2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open field, picks for Las Vegas event

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Tiger Woods announces his return to golf

Tiger Woods announces his return to golf

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The PGA Tour has returned to the United States. We can actually watch golf at normal times again! The action heads to Las Vegas this week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (good luck to all the broadcasters out there on that one).

Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.

Event information

What: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open | Where: Las Vegas, Nevada | When: Nov. 2-5

Field and odds
Tony Finau: 14-1Patrick Cantlay: 16-1Webb Simpson: 16-1Anirban Lahiri: 20-1Chesson Hadley: 22-1Kevin Chappell: 22-1Gary Woodland: 28-1Ryan Moore: 28-1Charley Hoffman: 28-1

Field strength: C-

The closer we get to the end of the fall swing, the worse the fields will get. Still, there’s some fun young talent (Finau! Cantlay!) playing this week in Vegas and some veterans trying to grind out a few FedEx Cup and maybe even Ryder Cup points for 2018.

1. Charley Hoffman’s big give: The Vegas resident is giving his entire paycheck to victims of the recent shooting at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. That’s awesome, but he hasn’t made the cut here in four years. However, when he did, he actually made $288,000. I think we’re all rooting for that to happen once again.

2. First-time Ws: Because of its position on the schedule, there have been 10 first-time PGA Tour winners in the last 15 years at this event. Kevin Na, Ben Martin and Smylie Kaufman all used Vegas as a springboard into strong seasons over the past six years. Kaufman in particular gleaned a ton of confidence here. After shooting a 61 to win this tournament in 2016, he played in the final pairing at the 2016 Masters with Jordan Spieth.

3. UNLV connection: Because of what has unfortunately taken place over the last few weeks in Vegas, the connection-to-Vegas storylines will be abundant. Many pro golfers live in the area, and several others including Hoffman, Ryan Moore and Chad Campbell played college golf at UNLV. I’m not sure what the vibe will be this week at this tournament, but there’s a real chance it could be a tough, emotional week for many in the field.

2016: Rod Pampling2015: Smylie Kaufman2014: Ben Martin2013: Webb Simpson2012: Ryan Moore

Almost exactly what you would expect from this tournament, except for Pampling. His huge putt to win it last year was a huge surprise. Although it was actually not the best moment involving Pampling from last season.

Winner: Jamie Lovemark is almost certainly going to win at some point. He’s as talented as anyone in the field and is coming off a top five at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges a few weeks ago. Odds: 40-1

Top 10: Patrick Cantlay hasn’t missed a cut since the 2014 Wyndham Championship. Am I ignoring the fact that he barely played in 2015 and 2016? Yes, I am. But that’s still impressive! Odds: 16-1

Sleeper: Kevin Streelman has five top 25s at this course and two top 15s to open the new PGA Tour season. Neither of those were at the big boy tournaments in Asia, but he’s swinging it as well as anybody in the field right now. Odds: 40-1

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