The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is loaded with talent, most of which you won't want to burn in the tournament.
That nonsensical perspective is but at the core of the relative value of fantasy gaming. If you're confused, review the usual suspects.
Jordan Spieth. Rickie Fowler. Tony Finau. Bryson DeChambeau. Webb Simpson. Defending champion Patrick Cantlay. The savvy among you will respect the random outcome generated by shootouts like what's imminent at TPC Summerlin. Even if you're off to a slow start, why exhaust any of those weapons when what they do best is subject to being victimized by unpredictably hot putters on a track that caters to and accentuates conversion percentages?
If you need stronger advice to abstain, read on.
Spieth is making his tournament debut. Fowler is a short-lister in the majors. Finau excels almost everywhere, so you might as well wait until the timing is better than a post-playoff defeat nine time zones away. DeChambeau is making his first start of 2018-19 after a forgettable foray at the Ryder Cup. Simpson is the small club of automatics on specific sites (e.g. Spieth at Augusta National; Zach Johnson at TPC Deere Run); his is Sedgefield, host of the Wyndham Championship. And Cantlay won't get the same conditions in which he broke through for his first PGA TOUR title a year ago.
Since 2009 when TPC Summerlin was reduced to a par 71, and ignoring last year's wind-inflated scoring, the highest winning aggregate was Smylie Kaufman's 16-under 268 in 2015. Ryan Moore (2012) and Webb Simpson (2013) set the tournament record with 24-under 260s. This is to say that the course sets up more similar to a Web.com Tour event and just a few weeks removed from many in this field earned their cards at the Finals. They are baked into the aforementioned random component in play.
The only notable who was omitted above is Gary Woodland. He sat out the third leg of the Asia Swing, so he's reacclimated and rested in the U.S. He's also No. 1 in my Power Rankings due primarily to his fantastic form for months. It was punctuated with a T5-2nd fortnight in Malaysia and South Korea. And his short grouping of Future Possibilities will be covered by others. Put it all together and the timing is perfect to use a guy on a serious upswing who presents a strong chance to win.
Two-man gamers can have fun with recently dubbed Rookie of the Year Aaron Wise, fellow 2017-18 rookie sensation Austin Cook and 2018-19 first-time member Sam Burns. The conservative among you should consider Las Vegas native and resident Scott Piercy or 2012 Shriners champ Ryan Moore.
RANK PANELIST PICK
Gary Woodland The right man for the right job at the right time. His confidence is arguably higher than it's ever been for a sustained period of time. 116th
On the Mark
Aaron Wise Vegas is a happy hunting ground for Wise. He spends a lot of time there working on his game with his coach, Jeff Smith. He also contended at TPC Summerlin a couple of seasons ago. 145th
Aaron Wise The local resident jumped onto the scene here with T10 two years ago and jumped to the top of the charts as last season's PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. He makes birdies for fun and should be in a very comfortable setting this week.
Webb Simpson Second all-time in tournament earnings and happens to be coming off one of the strongest seasons of his career. Feels like a recipe for success in Vegas. 692nd
Aaron Wise A broken driver led to struggles after his Nelson win, but once he got it sorted out he finished in the top 20 in four of his final six starts. 697th
Gary Woodland No Gary, you didn’t put on a few extra pounds in Asia … that’s just my pick weighing you down. Swing away my friend, swing away. 740th
Tony Finau Not going to overthink this one. Finau is in good form, and he has a good track record at TPC Summerlin. Look for lots of birdies from him this week.
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2018-19. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Patrick Cantlay … Shriners (1; defending); Genesis (4); Valspar (2); Memorial (3)
Bryson DeChambeau … Shriners (6); Waste Management (5); Arnold Palmer (3); Heritage (1); Memorial (2; defending); Travelers (4); John Deere (7)
Jason Dufner … CareerBuilder (9); Honda (3); PLAYERS (7); Valspar (4); New Orleans (1); Charles Schwab (6); Memorial (5); U.S. Open (2); Wyndham (8); TOUR Championship (10)
Tony Finau … Shriners (3); Farmers (1); Valero (5); Memorial (2)
Rickie Fowler … Mayakoba (7); Sentry (4); Waste Management (1); Honda (3); Arnold Palmer (8); Masters (2); Wells Fargo (6); PGA Championship (9); Memorial (5); U.S. Open (10)
Russell Henley … Shriners (5); RSM (1); Sony (2); Honda (4); Masters (3)
Si Woo Kim … Mayakoba (2); PLAYERS (3); Heritage (1)
Chris Kirk … RSM (1); Sony (4); Valero (3); PLAYERS (5); Charles Schwab (2)
Matt Kuchar … Sony (3); Waste Management (4); PLAYERS (5); Valspar (9); Masters (6); Heritage (2); Charles Schwab (7); Memorial (1); Open Championship (8)
Martin Laird … CareerBuilder (6); Waste Management (1); Genesis (3); Valero (5); Barracuda (2)
Ryan Moore … Shriners (10); Waste Management (12); Genesis (5); Valspar (3); Valero (7); Masters (13); Memorial (11); Travelers (6); John Deere (8); Wyndham (2); TOUR Championship (9)
Kevin Na … Genesis (2); Valspar (6); Charles Schwab (3); Wyndham (5)
Ryan Palmer … Sony (3); CareerBuilder (1); Valero (2); Charles Schwab (4)
Scott Piercy … Shriners (5); Mayakoba (6); Sony (3); New Orleans (1; co-defending); Canadian (7; last winner at Hamilton in 2012)
Webb Simpson … Shriners (4); Sony (3); CareerBuilder (11); Waste Management (2); Honda (10); PLAYERS (5; defending); Heritage (6); Wells Fargo (7); Charles Schwab (8); Travelers (9); Wyndham (1)
Jordan Spieth … Sentry (2); Sony (12); Pebble Beach (3); Genesis (10); WGC-Mexico (11); Valspar (14); Masters (1); PGA Championship (7); Charles Schwab (5); Memorial (13); U.S. Open (4); Travelers (9); Open Championship (6); TOUR Championship (8)
Brendan Steele … CareerBuilder (6); