Favorites are 1-1 so far in the PGA Tour’s young new schedule, with Max Homa defending his Fortinet Championship at 10/1 in the season opener but Sam Burns suffering from Presidents Cup fatigue as he failed to go back-to-back at the Sanderson Farms Championship, finishing in 30th as Mackenzie Hughes (150/1) won in a playoff.
Now we’ve got the most star-studded field to date as the Tour heads to TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas for the Shriners Childrens Open. 12 of the top 50 players in OWGR rankings are in this field, trying to dethrone last year’s champ Sungjae Im. Will any of these high-odds golfers find the winner’s circle this week or is it going to be a dog day in the desert?
Patrick Cantlay (+650)
Cantlay was the 2021 player of the year, and he’s looking to get his 2023 campaign off to a bright start at a course he loves. Cantlay won this event here in 2017, was runner-up in 2018 and 2019, and finished eighth in 2020. That’s a top 10 in all four of his entries at TPC Summerlin, where he returns after taking a one-year hiatus in 2021.
Cantlay only had two wins last season, at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (partnered with Xander Schauffele) and then late in the year at the BMW Championship. Cantlay went 3-1 at the Presidents Cup two weeks ago at Quail Hollow, getting gobbled up by the Tom Kim storm as he and Schauffele lost in the Saturday match play.
Sungjae Im (+1000)
Im returns to defend his title from a year ago; something Homa succeeded at in the season-opening Fortinet Championship. Im opened with a 63 last year and closed with a 62 so he wasn’t far off the pace of the tournament record 60 at TPC Summerlin.
Im won by four strokes here last year, leading the field with 86.1% of GIR. He also has a 13th (2020) and 15th (2018) in his other two entries in Las Vegas and is coming off a solid 2-2-1 for the International team at the Presidents Cup.
Max Homa (+1400)
It’s been a solid start to the 2022/23 golf campaign for Homa, who defended last year’s Fortinet Championship victory by topping Danny Willett by a stroke in Napa this year and then going on to post a 4-0 mark at the Presidents Cup a week later. After a much-deserved week off, Homa is back to try and slay one of the courses/events that have given him the most trouble in his career. A 30th place finish in 2013 is the best appearance Homa has had in five tries here – in fact, it was the only time he even made the cut.
Aaron Wise (+1800)
It’s somewhat surprising to see Wise listed among the highest odds for the Shriners Childrens Open, considering his lone Tour win came back in the 2017/18 season. Wise’s best finish last season was a runner-up at the Memorial, and he also had a fifth-place finish at the CJ Cup @ Summit, an event coming up in two weeks on this year’s Tour schedule.
Wise did finish eighth at the Shriners last season, a weekend which included a 62 on Friday. He had missed the cut in two entries of this event prior though, so the results are definitely mixed.