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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - 2021 Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

Hello PGA DFS family and welcome back to Horse For The Course! We might have a legit star-in-the-making with Sam Burns, a young man that just captured his second PGA Tour victory in less than a year in last week's Sanderson Farms Championship. Burns has a skill set that's suited perfectly to the modern game and current PGA Tour course setups, so I expect him to be a force for years to come.

Last week's Sanderson kicked off a solid two-month stretch of fall golf. This week we head to Las Vegas for one of the Swing Season's best events, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

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2021 Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

After a Sam Burns win at the Sanderson, the fall season is now kicking into high gear as we head to Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open. The Shriners has long been a fixture on the Swing Season calendar and has morphed into one of the best events of the fall schedule.

This week's TPC Summerlin layout is an easy one for the pros (though we did see an outlier hard windy week a few years ago) and provides an exciting tournament from a DFS perspective. In addition to the exciting layout, it seems as though the Shriners field just gets better and better every year. This edition is no different, as the turnout is about as strong as you'll see for a normal, full-field event in the fall.

Defending Shriners champion Martin Laird will be back to defend his title and will attempt to win this event for the third time in his career. It will be a tough task, as he'll need to hold off a fairly stacked field of competitors that includes last week's winner, Sam Burns; Ryder Cup participants Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Harris English, Brooks Koepka, and Scottie Scheffler; as well as top-tier talents like Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris, Louis Oosthuizen, and Webb Simpson. I told you...this is a stout Swing Season field and I think it will make for a great PGA DFS slate!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Summerlin

Par 71 - 7,255 Yards, Greens: Bent, Architect: Bobby Weed

Fairly short by modern standards at just over 7,200 yards, this Las Vegas track has reachable Par-5s and a driveable Par-4 - which allows players to rack up birdies - but is short enough to bring every player in the field into the mix. The fairways are wide and firm with huge Bentgrass green complexes that generally roll on the slow side. Summerlin routinely ranks as one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour schedule, but we have seen wind and weather occasionally play a factor on this layout that sits at high elevation, as Patrick Cantlay won this event at just nine-under par in outlier conditions four years ago. While this course is on the shorter side, we haven't traditionally seen bombers have a huge advantage here, as the past winners of the Shriners have mostly been sharp ball-strikers or been on fire with the putter...like last year's surprise winner, veteran Martin Laird. I'll be targeting ball striking and Strokes Gained: Approach this week, as well as players that can rack up birdies.

Check out RotoBaller's PGA Premium Course Breakdown by Josh Bennett for an in-depth breakdown of this week's golf course!

 

Recent Sanderson Winners

  • Martin Laird (-23)
  • Kevin Na (-23)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (-21)
  • Patrick Cantlay (-9)
  • Rob Pampling (-20)

 

The Horse

Abraham Ancer

Notable Course History: 4th (2021 Season), MC ('20), T4 ('19), MC ('18)
DraftKings Price: $10,400  FanDuel Price: $11,800

I never really know what I'm gonna find from week to week when digging into course history for various events. This week's Shriners happens to be one of those tournaments in which there are tons of players with very good and extended track records of success. While there are many with longer and more consistent Shriners track records than Abraham Ancer (some of whom will touch on in this week's article), he gets the nod as this week's Horse due to the high upside that he's demonstrated at TPC Summerlin, as well as his strong and consistent form throughout 2021.

Ancer is a player that entered 2021 in search of his first career victory on the PGA Tour and many of us in the PGA DFS community felt that it was just a matter of time for the man from Mexico. Sure enough, he captured a win in a huge event, winning the WGC-FedEx St. Jude in dramatic fashion. It was certainly no fluke, as the 30-year-old was one of golf's most consistent producers in 2021. Over 20 starts in the calendar year, Ancer posted the win in Memphis, as well as seven additional top-10 finishes, while missing only three cuts.

His consistency can be attributed to his razor-sharp accuracy from tee to green. Over the last 50 rounds, Ancer leads this week's Shriners field in Good Drives Gained and ranks fifth in Overall Proximity. In short, when you hit as many fairways and greens as this guy does, good things are going to happen. This week's TPC Summerlin layout - despite being relatively forgiving off the tee - hasn't exactly been a bomber's paradise historically. No, the Vegas track has generally led to tons of success for accurate drivers of the ball and sharp iron players, such as Martin Laird, Kevin Na, and Patrick Cantlay. Obviously, the player that wins this week will need to make tons of putts and that has been the most erratic part of Ancer's game over his career. However, Bent has historically been his best putting surface (by far) and he has looked improved with the flatstick overall, gaining strokes putting in nine of his last 10 measured starts.

 

The Ponies

Webb Simpson

Notable Course History: T13 ('21), T7 ('20), T15 ('19), T20 ('18), Win ('13)
DraftKings Price: $10,200 FanDuel Price: $11,500

I wouldn’t call 2021 a bad year for Webb Simpson - he made the cut in three of four majors and logged four top-10 finishes - but I think it’s fair to label it as a disappointing year for Simpson, a player that we’ve come to expect an elite level of consistency from. 

