Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: Moore to hit jackpot in Las Vegas

Ryan Moore can cash in on home advantage again by winning in Vegas for the second time
Ryan Moore can cash in on home advantage again by winning in Vegas for the second time

Dave Tindall brings us his analysis and each-way tips for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Nevada...


Favourites: Back Ryan Moore @ 26.025/1

"The 32-year-old won it in 2012 after opening with a 61 while Friday 63s helped him finish T7 in 2009 and T9 in 2013. In short, all the practice rounds he plays at TPC Summerlin pay off."

Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places

Favourites: Back Ryan Moore @ 26.025/1

For many of those contesting last week's season-opening Frys.com Open, it was about shaking off some rust, trying to see an improvement from day one to day four and get sharper for the weeks ahead.

After his play-off hopes ended with a decent T28 at the BMW Championship a month earlier, Ryan Moore was very much in that category and it panned out just as he might have hoped.

Moore opened with a 72, improved with a 70 on Friday and then made a leaderboard surge on the weekend with scores of 67-68 lifting him to a nearest-the-finish T10.

He would have been more keen than most to get his game in order as this week's shootout in Las Vegas is his home tournament.

The 32-year-old won it in 2012 after opening with a 61 while Friday 63s helped him finish T7 in 2009 and T9 in 2013. In short, all the practice rounds he plays at TPC Summerlin pay off.

Moore, who went to UNLV and has lived in the area for over 10 years, admits it's a "huge" advantage. "Obviously I play it a lot throughout the year and you get the advantage of playing it in different wind conditions and that kind of stuff," he said a couple of years ago.

But he also warned back then that there's a risk of getting too comfortable on a course you know like the back of your hand.

"It is easy to get lazy, and when I'm out here playing and practising when I'm home, I don't hit shots that I would hit in tournaments a lot of times, because why not, I'm just out trying to hit a shot and go for things maybe I wouldn't have. (But in 2012) I really kind of stepped back and looked at the course a little differently, and obviously that kind of paid off."

One of the big keys to getting into title contention on this track is having a hot putter and Moore looked sharp on the greens last week, especially over the final 36 holes.

He'd also putted well at the BMW in his previous start so has some confidence on the greens. That should shine through at TPC Summerlin where his extra knowledge helped him top the putting stats in 2012.

Moore at 25/1 on just about every other course would look skinny. At this venue, in pretty limited company, it's worth playing.

At the very top of the market, I'd expect Rickie Fowler to be in contention. He's played the event just twice but managed T7 on debut as a 20-year-old in 2009 and was T22 the following year. He threw in a 64 in both tournaments.

I'm happy to swerve him at 8/1 though in a birdie-fest.


Mid-range: Back Charley Hoffman @ 41.040/1

I'm going to add a second hometown boy into the staking plan and get with Charley Hoffman.

Again, the first question that needs to be addressed is does local knowledge equate to playing well?

Hoffman can be hit and miss but he has a fourth (2013), a fifth (2006) and a sixth (2009) in this event so those extras of knowing the course, sleeping in his own bed and having lots of local support can all help his chances.

What I like about him this year is that he's had some excellent putting performances over the last few months.

He topped the Putting Average stats in the Deutsche Bank Championship and was ranked second in both the Canadian Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

That helped him take third at the Deutsche Bank and T7 in Canada while he finished 1st in Putting Average when finishing runner-up in the Byron Nelson at the end of May. Overall, Hoffman has posted four top 10s in his last 12 starts.

At one point during last season, he was thinking that a place on the Presidents Cup was a possibility.

"I mean I knew if I played good golf coming into the majors and the end of the season I'd have a chance. Obviously I haven't played as well as I wanted to. The golf courses didn't set up to my liking. And obviously got here to one that I really like and played well," said Hoffman at the Deutsche Bank.

Well, he's certainly on a course that he likes this week and, just as he did last year when winning the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, Hoffman can bank another victory in the Fall when most of the big names lie dormant.

Some other names to consider?

Will Wilcox was T10 last week and occupied that same position on his last start in Nevada when closing with a 67 in August's Barracuda Championship.

Russell Knox missed the cut last week but he was third in this event last year following finishes of T30 and T13 in his previous two starts in Vegas.


Long-shot: Back Sam Saunders @ 251.0250/1

The theory of evolution says each successive generation should be an improvement on the last.

That's a tough gig if you're the grandson of Arnold Palmer but Sam Saunders is gradually starting to make a name for himself at this level.

When he first appeared on our screens it looked as if he'd never really escape his claim to fame but now Saunders has a PGA Tour card after finishing T7 at the Web.com Tour Finals.

He did that via a fourth place in the Hotel Fitness Championship and a third in the big finale - the Web.com Tour Championship.

That form is working out rather well as two of the top five finishers at the Tour Championship - Emiliano Grillo and Tyrone Van Aswegen - have just finished first and third respectively at last week's Frys.com Open.

There's an obvious logic there given that the Web.com Tour Championship had taken place just two weeks earlier so, by the same reasoning, it makes sense to follow another hot player here.

Saunders missed the cut in California last week despite shooting a second-round 68 but on his previous PGA Tour start he'd taken T14 at the Wyndham Championship.

And let's not forget that he's already made a play-off at this level. That came in the Puerto Rico Open earlier this year when he was eventually ousted by Alex Cejka.

As for this week's event, he was a creditable T33 last year after opening with a 66 and adding rounds of 72-68-69.

Finally, does he have the required hot putter? Well, Saunders was fourth for Putting Average in the Web.com Tour Championship with figures of 1.64 PPG while he had those exact same figures despite missing the cut last week.

Some loose driving isn't likely to be punished as much at TPC Summerlin so, add it all up, and he has a fair bit going for him at massive odds of 250/1.


Dave's 2015/16 season P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection)

Staked: £30
Returned: £0
P/L: -£30

(After the Frys.com Open)

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