Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: Knox a FRL play

Scotland's Russell Knox
Scotland's Russell Knox can start fast

Dave Tindall picks out three players to get onside early in Las Vegas this week...

"He's made all five cuts at TPC Summerlin and took third place in 2014. Knox opened with a 65 that week and all five of his first rounds in the event have been in the 60s."

*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 6 Places

Weather forecast: It's the Nevada desert so we have temperatures all week in the early 90s. They pick up as the day goes on. Winds are lighter at around 5-7mph in the morning but rise to 11mph in the afternoon.

FRL history at TPC Summerlin

2018 - 63 Peter Uihlein
2017 - 65 Whee Kim
2016 - 60 Rod Pampling
2015 - 64 David Hearn, Mark Hubbard, Tyler Aldridge, Michael Thompson
2014 - 64 Stewart Cink, Martin Laird
2013 - 60 J.J. Henry

Strategy: It's often cool in the desert at the start of the day which means the ball won't fly as far. But any idea that afternoon starters will be favoured goes right out of the window when looking at the stats. Going back to 2012, nine of the last 10 R1 leaders had a morning tee-time. With stronger winds forecast for the p.m. wave this year, I'm going all in and picking three early starters. Approach play is important so I'm going to add in another filter - those with strong recent greens in regulation stats.

Opportunity Knox

Russell Knox heads to Vegas on the back of a top 15 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship where he started his week with a 66.

That's two 66s in his last four openers (other at The Northern Trust).

The Scot hit over 80% of GIR in his home event and was ranked seventh in that category at Wentworth the week before.

His body clock could be a little warped but, for 18 holes, I won't let that bother me.

He's made all five cuts at TPC Summerlin and took third place in 2014.

Knox opened with a 65 that week and all five of his first rounds in the event have been in the 60s.

He's away at 07:20 which is actually good for the jet-lag as it's early afternoon UK time and hopefully the former WGC-HSBC Champions winner can get off to a flyer.

Side with Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler gets his bid underway at 08:30 Vegas time which looks an ideal slot.

The highly-regarded rookie has excellent greens in regulation stats in the early weeks of the season, ranking 1st when finishing T7 at Greenbrier.

He opened with rounds of 65-62 that week and, again, did his best work early (68-66) when following it with T16 at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

It'll be a first look at TPC Summerlin but he's obviously a fast learner if the above two events are anything to go by and he has the numbers and confidence to fly out of the traps once more.

Take the 60/1.

Stick with Reavie

I put up Chez Reavie in this market at last week's Safeway Open but he couldn't quite get near enough, shooting a first-round 69 to sit T15 after day one.

But there's no getting away from the stats which show he's finished the opening 18 holes inside the top 10 in 50% of his last 12 starts and and nine of those R1s were in the 60s.

Now to his Vegas form which is patchy but on his last visit in 2016 he blasted a second-round 61 and he once opened with 64.

A recent winner at the Travelers Championship, Reavie is an industry-best 55/1 to be FRL and I'll put my faith in the 07:10 starter again.

Dave's 2019 R1 leader P/L (based on £5 ew per selection)

Staked: £1110
Returned: £1022.59
P/L: -£87.41

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