This week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas includes big names and a strong field — especially for the first week in November on the PGA Tour. Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau will all be in attendance, and they’ll be joined by several other top 25 players (more on them in a minute).
Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.
What: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open | When: Nov. 1-4
Where: TPC Summerlin — Las Vegas, Nevada
Ranking the field (odds)
Field strength — B: It’s a good field with four of the top 15 players in the world and nine golfers who made it to the 2018 Tour Championship. Seeing how Spieth starts the 2018-19 season will be interesting, too.
Three stories to watch
1. Spieth’s “punishment”: As a result of falling short of the required 25 tournaments played or adding a new PGA Tour stop to the rotation (Spieth did neither), it appears that the three-time major winner has agreed to play a few events he doesn’t normally participate in (like this one). In addition to the Shriners, Spieth has also added the event in Mayakoba next week. I’m curious to see if he rebounds like I would imagine an all-time great should rebound after what qualifies for him as a down year. Spieth missed five cuts and had just five top 10s last season. A strong season for anyone else, but he’s not judged against anyone else.
2. Champ fever! Following his victory at the Sanderson Farms last week, Cameron Champ has officially been elevated to “must follow” status for these tournaments. He has moved from No. 1,057 in the world at the end of 2017 to No. 121 this week, and his trajectory is one you should be keeping an eye on. He’ll overwhelm some of the wide-open courses the PGA Tour stops at, and if he putts at all, he’ll contend; so it goes with most of the top players in the world, which is a good sign for Champ.
3. Finau’s flight: After losing the WGC-HSBC Champions in a playoff to Xander Schauffle in China on Sunday, Tony Finau will make the unenviable trip from Shangai to Las Vegas at some point this week (if he hasn’t already). How will that travel plan affect the tournament favorite and maybe the hottest player in the world right now remains to be seen. We’ve seen guys who lose in heartbreaking fashion bounce back to win a week later so many times over the years, but I’m not thinking this week is going to be one of them.
- 2017: Patrick Cantlay
- 2016: Rod Pampling
- 2015: Smylie Kaufman
- 2014: Ben Martin
- 2013: Webb Simpson
Shriners Hospitals for Children picks
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