The Rundown: 2023 Shriners Children's Open
The fall swing returned with a bang last week with Luke List's win in an epic, five-man playoff at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Now we roll into what could be the best field of the fall events with Korean brothers-from-another-mother Si Woo and Tom Kim leading the way along with a PGA TOUR debut for Lexi Thompson, who becomes just the seventh female to make a start on the men's tour. While not all the stars are out in Vegas, this week's action provides plenty of opportunity to cash some tickets in the gambling capital of the world. Here's everything you need to know ahead of the 2023 Shriners Children's Open.
course notes & quotes
TPC Summerlin just outside Las Vegas returns as the host for the Shriners Children's Open. The 7,255-yard par 71 has been a mainstay on the TOUR schedule for years and has always been known as one of the easiest tracks on the calendar.
The winning score has surpassed -20 in each of previous five events, and TPC Summerlin routinely provides some of the best scoring conditions these pros see all season. The higher elevation adds some distance off the tee, making a short course even shorter. Only two of the 11 par-4s are listed at longer than 450 yards resulting in plenty of short approaches. Last year's event saw over 36% of aproaches come from between 100-150 yards - well above the TOUR average.
TPC Summerlin features bentgrass greens and bermuda fairways, both of which will need to be hit at a high clip to keep up with the birdiefest. The bermuda rough isn't overly penal, and there's very little in the ways of hazards or bunkers to really cause these guys many problems.
With relatively calm winds in the forecast this week, expect low numbers early and often. This event is all about going low, so it might be a good week to leave your favorite grinder or scrambler off the card in favor of a streaky scorer.
Routinely a highlight of the fall schedule, the Shriners Children's Open has seen some notable names and first-timers lift the trophy at TPC Summerlin. Here's a look at the recent results.
Looking more closely at last year's event, here are a few insightful notes and numbers from the top performers in the 2022 Shriners Children's Open.
Off the Tee: Of the 11 players to finish T10 or better, only three finished better than T15 in driving distance for the week. While length off the tee is always an advantage, the added elevation and necessity of birdie opportunities make accuracy just as valuable off the tee as length.
On Approach: Seven of the top 15 players in SG: APP finished T10 or better, and of the top five finishers on the leaderboard, four of them finished inside the top five in SG: APP for the week.
Around the Green: Not one player who finished T10 or better last year ranked inside the top 15 in SG: ARG for the week. With birdie opportunities leading the day, saving par from off the green isn't enough to keep up with everyone else putting for birdie after a GIR.
Betting picks & plays
The Sanderson proved to be a perfectly OK opener to the fall season picks as we end up just .5 units in the red betting on Davis Thompson and Callum Tarren. Each week, this section will feature at least one outright, a couple T-10/20/40 plays and one or two matchups with units tracked all season long. For any further plays, be sure to drop a follow on Twitter (X), TikTok and Instagram, and of course keep up with the rest of the TJ gang's posts on the Tour Junkies Blog.
TPC Summerlin requires birdies in bunches with the cut line routinely well under par over the last few years. This course isn't long to begin with, and shorter hitters will benefit from a bit of added distance thanks to the high elevation. Accuracy off the tee along with precision on approach is required to keep up with the low scoring, so I'm looking at players who rank near the top in SG: OTT and approach proximity. With a weaker field, we could see a wide range of winners this week, so here's what I'm taking at the 2023 Shriners Children's Open.
Tom Hoge +3500 (.25u), T10 +360 (.5u) T20 +165 (.75u)
Despite the low profile, Tom Hoge has long been one of the best iron players on the PGA TOUR, and the weaker field this week could give him a chance to shine. He finished 8th in the field in SG: APP last week at the Sanderson Farms on his way to a T13 finish, and the 34-year-old has four finishes of T25 or better at TPC Summerlin including a top-5 finish last year.
Luke List T10 +500 (.5u), T20 +230 (.75u)
I know, I know, a real 'sharp' pick here. But 45-1 and the 16th-best odds on the guy who just won seems a little high, no? It's worth noting that though his recent results in Vegas haven't been stellar, he did post three-straight top-20 finishes at TPC Summerlin from 2016-2019.
Tournament Matchups (1u each)
Adam Hadwin +100 v Andrew Putnam
Adam Schenk -120 v J.T. Poston
Tournament 3-Ball (.5u each)
Luke List +170 v Adam Svensson & Lucas Herbert
Meet the Author:
A Georgia native, proud UGA alum and former media guy for Augusta National, the only thing Nate Moore loves more than the Peach State is a Top-20 parlay. Nate is a golf-obsessed sportswriter/journalist who brings his experience in the golf industry to the Tour Junkies brand.
Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and commentary in this post belong to its author and do not necessarily represent the Tour Junkies as a whole.