33/134.00 Tom Hoge has both course and current form
40/141.00 Garrick Higgo knows the course well
110/1111.00 Erik Van Rooyen has strong desert/altitude form
It's high time we had another birdie-fest on the PGA Tour (tongue firmly in cheek) so welcome to Las Vegas for the Shriners Children's Open.
TPC Summerlin has yielded winning scores of -24, -24, -23 and -23 in the last four years with South Koreans - Tom Kim and Sungjae Im - capturing the latest two editions.
The course is a par 71 measuring 7,225 yards and features generous fairways (we're on a resort course) and large bentgrass greens.
And with Vegas being 2,000 feet above sea level, it much plays much shorter than that.
No surprise then that we've seen rounds of 60, the most recent being shot last year by Patrick Cantlay. You have to take your hat off to him.
There's no Cantlay this year following his recent marriage and, as far we know, he hasn't chosen to honeymoon in Vegas.
That leaves Tom Kim, making his first ever title defence, the 11/112.00 favourite - a point in front of Sweden's Ludvig Aberg, a play-off loser in last week's Sanderson Farms Championship.
Kim and Aberg may well carve this up between them but at further down the betting I prefer Tom Hoge.
To borrow a phrase from US tipsters, Hoge has strong converging trends.
First up, there's the current form which shows top 15s in his last two starts and a further two top 25s in the previous four.
Those recent fine efforts came in very different conditions: the first at the BMW PGA Championship (tied 14th) at Wentworth and the second at last week's Sanderson Farms Championship (tied 13th).
That suggests this is just pure good form rather than him having a particular liking for either course. In fact, you could say he should actively dislike last week's track at Jackson given that his form there before that T13 was MC-28-39-MC-MC-MC-70-35.
The bedrock of those two top 15s was strong iron play, Hoge ranking fourth for Strokes Gained: Approach at Wentworth and fifth for that same metric at Jackson.
That bodes well for success here given that four of the last five winners have ranked in the top six for SG: Approach.
And, yes, the theory plays out when looking at his course record.
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.
I put up Garrick Higgo last week and, despite not getting a return, he did enough to get my interest again here.
The South African, a winner on just his second PGA Tour start when landing the 2021 Palmetto Championship, eventually finished 16th at the Sanderson Farms.
A decent knock and yet it was pretty obvious that one bad round cost him a shot at victory.
Higgo fired 66-75-65 over the final three rounds, the Saturday 75 coming on a day when just about all of the leading finishers broke 70.
Given that he finished six shy of the play-off number, it's easy to imagine a very different scenario.
Higgo's putter was the strengh of his game last week - he ranked fourth for SGP (6.810) - but it's worth noting that he was fourth for SG: Approach in his final-round 65.
If something has clicked with his iron game, that makes him an interesting proposition here.
Higgo went to college at the University of Las Vegas before turning pro in his sophomore year.
Speaking in the 2022 Sanderson Farms, he was asked about teeing it up in Vegas and noted: "I've played that course a lot."
The obvious negative is that past course knowledge hasn't served him very well so far. Higgo has played here twice and missed both cuts.
But his round scores - 67, 71, 72, 68 - in those two events lessen the blow as does knowing that past course form at TPC Summerlin is far from a prerequisite.
Higgo was 11th in another desert event, The American Express, at the start of 2023 after closing with a 63 and he's now finished tied 21st or better in four of his last six PGA Tour starts.
Put the pieces together and he's worth an each-way bet.
I'll add a second South African into my staking plan and end with a punt on Erik Van Rooyen at a three-figure price.
At 46th and 75th respectively, Hoge and Higgo don't have any issues about Tour cards.
But Van Rooyen does need to secure his playing privileges as he sits precariously in the 125th and final qualifying spot.
This could be the week to wrap things up because the 33-year-old has been in good form over the last couple of months.
On the DP World Tour he finished eighth in the European Masters at Crans (another event at altitude) followed by 16th in the Irish Open.
Here on the PGA Tour he started off with 30th at the Fortinet and then added 16th at the Sanderson Farms where he was on the fringes of contention all week.
Van Rooyen has gained over five strokes for SG: Approach in both the Fall Series events (ranking 5th and 6th respectively) and it just needs the putter to heat up a little.
While a missed cut on his only start here in 2021 suggests we might have to lean on current form, there's plenty of evidence that Van Rooyen can thrive in events played in the desert/at altitude.
His two best finishes on the PGA Tour this season - both sixth places - came in the American Express and the Barracuda. And, of course, the Barracuda (held at an altitude of around 6,000 feet) was the scene of his one PGA Tour win in 2021.
Jump over to the DP World Tour and you'll find a bunch of strong form in the desert: runner-up in Qatar and four top 15s in his last five starts in the United Arab Emirates, the most recent a fourth place in the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic.
Van Rooyen can make a big run at this. Let's hope those half-mast trousers feature prominently in the coverage.