2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open DFS Golf Picks
2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open DFS Golf Picks
Course: TPC at Summerlin (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Yardage: 7,235 - Par 71
Purse: $6.8 M
Field: 140 players
Recent Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Winners
Justin Rose was the victor in Shanghai after Dustin Johnson very uncharacteristically choked up a non-major victory. Johnson had the event virtually won through three rounds, leading the field by six strokes. He then went on to show how unpredictable this game can be by going out and shooting a birdie-less 77 on Sunday, losing to Justin Rose by two strokes.
Rose started the day eight shots behind DJ, seemingly just trying to finish in the top two or three. By the back-nine turn, Rose was still six shots behind Johnson. Playing with nothing to lose, he carded a bogey-free 31 back nine, while Johnson shot three over on the back, and Rose wound up not even sweating the last hole or two winning over the trio of Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Henrik Stenson, by two shots. The story of the tournament is more about how Dustin Johnson choked than Justin Rose winning. That won’t matter to Rose as he’ll use the victory as fuel for a bounce back season after one of his quietest seasons on Tour.
Back to the States we go for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. This event has been played in Las Vegas under many different names, and at many different courses. In 2007, the Shriners Hospitals for Children group announced it would take over operations, and so the tournament has held the name since.
This year’s event will be held at TPC at Summerlin. TPC at Summerlin is located west of Las Vegas at approximately 2,700 feet above sea level. Playing out to 7,235 yards at Par 71, the course does not play long especially when you consider that it’s a desert course. Between the elevation and dryness of the landscape, pros’ drives tend to go 15-20 yards further, and their iron shots will go half a club to a club further than they might down in Florida or the Northeast.
So really, this course plays like a 7,000-yard course, perhaps even shorter for these guys. That means that instead of driving distance, strokes gained: off-the-tee is far more important this week. The course features a lot of elevation changes carving its way through the landscape’s natural canyons. If you’ve ever played on desert courses, they’ll generally give you a lot of space in the fairway, but once you miss the fairway, it’s anything goes. Sand, rocks, bushes, snakes, you name it.
The natural landscape is not made for golf, so it is pivotal that players stay out of that mess. Look at players who excel in Good drive percentage and scrambling. You want guys who can generally stay out of the desert’s way, and/or at least be able to make pars from hairy situations. With very large undulating greens, they won’t be so hard to hit, but you’ll need guys who are strong in approach proximity. Lastly, this is another event in which more times than not the winning score is in the 20 under range. Birdie or better percentage is key to finishing in the upper portion of the field.
Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee
Good Drive %
Birdie or better %
*prices are listed from DraftKings
DFS Golf Picks
Patrick Cantlay ($9,700) - With a field that sees Tony Finau as the top-priced player, Patrick Cantlay at $9,700 is a steal. Since he’s joined the PGA Tour last season, Cantlay hasn’t finished any lower than T-48 in any tournament. He comes in with the second-best odds in Vegas to win the tournament. In the young 2017-18 season, Cantlay ranks 30th in birdie or better percentage. He finished 15th last week in a respectable field in Shanghai and should be poised to finish higher this week.
Byeong-Hun An ($9,100) - Benny An started his 2017 season strong, finishing 11th at the CJ Cup. An has a great track record at desert-style courses and is leading the PGA this season in birdie or better percentage. He also ranks first in driving accuracy, and second in good drive percentage. An is one of the best on Tour when it comes to proximity on approach shots. His supreme ball striking has led to six birdies per round this season. It’s not crazy to think he can match that number again this week.
Smylie Kaufman ($8,200) - Smylie Kaufman should be a very popular pick this week. He comes into this tournament swinging a hot stick, finishing fourth in the Sanderson Farms Championship. Kaufman’s lone PGA Tour victory was here in 2015, so this is undoubtedly one of his favorite events to play. Kaufman has something to prove this season, as he is the lone journeyman in the #SB2K group. (Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Smylie Kaufman)
Ryan Armour ($8,100) - Ryan Armour is a name that hasn’t frequented Daily Fantasy advice columns much lately. But Armour is coming off a win at the Sanderson Farms Championship and is marking very highly in my key stats this week. He ranks seventh in proximity to the hole, third in birdies or better percentage, and 28th in good drive percentage. Armour is another journeyman in my group of picks (they are hard to avoid this week), but he is in the middle of a great stretch of golf that could see him skip way up the world rankings.
Bryson DeChambeau ($7,600) - DeChambeau hit a rough patch last season that saw him miss eight straight cuts. Since then he’s been playing more like a tour regular, racking up six top 30s in his last 11 tournaments including a win at the John Deere Classic. DeChambeau started this year the season with a positive finishing 17th at the Safeway Open. He ranks within the Top 50 in birdie or better percentage, 12th in strokes gained: approach, and fifth in scrambling. DeChambeau had very high expectations that he didn’t quite fill last year despite the win. At only 24, DeChambeau has incredible talent and looks to improve upon his first full season as a pro.
Tyrone Van Aswegen ($7,000) - Tyrone Van Aswegen is yet another name that hasn’t been featured much in these sorts of columns. Van Aswegen began last year with a slew of missed cuts. Since then he has only improved every month. In his last six events, he’s finished 28th or better five times. Van Aswegen ranks in the Top 30 this season in birdie or better percentage, the Top 50 in strokes gained: off-the-tee, and in the Top 20 in approach proximity. Van Aswegen is primed to outplay his price tag this week at the Shriners.
Others to consider: Webb Simpson, Charlie Hoffman, Bubba Watson, Scott Brown, Camillo Villegas, Brian Stuard
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