Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: PGA Tour Heads To Sin City

Local son Ryan Moore is the favorite to win this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open for his second win in Vegas

At a time of year where fledgling tournaments on Tour are just trying to carve their niche, this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open has given us some pretty good golf for over three decades in Sin City.

We’ve all seen the picture of Tiger Woods standing with the trophy and a pair of Vegas showgirls after his first PGA Tour win in 1996 (and wondered if he subsequently got their phone numbers). Jonathan Byrd’s memorable walk-off ace came here in 2010, and so did Ryan Moore winning just a few miles from his alma mater, UNLV, back in 2014.

Four U.S. Ryder Cup members headline a decent field in this edition that lacks much European talent due to the Turkish Airlines Open kicking off the Race to Dubai Final Series this week.

Brooks Koepka, Jimmy Walker, Moore and J.B. Holmes will all tee it up. Those veterans join the likes of Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau, last week’s Sanderson Farms champion, Cody Gribble, and defending SHCO champ, Smylie Kaufman.

The fall has been the time for rookies to shine in recent history as three won in the fall of 2015 and Gribble picked up the trend in 2016 by winning in his eighth career PGA Tour start.

Jon Rahm has been superb in limited starts on Tour, most recently tying for 15th a couple weeks ago in Napa. TPC Summerlin this week lacks much rough, perhaps allowing the big-hitting 21-year-old to thrive in a climate and style of course he should be accustomed to from his recent collegiate days at Arizona State.

Last week’s 36-hole leader, Grayson Murray, is also back at it this week.

Whoever is going to walk away with the trophy, it’ll take plenty of birdies. You have to go back to 2009 to where 20-under-or better wasn’t needed to win. Even then, it was Martin Laird who emerged from a trio at 19-under.

The Tour will also be keeping an eye on pace of play. Due to a clerical error, the field stands at 144 players instead of the prescribed 132.  The late groups on Thursday and Friday may be battling daylight, but those groups very well could feature 12 of the lucky players to sneak in, so their gripes should be limited.

Some will remember this tournament having even more of a mouthful of a name between 2008 and 2012 — the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The relationship with the pop star was severed after the pop star was accused of using his charitable efforts for publicity.

TPC Summerlin has been the host venue for over 25 years. The Bobby Weed and Fuzzy Zoeller track plays at tournament conditions to a par-71 at 7,243 yards. The tournament’s purse is up from $6.4 to $6.6 million and the  winner’s share climbs from $1.152 to $1.2 million. The winner will also take home 500 FedEx Cup points.

The top favorites to win according to Bovada as of Tuesday morning are Moore (+1600; Koepka and Rahm (+2200); and Chris Kirk, Francesco Molinari, Kevin Na and Scott Piercy (+2800).

Another former UNLV Rebel will tee it up this week, world No. 56 Charley Hoffman. He’s missed the cut in Vegas twice in a row, but placed fourth in 2013.

Who will walk away from TPC Summerlin victorious? Do tournaments in November move the needle for you? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter, and keep it here for more on the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

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