Alarm bells went off for PGA fans when the Carolina native was forced to withdraw from the Wells Fargo Championship - an event that's held on his home course - due to a neck injury in May. His results dipped after his return and - after gutting out a T30 in the PGA Championship - he missed the cut in back-to-back starts for the first time since 2017. The Wake Forest alum also failed to qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship for the first since 2016 and was subsequently skipped over as a Ryder Cup selection. 

Despite the underwhelming year, Simpson did battle back down the stretch to post top-20 results in three of his last five 2020-21 starts before recording a mediocre T30 in this season’s opener, the Fortinet Championship. What Webb heads to this week is perhaps the ultimate “get right” spot, as he’s been tremendous throughout his career in the Shriners. He won the event in 2013 and hasn’t finished outside the top-20 in his last four starts at TPC Summerlin. The vet also leads the field in SG: Total for this event over the last five years.

*UPDATE: Kevin Na Has Withdrawn From The Shriners*

Notable Course History: T43 ('21), Win ('20), MC ('19), MC ('17), Win ('11)
DraftKings Price: $9,100 FanDuel Price: $10,400

Kevin Na at TPC Summerlin is almost the definition of a “Horse For The Course” and it’s truly the type of situation this article is built around, as it represents a perfect course fit for a player with a unique skill set. We know Na’s MO...he lacks distance off the tee, but makes up for those shortcomings with sharp iron play and tremendous putting. While he is effectively drawing dead on many of the behemoth courses that make up the PGA Tour’s schedule, Na’s style still translates to a handful of layouts throughout the year, with TPC Summerlin being chief among them. He’s captured the Shriners title twice, with his most recent victory at TPC Summerlin coming in 2019. 

In addition to the ultra-elite course history, Na comes into the event after closing the 2020-21 season in white-hot form. He posted a pair of runner-ups (John Deere & Wyndham), as well as a third-place finish at the TOUR Championship over the last two months of the season. He did miss the cut in his most recent start at the Fortinet, though we can likely chalk that up to “Kevin Na being Kevin Na”, as he does come with a big level of volatility that can result in missed cuts or WDs. Even taking those very real concerns into account, he still stands out as an option that deserves very serious DFS consideration this week.

 

Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription?

Like what you read today? You can show your support for Joe by using promo code NICE when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer!

 

Joaquin Niemann

Notable Course History: T13 ('21), MC ('20), T10 ('19)
DraftKings Price: $8,300 FanDuel Price: $10,000

It feels like an underwhelming stretch run in the FedEx Cup Playoffs has Joaquin Niemann off the radar a bit this week, but I’m very interested in rostering the Chilean at his reasonable $8.3k DK price tag. The closest Niemann came to a win in 2021 was a playoff loss at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July, but we shouldn’t let the lack of wins distract us from what was an otherwise rock-solid year for the youngster. Once one of the most volatile players on the PGA Tour, the 22-year-old produced his most consistent season as a pro in 2021, making the cut in a staggering 26 of 27 starts over the ‘20-21 season. His history at TPC Summerlin is just as strong, as he’s recorded two top-13 finishes in three career Shriners starts.

 

Matthew Wolff

Notable Course History: T2 ('21), T18 ('20)
DraftKings Price: $8,200 FanDuel Price: $9,900

If you are going into any PGA DFS slate “relying” on Matthew Wolff, you’re doing it wrong. However, if you are strictly looking for upside, Wolff’s DFS ceiling is basically as high as anyone’s in this field. 

If you follow the game closely, you are likely aware that Wolff stepped away from golf for nearly four months earlier this year. He returned to post an oh-yeah-this-kid-can-still-play T15 in the U.S. Open before closing out the season with a run of uneven play. The 22-year-old teed it up for the first time in over a month last week at the Sanderson Farms Championship, making the cut on the number and promptly going 65-68 over the weekend. He now brings that positive momentum to a TPC Summerlin layout on which he’s thrived in two career appearances.

 

Brian Harman

Notable Course History: T13 ('21), T18 ('20), T15 ('17)
DraftKings Price: $7,600 FanDuel Price: $9,700

Sans a win, the little lefty had perhaps his best season as a pro in '20-21. Harman notched top-20 results in three major championships and also posted a top-five at the PLAYERS Championship. Unfortunately, the veteran ran out of steam down the stretch of the season, losing strokes on Approach in each of his four starts. As a result, we find the veteran priced at $7.6k on DraftKings rather than $8.6k. It's a nice "buy low" spot, as TPC Summerlin represents a nice bounce-back opportunity for him. He's finished inside the top-18 in each of his last three starts in the Shriners and if he can find the form he showcased earlier this year, he could prove to be one of the stronger value options on this slate. If we are bargain shopping between sites, Harman sticks out as perhaps the best salary saver available when comparing his DK price to his FD tag.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big.

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