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October 11 2013

8:54 PM

First Look: Shriners Hospitals

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The PGA TOUR returns to Las Vegas for the second event of the 2013-14 season.

MORE: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open full field

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.com contributor

• COURSE: TPC Summerlin, 7,243 yards, par 71. Meandering through canyons and arroyos of the Nevada desert, TPC Summerlin opened in 1991 as a collaboration of Bobby Weed and former Masters and U.S. Open champ Fuzzy Zoeller. The course’s strength lies in its final four holes full of risk/reward – the drivable par-4 15th, the par-5 16th, the water-lined par-3 17th and a strong par-4 No. 18. Recent upgrades have added bunkers at No. 18 and three other holes.

• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

• CHARITY: Shriners Hospitals for Children, a system of 22 facilities offering specialty pediatric care and medical teaching. The network has the largest full-time staff of pediatric orthopedic specialists in the United States, and its burn centers and spinal cord rehabilitation programs are recognized worldwide.

• FIELD WATCH: Zach Johnson, winner of last month’s BMW Championship, heads a lineup that includes four of the top 30 players in this week’s world rankings. Johnson is No.11 in the rankings, joined by No. 24 Webb Simpson, No. 27 Nick Watney and No. 30 Hideki Matsuyama. … Johnson and Simpson were members of the winning U.S. Presidents Cup squad two weeks ago at Muirfield Village. The Internationals will have four members at TPC Summerlin – Matsuyama, Angel Cabrera, Brendon de Jonge and Graham DeLaet. … Jonathan Byrd, whose hole-in-one in the fading light won 2010’s three-man playoff, returns as he works his way back from wrist surgery.

• 72-HOLE RECORD: 260, Ryan Moore (2012).

• 18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Chip Beck (third round, 1991 at Sunrise GC). TPC Summerlin record: 61, Davis Love III (fourth round, 2001), Tag Ridings (fourth round, 2004), Hunter Haas (second round, 2011), Ryan Moore (first round, 2012).

• LAST YEAR: Moore outsprinted de Jonge to the finish line, shooting a 5-under 66 to break the tournament scoring record in his hometown event. A birdie at the par-5 16th pushed Moore into sole possession at the front, paving the way for a one-stroke victory as de Jonge missed the fairway at No. 16 and couldn’t answer over the final two holes. De Jonge closed with a 67, with Sweden’s Jonas Blixt (70) another three shots back. It was the second PGA TOUR win for Moore, who attended UNLV and still lives in Las Vegas, and his total of 24-under 260 was one better than Kevin Na’s mark a year earlier.

• STORYLINES: As with the Frys.com Open, the Las Vegas stop gets a higher profile with full FedExCup points available and a Masters berth to the winner. There’s also more money up for grabs – a $6 million purse as compared to $4.5 million last year. … Moore seeks to become just the second back-to-back winner in tournament history. Jim Furyk claimed one-stroke victories in 1998 and ’99. … Can the PGA TOUR’s Vegas delegation keep the trophy at home for a third consecutive year? Na’s 2011 win began the string, followed by Moore last year. Watney and Charley Hoffman also are among 10 Las Vegas residents in the field.

• SHORT CHIPS: This marks the tournament’s 10th edition as a 72-hole event. The Las Vegas stop had been a five-round endeavor for the first 31 years, with a pro-am format spread over three courses for the first three days. … Moore last year became the first man since the event went to 72 holes to carry the first-round lead all the way to victory.

• TELEVISION: Thursday-Sunday, 5-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel).

• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, 2-8 p.m. ET (PGATOUR.com and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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