The 2019 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (3-6 October) will be the 37th edition of this popular PGA Tour golf tournament. It was established in 1983 and has been played at its current home of TPC Summerlin since 2008.
Since then, this annual birdie-fest has been won by a variety of top-class players and one-hit wonders including Marc Turnesa, Martin Laird, Jonathan Byrd, Kevin Na, Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson, Ben Martin, Smylie Kaufman, Rod Pampling, Patrick Cantlay, and Bryson De Chambeau.
TPC Summerlin is in Las Vegas and this Par 71 measures just over 7,200 yards. In benign conditions, it is a course where the winning score tends to be –20 or better and it is considered the easiest par 71 the PGA Tour uses on a regular basis. Fairways are generous and the large greens tend to run at an easy 11.5 on the stimpmeter, which is hardly fast enough to scare anyone.
There is 11-years of form at TPC Summerlin to look through in the hope it sheds some light on who might go well this year, and there’s no better place to start than the favourite Brooks Koepka. The World number one is the only player form the top-six in the OWGR rankings playing this week and he deserves plenty of respect at around 8/1 in a tournament in which he’s finished fourth and second on his last three visits. But he’s not played here since 2016 and, having not played at all for the last five weeks, there has to be a big question as to whether the four-time Major champion will be ready enough or interested enough to have his “A” game this week.
Two players that aren’t major winners yet who may well be looking to make a move on Koepka’s number one status this season are Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau, and both have excellent course form.
Cantlay won here in 2016 on his tournament debut and followed that up last year with a brilliant defence when beaten one-shot by 2018 Champion DeChambeau. Interestingly, both returned after a break last week and could be aiming to peak for this tournament. That means both make plenty of appeal at around 12/ and 16/1, respectively, and are amongst our Shriners Hospitals for Children free tips 2019.
Some other big names that have bits of form here in the past include Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland, and Hideki Matsuyama, but that trio all must overcome a lack of good recent form.
That’s not the case for Tony Finau, who enjoyed his time at another birdie-fest last week at the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland. But the Fijian hasn’t done much here since finishing seventh on his tournament debut.
Joaquin Niemann did his career plenty of favours by winning his maiden title three weeks ago, and he could easily be ready for another big tournament after taking a week off. He’s up to number 54 in the world and he could be ready to make a push to get in the top-50 for the first time. He impressed here last year when finishing tenth on debut and is the third of our free tips for Shriners Hospital Childrens Open 2019.
I’m also finding space for two players at much bigger prices this week in this week’s staking plan in JT Poston and Chesson Hadley.
Consistency isn’t one of JT Poston’s best assets, but he showed when winning last year’s Wyndham Championship with a score of –22 that he could easily be suited to this sort of birdie-fest. He also highlighted when fourth here in 2017 that the course could be ideal if he finds his best game. He’s missed the cut either side of that top-5 finish, but he started the new season in good form when finishing 11th two weeks ago at the Sanderson’s Farm Championship, where he again showcased his birdie-making talents with an –8 under round of 64. He looks a fair bet at around 66/1.
Chesson Hadley is another inconsistent sort but this tournament has been one of his happier hunting grounds. He boasts a fourth, a fifth, and a seventh here in five visits and he didn’t look far off his best when finishing 23rd at last week’s Safeway Open. He looks a fair bet at triple-figure odds.