2023 Shriners Children’s Open PGA Picks
2023 SHRINERS CHILDREN’S OPEN PGA PICKS — We were back in the outright betting streets last week for the Sanderson Farms.
Sadly, our outrights all made the cut, but it never felt like they were really in the mix. My bonus bet on Joel Dahmen top-20 did hit, however. Maybe that salvaged the week if you followed along.
This week, the Tour heads to Las Vegas for a shootout in the desert.
TPC Summerlin is definitely a course that aims to be accessible to a variety of skill levels. It’s a par-71 that they stretch out to a shade over 7,200 yards. By Tour standards, that’s pretty short.
By Tour standards, this course is also very easy in addition to being on the shorter side. The fairways are generous and the greens are big. Big misses will be penalized because guys will be playing out of the desert, but by-and-large this course doesn’t present a ton of difficulties.
Tom Kim had his big coming out party here last year, and he basically fits the mold for players that tend to play well here.
Shriners Children’s Open Outright Picks
Tom Hoge (+3500)
The Iron God loves TPC Summerlin. It’s hard to call a T4 a disappointment, but I’m sure his sights were higher after an opening round 63 last year here. He played three electric rounds in that edition and one very bad 72.
If accuracy and iron play are what we’re looking for, Hoge should be near the top of every card. He’s not just an elite approach player in this field, he’s an elite iron player in every field.
TPC Summerlin plays to his strengths and he’s coming off consecutive top-15 finishes in his last two starts. He’s on a lot of cards for good reason this week.
Aaron Rai (+6000)
We’ve already targeted Hoge on a course that rewards strong iron play. Let us now move to Short Course God, Aaron Rai.
He’s exactly the type of steady ball striker who can be very successful here. His putter sucks and that’s why his odds are inflated. But the ball striking numbers are too good to ignore.
He’s top-10 in both driving accuracy and top-15 in GIR. I will not turn my back on those numbers.
When he played here last year, he popped with a 62 before finishing T20.
He’s got another year of experience under his belt, and we know he can go low. I’ll bite on these odds.
Davis Thompson (+4500)
He’s another well rounded player who I expect to do well here. He’s above average in most facets from tee-to-green, and is often held back by a putter. We’ve gone over these types of concerns already.
This course fits him.
He’s gained strokes off the tee in his last six events, and he’s gained strokes on approach in his last three.
It was a pretty quiet T16 last week in the Sanderson Farms, but I expect him to continue the solid play.
His best finish on Tour is a solo 2nd earlier in the year to Jon Rahm at the AmEx. Though it was a long time ago, that tournament also sets itself up as a birdie-fest and makes for a decent comparison this week.
Bonus Bet: Erik Van Rooyen Top-20 (+330)
For those of you with more conservative tastes, I like EVR here.
His iron game has been characteristically very solid recently. He’s gained strokes with his irons in his last four tournaments.
In his last four worldwide, he’s finished in the top-30 each time, including last week where he notched a T16.
Basically, he’s finished inside this number in three of his last four and his form seems to keep getting better.
This is a little bit of a better field than he’s faced recently, but I think he’s a guy who is definitely trending upwards.
Oh, did I mention he motivated? He sits at exactly 125th on the FedEx Cup points list, so he’s also playing for status on Tour next year. He’s not going to be enjoying himself with the Vegas nightlife this week.