We hit a winner last week with Xander Schauffele and had a remarkable result with the four picks for the WGC event in China (Schauffele 1st, Finau 2nd, Bradley 6th, Grillo 14th). Let’s keep that trend going this week as the PGA Tour visits Las Vegas for the Shriners. The host course, TPC Summerlin, will yield a large amount of birdies this week. The course plays fairly short due to the the firm conditions and elevation. Players will have wedges into nearly all of the par 4s, and players should be able to attack the par 5s. I look for a score around -20 to win this week. In terms of what types of players to look at, I would favor players who can keep the ball in the fairway (due to the firmness of greens for approach shots), are good with wedges and can make a lot of putts in the 10-20 foot range.
We are finally back to a full field event with a cut, so the ownership of players should be a lot more spread out.
Jordan Spieth $11,000
I think a lot of people will gravitate towards Finau at $11,300 after his playoff loss last week and because of how solid he has been playing lately. However, I think pivoting to Spieth makes a lot of sense this week since we should be able to get him at lower ownership than Finau. Finau may be a bit jet-lagged coming back from Asia, while Spieth has been resting the last few weeks in the US. Spieth’s game is based on precise wedge shots and making a lot of putts from the 10-20 foot range, which he will see plenty of this week. Spieth needs to win soon if he wants to have a chance to tee it up at Kapalua in January.
J.J. Spaun $6,900
Most people will look at last year’s results and see that Spaun finished 10th at this event and not really think much of it. What they won’t see is the fact that he finished 5-over the last 4 holes to lose by 3 shots!!! Spaun had a commanding lead after 36 holes last year after shooting 66-65. He looks for redemption this year. He comes into the event in good form, finishing 10th in his last start at the CJ Cup.
With a full field this week and a purse that isn’t overly large, I will most likely be focusing in on players who have a chance to contend but who I won’t regret using come the main portion of the season in 2019.
Woodland has been playing great the last few months, and I expect another high finish this week. He finished 18th here a year ago and comes into this event on the heels of back-to-back top 5s.
Wise is very familiar with TPC Summerlin because it was his home course for a while when he was getting started as a pro. He has the ability to go super low when his game is on, which will be needed this week.