What a week it was for Smylie Kaufman at the Shriners Hopsitals of Children Open last year. The young American went into the last round of the tournament very much hidden in the middle of the pack. But, he was not about to wait around and simply make up the numbers. Kaufman went round in an incredible 61 shots to claw back a seven shot deficit from the leaders. That proved to be enough for Kaufman to win his first, and so far only, PGA Tour title.
Kaufman is back in Las Vegas this week to defend his title but at 100/1 with Coral, he’s not expected to put up much of a fight after some poor form. That opens the door to the rest of the strong field as they look to find a way to tame TPC Summerlin.
At 7,255 yards, TPC Summerlin is a pretty long par 71 layout. Nevertheless, it’s a course where low scores are not only possible but expected. Kaufman’s final score of -16 was the highest winning total since 1988. This time around we should be in line for something lower than -20 being required to take home the title.
Ryan Moore Can Capitalise on Home Comforts
For Las Vegas native Ryan Moore, the Shriners Open couldn’t come at a better time. Moore is playing some of the golf of his career. Indeed, his form has been so good that he was rewarded with a place in the Ryder Cup where he did not let captain Davis Love III down.
Moore knows how to play golf in the rugged Nevada turf better than almost anybody else as he proved when winning the title in 2012. The 33-year-old will be able to give the ball a good whack off the tee without worrying too much as driving accuracy tends not to be important at TPC Summerlin. He’s got the game, the form and the home advantage so make sure to get on board at odds of 22/1 with Coral.
Hit and Miss Kizzire Ready to Strike
Patton Kizzire is 30 now but there is no sign of him developing any sort of consistency in his golf. When on top of his game, Kizzire can be a real threat on the PGA Tour as he showed at the Safeway Open where he finished second. However, that was the only event in four where he made the cut. Kizzire was one of those who was just pipped by Kaufman last season though, so if he turns up in that sort of form he can contend at odds of 55/1 with Betfred.
Ishikawa to Keep On Keeping On
Ryo Ishikawa has been on a real hot streak of late. A win in his native Japan clearly gave the 25-year-old a huge amount of confidence as he’s now on a run of five consecutive top 10s. As he returns Stateside, Ishikawa will have good memories of the Shriners Open having finished in a tie for second on debut in 2013. He could only manage a top 50 finish last year but now he’s in much better form he should be backed to finish inside the top 10 at odds of 15/2 with BetVictor.