Bentgrass greens. The 72-hole scoring record is shared by Simpson and Ryan Moore at a 24-under-par 260.
The four par 3s range from 168 to 239 yards. Par 4s vary from the 341-yard 15th to the 492-yard third. The three par 5s come in at 560, 563 and 606 yards. Nine holes played below par last season and nine played above. The easiest was the 606-yard, par-5 13th with a scoring average of 4.512. It had 16 eagles, 189 bogeys and just 19 bogeys or worse. The most difficult was the aforementioned longest par 4 with an average of 4.218 strokes. In all, there were 53 eagles carded over four rounds of competition. Eight of those came on the 341-yard, par-4 15th.
The course’s claim to fame; however, may be the fact it was the site of Tiger Woods‘ first-career PGA Tour victory at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. Woods would go on to win five more times over the next nine months, including his 12-stroke victory at the Masters to mark the commencement of his reign over professional golf.
Key stats to consider for the Shriners Open
The key stats best-tailored to success at TPC Summerlin, per historical course data from Data Golf and Fantasy National, are Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and Strokes Gained: Approach. Seven of the 11 par 4s come in between 400 and 450 yards, so we’re also looking at Par 4 Efficiency: 400-450 Yards. Strokes Gained: Par 5s is also considered due to the importance of scoring on the three par 5s.
The model is set to the most recent 36 rounds played on courses featuring Bentgrass greens for each golfer in the field.
Shriners Open betting picks: Sleepers and value bets
Glover was hot at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. He picked up five consecutive top 20s to start the year, including a T7 at the Shriners. He placed solo third in this event in 2017 following consecutive missed cuts in 2015 and 2016. Glover climbed from 136th in the OWGR to 62nd last season but has started this year with consecutive missed cuts. A return to a favorite venue could get him back on track. Despite the poor results thus far, he’s sixth overall in the stat model and ranks fifth in SG: Approach and eighth in Par 4 Efficiency from the key distance. By coincidence, DeChambeau placed T7 in 2018 before his win here last season.
Pan picked up his first PGA Tour win at last year’s RBC Heritage. The win vaulted him to 55th in the OWGR. After some ups and downs in the time since he enters this week with the same rank. The 27-year-old from Taiwan missed the cut in 2018 with a T57 the year prior as his lone course experience. He is also coming off a missed cut at the Safeway Open last week, but he made it all the way to the BMW Championship in last season’s FedExCup Playoffs. He was eliminated with a T31 finish at the second-to-last event. Pan is 10th in the field in SG: Around-the-Green on Bentgrass courses and ninth in SG: Par 5.
Sloan is mispriced coming off a T13 last week. Fellow Canadian Nick Taylor has +10000 odds after finishing just three spots ahead of Sloan last week. In addition, Taylor ranks 18 spots worse than his countryman in the OWGR. Taylor made the cut each of the last five years at the Shriners while Sloan fell short of the weekend last year. Sloan is a better fit by the stat model; ranking 23rd overall with a best rank of 26th in SG: Approach.
Shriners Open betting picks: Our winner
Frittelli (pictured above) has started his season with a T6 at the Sanderson Farms Championship and a T7 last week. The 2018-19 champion of the John Deere Classic makes his first appearance at TPC Summerlin. He comes in ranked 17th by the stat model and is fourth by Par 4 Efficiency and 13th by SG: Around-the-Green. Frittelli bounced back from a poor putting performance at the Sanderson Farms, which likely kept him out of the winner’s circle, to gain 0.98 strokes putting per round last week. He led the field in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green two weeks ago and just needs to be slightly above average with the flat stick.