Webb Simpson Aiming for More Success at Shriners Children’s Open

The PGA Tour heads to Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and the big names are starting to get their seasons underway.

Brooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler, Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland all return to action after a week off following the Ryder Cup and are among the favourites. But like last week’s tournament, the projected low scoring means that there is no clear favourite, with 22/1 being the shortest price for any of these players.

TPC Summerlin is one of the tour’s easiest courses and barring any changes in the forecast it should play very easy once again. It is likely going to need a score of 20 or better to have a shot to win it and it may even take closer to -25 if the wind stays away.

When looking at course form, there are players that stand out with lots of top 10 finishes at TPC Summerlin, but for most of those players there are poor results and missed cuts thrown in. Kevin Na, for example, has two wins, a second and three missed cuts in the past 10 years. Koepka has a second and a fourth, but has not made the weekend in any of his other three appearances. So it is not easy to pick a winner at this event. It is likely to just come down to a shootout and who can hole lots of putts.

One man who has managed some consistency here, though, is Webb Simpson. He has played this in the past eight years and is one of the few players to have played the event multiple times without a missed cut on his resume. He won in 2013 and has top-20 finishes in six of his eight appearances. At 25/1 he could be value in a field that is hard to nail down any consistent performers. He is a classy player that has won plenty of events so if he can get himself in the mix then he has what it takes to get the job done. 

So with course form not being an easy way to separate the field, it may be worth just looking at general form. It is a shame that Na has had to withdraw as he played excellently down the stretch last season and was perhaps unlucky not to make the US Ryder Cup team. Sam Burns, who won last week, has really established himself on tour as a player that can challenge every single week, and with last week’s tournament requiring very similar skills to this one, it would be no surprise to see him come away with another title.

Erik van Rooyen has never played this event before but he has been in excellent form since securing his maiden PGA Tour win in August. His past five starts have seen three top seven finishes and he played well in the other two. We have seen him compete at plenty of big events in the past and with that win under his belt he is a player that could go on and win plenty more. He can make plenty of birdies and offers a much bigger price at 66/1 to some of the other standouts. 

Rasmus Hojgaard is a very interesting prospect. He has played nearly all of his golf on the European Tour but at just 20 years old he already has three wins. He seems like a player destined for greatness and he was recently named player of the month on this side of the pond so he is carrying some form into this event. It may take him some time to adjust in what will be just his sixth event on tour, but it isn’t too often that you get the chance to back a player of his talent at such a big price. There may not be many more times in his career that he will be available at 125/1, even if this is a very good field. 

Last week we picked out Stephan Jaegar and he is a player that may be worth looking at again. He played well and put himself in position to make a run on the weekend but just did not make quite enough on Saturday or Sunday. He was phenomenal on the Korn Ferry Tour last year and it seems just a matter of time before he carries that over to the top level. 

This tournament is certainly a tough one to predict with easy conditions and low scoring, but what it does is open up the possibilities of a big run from somebody on Sunday. Like last week it could be worth looking at the in-play possibilities as we have seen it happen here before where a player comes from way back on Sunday to snatch the title.

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