October 7, 2020 | 3:01pm
The PGA Tour heads west for back-to-back weeks in Las Vegas beginning with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin.
Bryson DeChambeau (7/1 at BetMGM), the 2018 Shriners champion, makes his first appearance since winning the U.S. Open three weeks ago. Webb Simpson (12/1) is another former event champion (2013) in this week’s field. Patrick Cantlay (18/1) won here in 2017 and also has back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019. He never has finished worse than second in this event.
Here are some longer shots who have a chance to $hine in the Shriners this weekend:
Collin Morikawa (20/1): After a busy four months for Morikawa from July to September, he finally has had an opportunity to refresh and reset with a couple of weeks off. He gets to return to play with an ex-officio home game as he is now a Las Vegas resident, having moved there last year.
While a 42nd-place finish last year in his only appearance does not jump off the page, it is obvious he is fully capable of winning here. Morikawa rated second in the PGA Tour last season in Strokes Gained: Approach and fifth for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green.
Scottie Scheffler (30/1): Made his first start last week at the Sanderson Farms Championship after having to withdraw from the U.S. Open with COVID-19. He also did so as the betting favorite . The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year is going to win and going to win soon, but last week was a tough spot to do it as the tournament favorite, even in a weaker field. Now we get Scheffler more appropriately priced, so we can buy on the odds drift. He has just one appearance here and finished 74th, but he had just secured his PGA Tour card with his stellar play on the Korn Ferry Tour. Those players have to immediately play events in the PGA Tour Fall Series and get zero time off in transitioning to the big tour, so that performance can be excused.
Rickie Fowler (33/1): While he’s no longer a Vegas resident, Fowler was local here for a spell. When Butch Harmon decided to cut down his traveling last year, Fowler switched coaches to John Tillery. The progress has been slow considering Fowler now finds himself ranked just outside of the OWGR Top 40 at 41.
Last time out, Fowler finished tied for 49th at the U.S. Open but struck the ball very well and was top 20 in the field both off the tee and on approach. He really lost on the greens at Winged Foot and the flat stick has long been the strength of Fowler’s game so he should appreciate the return to Bentgrass in Vegas, where he was fourth two years ago.
Joaquin Niemann (60/1): Finished top 10 in his debut here in 2018. The recent form has been good with a T-3 at the BMW Championship and his best-ever finish at a major (23rd) at the U.S. Open.
Denny McCarthy (70/1): McCarthy is an elite putter and is even better on Bentgrass surfaces. He finished top 10 here last year.
Doc Redman (80/1): Has a pair of top 3s in his last four starts (Wyndham and Safeway). He disappointed a bit with a T-28 at the Sanderson Farms and drifts up this week to nearly triple the price.
Kristoffer Ventura (80/1): Comes in off a tie for sixth last weekend at the Sanderson Farms.
James Hahn (125/1): Has never really gone all that well at TPC Summerlin with his best finish being a 15th (2016) in six appearances. However, he comes in hot with back-to-back top 10s at the Safeway and at Corales Puntacana.
Wes Reynolds handicaps golf for Point Spread Weekly, VSiN’s digital magazine for sports bettors.