The PGA Tour heads west for the first leg of a two-week stint in Las Vegas.
While many of the game's best will flock to Shadow Creek next week for a tournament on a premier course largely shielded from the public, there are still plenty of recognizable names getting back to work this week after a post-U.S. Open hiatus. Newly-minted major champ Bryson DeChambeau headlines the field, where he'll be joined by Winged Foot runner-up Matthew Wolff and PGA champion Collin Morikawa among others at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
TPC Summerlin reprises its role as host for this event, and the par-71 layout typically offers up plenty of birdies. Here are some names and props to consider before placing wagers for this week's event in Sin City:
To Win (odds via PointsBet Sportsbook)
Webb Simpson (+1100): DeChambeau will (deservedly) receive ample attention in the wake of his barnstorming at Winged Foot, but don't sleep on Simpson who, like DeChambeau, has won before on this track. That victory came back in 2013, and it's the highlight of a run on this course that has included six top-20 finishes in his last eight starts. Simpson has carded 10 straight rounds in the 60s at this event, boasting a lifetime scoring average of 67.85. He has won already this year on a desert course, capturing the title at TPC Scottsdale in a playoff, and he enters with three top-10 finishes in his last four starts including a T-8 showing at the U.S. Open. Expect another big week from the resurgent veteran.
Louis Oosthuizen (+3300): Oosthuizen and I have won the same number of PGA Tour events in the U.S., but only one of us appears poised to change our trophy total this week. The South African has found a bit of a groove in recent weeks, finishing T-33 or better in five straight starts including a third-place showing at Winged Foot and a T-6 finish at the WGC event in Memphis back in July. Oosthuizen finished inside the top 15 in both Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and SG: Putting, a combination that should put him in the mix once again this week. His recent form and sweet swing should be enough to put him in the mix as one of the favorites, but the inclusion of a few players above him in the world rankings means there's value on the former Open champ.
Cameron Davis (+6000): Davis may not be a household name to U.S. fans, but he won one of the biggest events in his native Australia (2017 Australian Open) and has been on a bit of a run recently. Davis finished T-6 Sunday in Mississippi, his sixth straight finish of T-36 or better. He played well last year in his Shriners debut, shooting four straight sub-par rounds en route to a T-28 result, and is averaging five birdies per round in his first two starts of the wraparound season. Should that trend continue he should factor once more at Summerlin, where another Aussie (Rod Pampling) surprised in 2016. Given the 25-year-old's relatively long odds, a sprinkle on a top-10 (+575) or top-20 finish (+280) wouldn't be the worst idea.
Top Finishes (odds via PointsBet)
Matthew Wolff (+280 top-10 finish): Wolff returns to action following his U.S. Open runner-up, and there's reason to think he'll factor once more. The relative lack of rough at TPC Summerlin should allow the 21-year-old to let it fly off the tee, and he has some experience at this event after a T-18 finish last year that included four straight rounds in the 60s. There's no denying that Wolff has been one of the biggest examples of a player finding his footing after the break, with top-4 finishes in each of the first two majors and six top-25s in his last nine starts dating back to July. The combination of recent form and past success makes this an appetizing price, even if he comes up short of a second career win.
Kristoffer Ventura (+350 top-20 finish): Ventura played alongside Wolff at Oklahoma State, and like his former teammate he has made the most of a fresh start after an unexpected hiatus. Ventura missed eight of 12 cuts last season before the break, including a run of six early exits in a row. But since returning in June he has missed just one cut in 11 starts while racking up four top-10 finishes, including a T-6 result last week in Mississippi. Ventura has cracked the top 20 in four of his last six starts and is averaging a stout 4.75 birdies per round through his first three starts of the new wraparound season.
Kevin Na (+550 top-10 finish): There are few adjectives that can aptly describe Na's putting performance en route to victory a year ago, so let's just settle on other-worldly. The veteran is typically one of the best on Tour on the greens, but his work last year exceeded even his own lofty standards and was the main reason why he was able to win despite losing strokes to the field tee-to-green. Of his four career victories, two have come at this event to go along with a second-place showing in 2016. There have been a few missed cuts mixed in, so it's definitely a bit of a gamble, but he's worth betting on at this price given his track record in his hometown event.
Paul Casey (-200 Top Englishman): There's a reason it's a chalky play. Casey is far and away the best of the three English players teeing it up this week, as Tom Lewis has missed four of his last five cuts and Donald remains mired in an even deeper slump with five straight missed cuts. Casey, meanwhile, hasn't missed a cut since the 3M Open in July and has three top-20s in his last five starts, including each of the first two majors. With no player boasting any more than one prior trip to TPC Summerlin, Casey gets the clear nod on recent form and course fit.
Brian Harman (+350 to win Group E): This is a PointsBet-specific prop that pits Harman against Charley Hoffman, Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns and Sebastian Munoz, all at +350 odds. Harman seems like the pick of the litter, as the southpaw continues to put up solid if unspectacular numbers, with five straight top-40s, but now turns to a course where he has finished T-18 or better in each of his last two trips. Bradley got the most out of a good putting performance last week and could be poised for some regression, while Burns made a surprising early exit at Sanderson. Hoffman has been hit-or-miss in his hometown event, and Munoz is making his eighth start in the last 10 weeks.
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