Steve backs Kim to complete Korean hat-trick
33/134.00 Hoge can land second PGA title says Dave
Laird backed at 139/1140.00 for Shriners repeat 14 years on
Steve Rawlings: "The last two editions have gone the way of a Korean and the two-time winner, Kevin Na, was born in Seoul, so three of the last four have been Korean born. I fancy an ebullient Si Woo Kim can make it four of the last five.
"Kim signed off September in the most fabulous fashion by winning gold at the Asian Games alongside the 2021 winner of this event, Sungjae Im. That victory earned the Korean pair exemption from military service in their homeland, so the 27-year-old is bound to pitch up in Vegas on a high.
"Given one of Kim's biggest strengths is his straight driving and that his third PGA Tour title was won in the desert, at the low-scoring American Express two years ago, it's not entirely surprising that he has a respectable set of course numbers here reading 25-15-55-8-MC-8. He commands the utmost respect this week."
Dave Tindall: "Tom Hoge ranked second for SG: Approach when finishing fourth at TPC Summerlin last year and he's also posted seventh (2017), 14th (2021) and 24th (2020) at this course.
"Across those four top 25s he gained just short of a combined 20 strokes on Approach. His putter isn't exactly hot at the moment but he's performed well on these greens before, ranking 22nd and 19th for SG: Putting the last two years.
"A winner on the West Coast Swing at Pebble Beach last year, Hoge can land his second PGA Tour title."
Steve Rawlings: "Martin Laird was a PGA Tour maiden when he took this title in extra time 14 years ago and he came close to defending in 2010.
"For the second year in-a-row he was involved in a three-man playoff but with darkness descending, that one ended in incredible fashion when Jonathan Byrd aced the par three 17th.
"His 18th placed finish in 2014 was his only top-20 finish in his next eight starts at TPC Summerlin but that didn't stop him from rocking up in Vegas three years to win yet again, this time at 250.0.
"Laird has only finished 11th and 37th here in the last two years but he finished runner-up at the 3M Open just four starts ago and he's ranked fifth, first, fourth, fifth and 14th for Driving Accuracy in his last five starts."
Andy Swales: "TPC Summerlin is a low-scoring layout where 11 of the most recent 13 PGA Tour events have yielded winning totals of 20-under-par or greater. And over the last four instalments (2019-22), the average 72-hole total for golfers finishing inside the top-10 is 264.53.
"Laid out approximately 2,700 feet above sea level, TPC Summerlin is located in the shadows of Red Rock Canyon. The course has Bentgrass greens that are significantly larger than the Tour average, as well as generously wide Bermuda grass fairways.
"Sand is more of an issue than greenside water which only comes into play on four holes - including each of the last three...
"The fast-improving Englishman Aaron Rai certainly seems settled on the PGA Tour as runner-up at Wentworth last month and is a decent each-way shout this week."
Open de Espana Tips and Predictions
Steve Rawlings: "Excluding the Open Championship, Jon Rahm has only ever played in 23 DP World Tour events, and he's won eight of them.
"This is his fifth appearance in the Open de España and he's in search of his fourth win. And on the only occasion he didn't take the title, in 2021, he traded at odds-on after four holes and hit a low of 1.64 after he'd played his first eight holes in six-under-par.
"On that occasion, a poor putting performance saw him post weekend rounds of 72-69 and he eventually finished tied for 17th but it's clear that he loves the venue, and he wasn't at is best at the time that year anyway...
"Rahm hasn't won since he donned the Green Jacket at Augusta in April but after finishing fourth at the BMW PGA Championship, and having been unbeaten at the Ryder Cup two weeks ago, he's nicely primed to take the title for a fourth time."
Matt Cooper: "Close followers will not be too surprised by the identity of the first selection because whenever there is thin air the column compass spins around to Thriston Lawrence.
"He broke through at this level with an admittedly fortunate victory in Johannesburg, but has backed it up with wins in Crans, back in Johannesburg and then in Munich.
"He's also finished top 10 in Kenya, Prague and twice again on the high veldt in South Africa. He could only card a pair of 72s to miss the cut on his course debut last year but that only gives us a juicy price for someone whose best game really could thrive on this test."
Dave Tindall: "Scott Jamieson has made his last four cuts on the DP World Tour without climbing any higher than 30th. But when it comes to fast starts in those September/October events, he's twice taken the eye.
"The Scot fired an opening 64 to lie seventh after day one of the European Masters at Crans while a 66 again put him in the top 10 after 18 holes of last week's rain-hit Alfred Dunhill Championship.
"In that run he was also sixth at halfway in the Irish Open after starting out with rounds of 69 and 66. Jamieson has played this week's course, Club de Campo in Madrid, just once but he hit the ground running with a 66 to sit 11th following the opening day."
Andy Swales: "Accuracy is usually more important here than distance. Last year, Rahm set a new all-time Spanish Open record of 25-under-par, by becoming the first player to break 260 for 72 holes;
"The spacious Black Course has little in the way of water hazards, although there are a handful of dog-legs and a reasonable quantity of sand...
"Twice a top-four finisher at Club de Campo, the Barcelona-born Adri Arnaus enjoyed his best performance since March by tieing-for-14th at the Dunhill Links event."