The PGA Tour begins a two-week residency in Las Vegas with the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin. Martin Laird returns as the defending champion, but he’ll be challenged by a rather strong field. Below, we look at the 2021 Shriners Children’s Open odds and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions to win.
Viktor Hovland is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings (as of Sept. 27). He’s playing his first event of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season following his loss with Team Europe at the Ryder Cup. Louis Oosthuizen (No. 5) and Paul Casey (No. 7) are also among this week’s betting favorites.
The 7,255-yard, par-71 TPC Summerlin has long hosted the Shriners Children’s Open and its many previous iterations. Course history has been important with Laird winning this event for a second time last year and Kevin Na winning in 2011 and 2019.
2021 Shriners Children’s Open picks – Favorite
Kevin Na (+3000)
While no faults can be found in the 2021 US Ryder Cup team in hindsight, Na had been considered a snub by many when the team was first announced. He’ll have an early opportunity to prove those beliefs correct, despite the Americans’ lopsided victory, with his third career win at TPC Summerlin.
He tied for the low 72-hole score at the Tour Championship before missing the cut at the Fortinet Championship. The 2020-21 season finale capped a six-event stretch that included two co-runner-up finishes and a T-8 at The Northern Trust to start the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Na tied for just 43rd last year in his 2019 defense, but he was sixth among those who made the cut with 0.93 Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee per round and had a subpar putting performance. His strong short game can shine at this venue.
2021 Shriners Children’s Open picks – Contender
Brian Harman (+6000)
This is a much higher number for Harman than those we got accustomed to seeing in the 2020-21 season. He enters the week at No. 28 in the Golfweek rankings and with five top-10 finishes on the calendar year, along with top-20 finishes in three of the year’s four majors.
The 34-year-old lefty has played 22 career rounds at TPC Summerlin with an average of 0.92 total strokes gained on the field per round. He finished T-13 last year while ranking third in the field in SG: Putting per round. His play with the driver improved greatly through the season.
2021 Shriners Children’s Open picks – Long shot
Matt Kuchar (+20000)
Kuchar’s lone top-10 finish of 2021 thus far was a third-place result in the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play. He’s down to his final eight opportunities of the year to try to extend a three-year streak of at least one professional victory.
He has averaged 1.22 strokes gained on the field over 17 career rounds at TPC Summerlin, including a T-34 finish last year with 0.76 SG: Around-the-Green per round. While the odds are indicative of his fall from regular contender status, this course still suits his strengths in the short game
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