Course: TPC Summerlin
Course Comparables: TPC Scottsdale (Waste Management), TPC Twin Cities (3M Open)
Past Winners: Laird (2020), Na (2019), DeChambeau (2018), Cantlay (2017), Pampling (2016)
Course Notes: Desert Golf, Eagles, SG: T2G, Par 5 Scoring
Welcome back gang to another wonderful week of PGA golf. This tournament kicks off the Vegas swing at TPC Summerlin. A relatively simple and easy venue, the only defense TPC Summerlin has is the wind which saw Cantlay win at a single digit number. The winning score has been at least twenty under the nine other tournaments in the last decade, so I’m expecting a lot of scoring this week. I’m not particularly interested in short game specialists here so I want purely ballstrikers that do a ton of work on extremely accessible par fives.
10k+ Favorite: Viktor Hovland
With an extremely odd week on the odds board (pun slightly intended), we have three golfers as rotating favorites depending on where you are betting. Hovland, Kopeka, and Burns are all varying between 20/1 and 25/1 so we can just call all three co-favorites. This should be no surprise to anyone but my favorite of these three is Viktor Hovland. He ranks 1st in my model when applied to only easy courses. In the same model, he leads in SG: Ballstriking by an unprecedented margin. The gap between Hovland and 2nd place (Corey Conners) is larger than the gap between 2nd and 14th. That’s pretty impressive considering the quality of this field. I think Hovland is a no-brainer at this point when we consider he’s also 5th in Approaches from 200+ Yards and 6th in Eagles. The pivot in this range is surprisingly Koepka. While I understand the reluctance from the field slightly, he’s still, arguably, the fourth best golfer in the world. He can win anywhere if the putter is working. I also don’t mind Burns and Zalatoris from up here. Webb and Ancer are both approaching 20% ownership so I’ll happily let the field eat that.
9k Favorite: Harris English
This one is killing me to write but Harry is just a different golfer these days. His short game is just so consistent that I’m sick and tired of getting beat by it. I know I said that I prefer the ballstrikers this week but this is a catharsis I just have to dive into this week. His SG: Approach is mid range in the easy model, but he’s also 10th in the field in Approaches from 200+ Yards. He’s also one of the best wind players on tour which leads me to loving him more at this price. If you’re not trying to vanquish demons like me this week, then I’d recommend Hideki and Sungjae instead. Both do quite well on easy courses. They’re both top twenty in SG: Ballstriking and SG: Tee to Green along with being top thirty in Eagle rates. I will happily leave Louis on the bench this week, who seems to be losing his putting magic.
8k Favorite: Paul Casey
At the beginning of the week, I was assuming that Casey would be the uber chalk this week. As of Wednesday morning, this is not the case. He’s barely tickling double digits with four other guys in this range getting a few more clicks than the Englishman. That feels like a mistake to me as Casey has had a solid 2021 so far. If the irons are dialed in and he doesn’t absolutely murk his own game with the putter, then he will certainly pay off in spades with top five upside. I also love Niemann and Scott from down here this week. They’re both in the top ten in the easy course model and are both premier ballstrikers with spike putters. I also will play some Matthew Wolff at a price that is certainly too low.
7k Favorite: Marc Leishman
After a solid 6th at the Fortinet Championship, Leishman is slowly but surely figuring things out and has a chance to build on what he did two weeks ago. At 3% ownership and the most winning upside in the 7s, I’m willing to gamble on his putter spiking again. I understand the Mito love, but at 21% ownership I will send that down the line and hope he misses the cut. I can also get behind Ryan Palmer and rookie Cameron Young as ways to get different in this range while eating chalk up top. I don’t mind Henrik Norlander, who had a great week at Sanderson Farms, but his ownership is getting to the point where we have to pivot elsewhere to satisfy my game theory monster. I can also get behind a depreciated Cam Davis at an easy course where he should be able to smash his driver at free will.
6k Favorite: Garrick Higgo
While Congaree in SC isn’t exactly desert golf, it greatly resembles it. As the winner at Congaree, Higgo should feel comfortable in these settings where most of the defense is something he can certainly work around. Things haven’t been great for Higgo since his win, with just a 41st, a 64th and three missed cuts in that period. I’m willing to bet on a bounce back here. As always with the TPC courses, you have to consider K.H. Lee. He’s terrorized TPC courses with his win at Byron Nelson (TPC Craig Ranch) and his 6th at the 3M Open (TPC Twin Cities). Matt Wallace and Kyle Stanley are also way too cheap to not consider for your deep GPP lineups.