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PGA Tour - Golf: Shriners Children's Open preview

04 October 2022 07:20:17 EST
Scotland's Martin Laird is a dual winner of the Las Vegas event

The Shriners Children's Open takes centre stage on the PGA Tour this week and one lucky player will be hoping to hit the jackpot at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Making plenty of birdies is generally the order of the week at one of the easiest par-71 courses on the US circuit, with four of the last five winning scores being -20 or better.

American Patrick Cantlay, who claimed the spoils in 2017 and recorded back-to-back runners-up finishes the next two years, makes his return to action after taking last week off after the Presidents Cup victory at Quail Hollow.

The world number four is 7/1 to lift the trophy for the second time, while defending champion Sungjae Im is 11/1 to become just the second player since Jim Furyk in 1999 to successfully retain his crown.

What

Shriners Children's Open. PGA Tour

Where

TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada

When

Thursday 6th October - Sunday 9th October

How to watch

Sky Sports Golf and bet365 Live Golf Tracker

Odds

Patrick Cantlay 7/1, Sungjae Im 11/1, Max Homa 16/1, Aaron Wise 22/1, Tom Kim 22/1

Low scoring a must for victory

Making plenty of birdies is a necessity this week and the 144-strong field will likely need a score in excess of -20 if they are going to come out on top.

On route to last year's victory, South Korean Im ranked second in birdies - making 26 in total - while he was fifth in putting: birdies-or-better.

The 24-year-old also led in greens in regulation, so he was giving himself plenty of looks at birdie or better, and if he did get in trouble his superb short-game bailed him out as he ranked first in scrambling.

A strong putter and razor-sharp irons are the two departments that will need to be on song this week.

Shriners Children's Open course details

TPC Summerlin is a par-71 course that stands at 7,255 yards and boasts 11 par-fours, four par-threes and three par-fives.

Designed by Fuzzy Zoeller and Bobby Weed, the course was built in 1991 and has been part of this event since 1992, although other venues have hosted the event.

With the weather set to be sunny and hot, and only gentle breezes to contend with, this is likely to be a birdie-fest over the four days of action.

Ryan Moore (2012), Webb Simpson (2013) and Sungjae Im (2021) hold the tournament record with a score of 260, while the 18-hole record of 60 is shared by JJ Henry (2013) and Rod Pampling (2016).

Previous course winners taking part

Martin Laird (two-time winner in 2009 and 2020), Ryan Moore, Patrick Cantlay, Sungjae Im.

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Three to follow

Nick Hardy

American Nicky Hardy showcased his quality when T14 at the US Open this year and he has recorded a couple of top-10 finishes since that showing, with one of those coming last week when tied-fifth at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

The 26-year-old is fourth in strokes gained: approach-the-green this season, while he is 19th in greens in regulation, and he should have plenty of birdie chances to strike it rich in Las Vegas.

At odds of 66/1, if Hardy can show an improvement with the putter, a club that ultimately halted his charge last week, then there is every chance he can make a PGA Tour breakthrough.

Martin Laird

Martin Laird may be struggling for form right now but it is hard to ignore his odds of 110/1 given the fact he has won this tournament twice - in 2009 and 2020.

The Scottish star has an affinity for this course, having also finished second in 2010 and 11th last year, and his third-place finish at the Barracuda Championship in July shows he thrives when it comes to easier courses.

Last season on the PGA Tour, Laird was 24th in greens in regulation and 26th in SG: approach. If he can replicate that kind of form this week, he could be in contention for a third title here.

Harry Hall

Rounding off the three to follow is Englishman Harry Hall, who is believed to be the first South West man to qualify for the PGA Tour.

The 25-year-old has missed the cut in both of his starts this season but a return to TPC Summerlin, where he was eighth last year on debut, could spark him into life.

A strong putter is required this week and Hall has been wielding the flat stick with authority, as he ranks first in strokes gained: putting and fifth in putting average.

Priced at 175/1, the world number 262 could be worth a go in the each-way market with bet365 paying a quarter of the odds for five places.

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