In the first two tournaments of the PGA Tour’s 2022 wraparound season, winners from 2021 continued their recent success, most recently with Sam Burns picking up his second career Tour victory at last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship.
The players head to Las Vegas this week for the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin, the first of two consecutive events to take place in Sin City.
For last week’s tournament, a lone player that participated in the Ryder Cup competition was in the field, with defending champion Sergio Garcia barely missing the cut.
For the Shriners, three players from each team will tee it at TPC Summerlin, with Brooks Koepka, Harris English, and Scottie Scheffler from the American side and Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, and Viktor Hovland shaking off the disappointment from the European team.
The tournament dates back to 1983 and boasts a number of major champions as past winners, including Fuzzy Zoeller, Greg Norman, Curtis Strange, three-time champion Jim Furyk, Bryson DeChambeau, and Tiger Woods, whose victory was his first on the PGA Tour in 1996.
Low scores are the norm on the 7,255 yard, par 71 layout, with 23 under par 261 winning the last two years, one shot off the record set in 2012 by Ryan Moore and matched a year later by Webb Simpson.
Martin Laird is the defending champion, his second win in the event, by defeating Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff by making a 23-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. The Shriners Children’s Open has the deepest field of any event so far on the young schedule, with 11 players ranked in the top 25 of the Official World Golf Rankings entered.
Four-time major champion and recent Ryder Cup player Brooks Koepka, along with Abraham Ancer, lead the odds at +1600. Former U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson is joined by Louis Oosthuizen, still looking for his first victory in the United States, at +1800.
There is a large group of players at +2200, with Harris English, Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, Kevin Na, last week’s winner Sam Burns and 2021 Rookie of Year Will Zalatoris rounding out the top ten. Other players of note include Paul Casey and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama with odds of +2500, Patrick Reed at +4000, popular Rickie Fowler at +8000, and defending champion Laird at +15000.
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Webb Simpson was left off the Ryder Cup team by captain Steve Stricker and instead was passed over in favor of Scottie Scheffler. Simpson’s a former champion who shares the tournament course record and is coming off a tie for 30th in the initial event of 2022 after a disappointing 74 in his final round.
After a successful Ryder Cup appearance, the aforementioned Scheffler is poised to pick up his first Tour win at a course where he missed the cut in 2020 but is at least familiar with it. Most experts agree that it’s just a matter of time before the 25-year-old out of the University of Texas wins the first of what will probably be multiple tournaments.
Las Vegas resident and two-time Shriners champion Kevin Na will also be playing with a chip on his shoulder after finishing 2021 strongly but also left off the Ryder Cup squad. Na began his 2022 season with a missed cut at the Fortinet, but he ended up third in the FedEx Cup last season after four top-ten finishes in his final six events.