It’s Las Vegas this week as the PGA Tour heads to the desert for the 2018 running of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Last year scoring was down at TPC Summerlin due to high winds from Friday through to Sunday, gusting up to 30 mph. Patrick Cantlay’s 9-under play-off winning score was unusually low, but expect this year’s total to be back around the usual 20-under mark. It will be slightly breezy on Thursday and Friday but perfect conditions over the weekend.
Download Excel Odds Sheet: GolfOdds.Info – Shriners Hospitals for Children Open 2018
Tony Finau is both my favourite and the bookmakers. A frustrating favourite though, as we await the win his consistency deserves. I could make a case for all the players at the top of the betting except Spieth, who is only playing this week and next as ‘punishment’ by the Tour for not playing enough events last season.
Two in-form players near the top of the betting who can go low under par do interest me though. This week is another where you need to identify players who are comfortable shooting very low rounds over 4 days.
Webb Simpson didn’t bother with the Asian swing, instead taking a break after his 4th place at the Tour Championship and the Ryder Cup. That 4th followed 6th place at the BMW where Simpson finished on 17-under, and he’s a past winner here 5 years ago at 24-under, victorious by 6 shots.
Gary Woodland skipped the WGC in China but had an outside chance of winning the week before in Korea before Koepka produced a brilliant closing 9 holes to win. He played here last year and finished 18th, so to forgo a WGC event for this opportunity shows he must fancy his chances.
Austin Cook played two events over in Asia, 13th at CIMB Classic and 41st at The CJ CUP. Definitely a player who is happy to go low, and a reasonable 20th place here last year.
It’s home turf for Summerlin resident Kevin Na this week. A past winner here in 2011 and 2nd in 2015, he’s not very consistent, but when he’s playing well he has no problem shooting back to back low rounds. Not the best form the last couple of weeks but he’s had two very impressive performances this year, winning the Greenbrier at 19-under and 6th on 16-under at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
As for the top player markets, there’s not much to go on, but with limited international players you would think the bookmakers could get their markets correct? There are 5 Australians in the field, yet only Skybet have managed to include Curtis Luck in this market.
And it’s not just Top Australian, Top Rest of the World has an extra player in it, with American Shintaro Ban included by Bet365 and copied by others. It just shows that if the layers can’t get the basics correct then they will be making mistakes with their prices as well.
Webb Simpson – 1pt win @19.50 (Betfair)
Gary Woodland – 1pt win @ 22.00 (Betfair)
Austin Cook – 0.5pt ew @ 71.00 (1/5 1st 7 various)
Kevin Na – 0.5pt ew @ 51.00 (1/5 1st 8 PaddyPower)