Shriners Hospitals Open Picks & Analysis
Event: Shriners Hospitals Open
When: October 3-6, 2019
Where: TPC Summerlin - Las Vegas, NV
TV: The Golf Channel
With so much to play for at the end of the PGA season, players know that they can’t just hang out until January like they used and we see a few more stars make their season debuts each week. Brooks Koepka and Patrick Cantlay are a couple of the more notable names in Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals Open, and they are expected to contend alongside defending champion Bryson DeChambeau. Tony Finau and Hideki Matsuyama are other names to watch with Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker representing the veteran contingent in this rather strong field. This event was formerly named the Las Vegas Invitational and will always have at least footnote status on Tour as Tiger Woods won his first PGA victory here in 1996.
TPC Summerlin is simply one of the best layouts in the western part of the country. The course plays as a par-72 for the members but moves to a par-71 for PGA competition and measures just over 7,250 yards. Vegas conjures up desert images, but the layout here is definitely more canyon influenced than anything else. The course features several areas of dramatic elevation change, and the greens are as undulating as any on Tour. Winning scores have been as much as 21-under par recently, but Patrick Cantlay won at just 9-under in 2017. The right mix here typically involves players that can control their approaches to properly access the correct sections on the greens. The difficulty at Summerlin is more subtle than obvious so players can fall into the trap of attacking too often, and many pay the price if they do not execute.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the best values on the board. We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of popular head-to-head matches that can be found at just about any golf betting outlet. Odds and pairings come courtesy of the board at Bovada. Here are our picks to win the 2019 Shriners Hospitals Open.
Adam Scott (18 to 1 odds to win)
Scott was our pick last week as well, and while his T17 wasn’t exactly a contending run, I still like that he was able to card rounds of 65 and 68 during the week. There isn’t much that Scott doesn’t do at an elite level and he ranked third in total strokes gained last season. That macro-metric suggests that he is better than just about everyone on Tour regardless of the shot that faces him. He finished last season inside the top-10 in both birdies and scoring and putts well enough to make the most of his top-30 GIR percentage. He is correctly behind a guy like Koepka in terms of win probability, but Koepka is at 8 to 1, so Scott has the value on top of the raw materials to produce a win.
Gary Woodland (33 to 1)
Woodland swooned a bit after winning the U.S. Open last season, but I think the Major hangover should end at Summerlin where Gary ran T10 previous season. He was already showing signs of getting back to normal at the Tour Championship, and his stat sheet fits well at the TPC. His top-15 driving distance works well anywhere, but he also finds more fairways than most bombers. Woodland ranked 28th in greens last season and finished with the 5th best birdie average despite most of his putting status at Tour average or worse. He is top-25 in off-the-tee, tee-to-green and total strokes gained so there is nothing you can point to as a real weakness. He has the dominant length and contends in every tournament where he finds the pace on the greens.
Scott Piercy (66 to 1)
It has already been a bit of a wild season with a solid T19 at the Greenbrier before carding an 80 after making the cut last week. He bounced back with a 71 to finish things up at The Safeway so I will ignore that terrible third round considering he has fared well at TPC Summerlin. Piercy has two top-25 finishes at The Shriners in his last three starts, including a T10 last season and has not missed a cut here. He finished 2018-19 with the 9th best greens hit mark on Tour with a solid putter netting the 28th best scoring average. He’s got that veteran mojo going around the greens with a top-20 scrambling rate, and there really isn’t much to pick on outside of a relatively short driving distance. He’s a high-floor guy that does have four Tour wins to prove he can get it done.
Picks to win based on predicted scores after all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Hideki Matsuyama (-115) v. Tony Finau (-115) (pick to win: Finau)
Finau was a ho-hum T36 last week, but that was good enough to win this head-to-head the previous week with Matsuyama missing the cut. Dating back to the start of the playoffs, Finau has finished behind Matsuyama just once, and that was by one stroke at the BMW. Despite hitting fewer greens and making fewer birdies than his counterpart, Finau has a nearly identical scoring average as Matsuyama, making Tony the more consistent and mistake-free player. That will be rewarded at Summerlin, and I’m looking for Finau to stay on a roll against Matsuyama.
Chez Reavie (-115) v. Charles Howell III (-115) (pick to win: Howell III)
Howell pushed for a win last week before settling for a T4 while Reavie faded to a T33 with a final round 75. These competitors have split the previous four head-to-heads so this one could be a close match, but I like Howell after last week and how his game fits Summerlin. Howell hits more greens than Reavie and putts a bit better which should pay off on the tricky greens. Howell is also the better scrambler, and that could help if both players happen to play something close to their average finish. Reavie is tough and sets himself up well by hitting more fairways than anyone, but Howell has the distance advantage and should be able to sneak a few more birdie chances out during the week.
Good luck and good golf!