The 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open this week at TPC Summerlin signals the beginning of a three-week stretch out on the west coast, two of which will be played in Las Vegas. In addition to this week's tournament, next week's CJ Cup at Shadow Creek will precede the Zozo Championship late in October (where Tiger Woods will defend his win from a year ago). Tiger -- who got his first win in Vegas -- will not play this week's event but it still has a star-studded field, including the most recent major championship winner.
Let's take a closer look at this week's contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
When: Oct. 8-11
Where: TPC Summerlin -- Las Vegas, Nev.
Three things to know
1. Bryson's return: I would believe any Bryson DeChambeau-related tidbits this week as he makes his first appearance since winning the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in September. I wrote here about why that's such a big deal for golf. But more specifically, DeChambeau has thrived on this course, winning in 2018 and finishing in the top 10 in two of his other three appearances.
2. Francesco plays again: Remember Francesco Molinari? Last time he played (at the beginning of 2020), he was ranked No. 26 in the world. Now? He's No. 73. He won't be the biggest draw this week at TPC Summerlin, but he's one of the more intriguing storylines given how bizarre his last year and a half have been since he finished T5 at the 2019 Masters (no top 10s since!).
3. Cantlay country: In three events here, Patrick Cantlay has never finished worse than second (including a win). It's unlikely that he can keep up that torrid pace, but there's a reason he has the third-shortest betting odds of anyone in the field (behind DeChambeau and Webb Simpson).
Grading the field
This is low-key a really good event. It does not include some of the biggest dogs, but it does include nearly half of the top 30 players in the world and big names like Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff and -- the biggest name of all -- DeChambeau. Grade: B+
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1. Russell Henley top 10 (5-1): Two top 10s in his last three events, and his strokes-gained numbers from tee to green are off the charts. If this event is played five times, Henley finished top 10 more than once.
2. Bryson DeChambeau to miss the cut (6-1): It's not going to happen (see below), but there's a world in which DeChambeau experiences the major hangover so many have felt in recent years and really labors in his first event back. Again, that seems incredibly unlikely, but it's at least a potential outcome and 6-1 is a decent play.
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open picks
|Winner (12-1): I'd picked Tony Finau but had to replace him as soon as news of his positive COVID-19 test result broke. Simpson is a great fill-in here. He has top-12 finishes in each of his last four starts, even though it doesn't feel like he's played that well at all (according to Data Golf, Simpson has been playing pretty average for what his baseline is). He's also an interesting one-and-done pick here if you don't want to save him for the spot everybody saves him for in 2021 (Wyndham Championship).|
|Top 10 (1-1): The number here for him to finish in the top 10 is not a great one, but it's difficult to envision him having a bad week this week at a place like TPC Summerlin with the formula he's using right now. Even if this was a major week with all the top players in the world contending, he would be my top-10 lock.|
|Sleeper (55-1): Wait a second, Zalatoris was the favorite at the Sanderson Farms Championship last week, and now he's 55-1 because he missed one cut? Come on. He's a top-30 guy in the world right now, and a weekend break will probably only fuel somebody who has been one of the best ball-strikers on the planet in 2020.|