This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
Shriners Children's Open Betting Preview
It's off to the desert for the first of two consecutive events in Las Vegas!
The third stop of the fall portion of the wraparound season, the Shriners Children's Open, boasts the best field we've seen thus far, one that features tournament favorite Brooks Koepka – at 16-1 odds – and 11 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. This event is held annually at TPC Summerlin, and players will need to make birdies in bunches, with the winning score besting 20-under-par each of the last three editions. Last year, long shot Martin Laird, with 250-1 odds, claimed victory over Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff with a birdie on the second playoff hole.
The elevation in Vegas makes the course play shorter than its approximate 7,250 yards, and two of the three par-5s play more like long par-4s, giving most of the field a realistic chance at a pair of eagle opportunities each round. With previous winners like Laird, Kevin Na and Rod Pampling, driving distance is far from a prerequisite. Summerlin sets up as more of a second-shot golf course, with the winner ranking among top-5 in Strokes Gained: Approach three of the last five years. If there's a week to target good putters this is the one, given how easy it is to hit the greens. In fact, Na was able to win two years ago despite losing strokes from tee to green.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 2:00 PM ET Tuesday.
The following five golfers, with a minimum of eight rounds played, have the lowest scoring average at TPC Summerlin since 2016:
Wolff sure has found a second home at the Vegas course, posting a T18 in his first trip and following that up by losing in a playoff last year. In fact, Wolff has shot in the 60s in all eight of his rounds at Summerlin. It's crazy to think that his playoff loss last year was his last top-10 finish, as Wolff has had a tumultuous 2021 that has included several WDs and a complete loss of form that eventually led to him taking two months off. He has played better recently and is coming off a strong weekend in Jackson, so he is priced reasonably this week at 40-1. Further down the betting board is Perez, who posted a top-10 in two of his last three appearances at the Shriners and came up just shy in 2019 after holding a share of the lead through three rounds. He'd certainly be a long shot to pull off the victory, but he's in good form – he notched four top-20s in his last eight starts – and can at least be considered a quality low-cost option in DFS contests.
Approach at Will
These players, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes on approach over their last 20 rounds:
Casey comes into the week having played exceptionally well with his irons over the summer, which is good news at a track where approach play is key. He's not without question marks, however, as he has little experience at TPC Summerlin and missed the cut in his only visit last year. It will also be interesting to see how he rebounds from a rough Ryder Cup in which he failed to record a point despite playing all five matches. Another Whistling Straits participant in the field is Hovland, the fifth choice on the board at 20-1 to win. Although he doesn't have any course history to go off of, it's difficult to find a venue that doesn't fit his eye with his combination of length and accuracy off the tee and his elite iron play. Hovland is arguably the best ball striker in the field and a great target if you're looking for someone near the top of the board.
Hideki Matsuyama (28-1)
Matsuyama should be around 20-1, and having him as the 12th choice on the board behind Na is an oversight from the oddsmakers. He's coming off a T6 at the Fortinet Championship two weeks ago – his third top-10 result since August. Matsuyama has posted a pair of top-20s here in three starts and will be a factor if he gets the putter rolling.
Adam Scott (55-1)
It's hard to pass up on this kind of value on Scott in any scenario, as he's priced outside the top 20 choices at a regular Tour stop. He nearly won last time he found himself in the same, losing in a playoff at the Wyndham Championship, which is another event that requires bunches of birdies. Scott showed a resurgence this summer and looks like he still has a win or two left in the tank.
Kevin Streelman (70-1)
Streelman's last win came in 2014, but it sure does appear he's ready to break the drought, as he was in serious contention in the final round three times this summer and also came close a couple times in 2020. TPC Summerlin is a welcome fit for this shorter hitter, who is a former runner-up in this event and has notched two other top-20s.
Ian Poulter (5-1)
Poulter gets overlooked by many with him being a bit over the hill, but the 45-year-old recorded three top-10s this summer in noteworthy tournaments: one at Colonial, the Scottish Open and also a WGC event. His lack of distance won't put him behind the eight ball this week, and if the event turns into the putting contest it often does, a top-10 finish is very much within reach.
Ryan Palmer (7-1)
Palmer's results have leveled off since a hot start to the year, but he did notch a quality result recently with a top-5 in the Scottish Open. In my view the oddsmakers have discounted him too much, especially when you factor in his results at the Shriners. He has made the cut in four straight trips and notched a T7 three years ago and a T16 in 2015.
Scott Piercy (11-1)
Piercy is part of the contingent of golfers that reside in Vegas, and this is certainly an event he circles on the calendar. He led the field in SG: Approach here last year but was unable to get much going with the putter. With four top-10s at TPC Summerlin since 2010, this is one of the best values on the board.
This is a likely letdown spot for Burns, who is coming off a victory last week in Jackson and might not have his usual level of focus heading to Vegas. Even without that factor, Scheffler is the better golfer of the two and went undefeated in the Ryder Cup, including a win over world No. 1 Jon Rahm in singles play. He's also a great fit for a head-to-head matchup, with only one missed cut since April.
Niemann comes in well-rested, having last played at the TOUR Championship, and he has had success at TPC Summerlin, firing four rounds of 68 or better last year for his second top-15 finish at the course in three appearances. Conners, on the other hand, has gone T68, MC in his two trips to the Vegas course, as his precision off the tee is mostly negated here.