Viva Las Vegas! The PGA Tour arrives in Sin City for back-to-back events this week. First up: The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: South Korean-born American Kevin Na defeated Patrick Cantlay in extra holes here last year. The pair had reached 23-under-par 261 prior to the sudden death play-off.
COURSE: TPC at Summerlin, in Las Vegas, opened in 1991 and was designed by one of Pete Dye’s protégés, Bobby Weed. The par-71 maxes out at 6,634 metres and typically surrenders plenty of birdie and eagle opportunities. Its large greens were designed to accommodate strong dessert winds. However, when the wind isn’t blowing, the greens are extremely accessible, which is why accurate players and strong putters typically score well here.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
World No.7 Webb Simpson absolutely loves it here and hasn’t missed any of the weekend action since winning the event in 2010.
The American is exceptional with the flat stick – he is currently ranked fourth on Tour for Strokes Gained: Putting – and arrives in Las Vegas in great form, too, having shared eighth place at Winged Foot last month.
Simpson, 35, has only missed one cut since the Tour resumed from its three-month coronavirus hiatus and hasn’t finished worse than T37. Don’t be shocked if he records his third victory of the year this week.
RIGHT: Las Vegas resident Kevin Na claimed his fourth victory on the PGA Tour here last year. PHOTO: Tom Pennington/Getty Images.
Sydneysider Cameron Davis came close to recording his maiden PGA Tour title last week before stumbling at the final hurdle. The wiry 25-year-old held a share of the lead heading into the final round in Mississippi – but he eventually slipped into a share of sixth following his even-par round.
Despite any disappointment, Davis will still have been pleased to record the third top-10 of his short career on one of the world’s premier circuits.
The 2017 Australian Open champion finished T28 here when he made his third start on the PGA Tour two years ago.
72-HOLE RECORD: Stuart Appleby and American Scott McCarron both reached 31-under-par 328 in 2003. The Aussie won the event with a birdie on the first play-off hole.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Rod Pampling (2016), Andre Stolz (2004), Stuart Appleby (2003) and Greg Norman (1986).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Greg Chalmers, Cameron Davis, Jason Day, Craig Hocknull, Matt Jones and Cameron Smith.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 6am – 9am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 6am – 9am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 7am – 10am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 7am – 10am)
*AEDT, check local guides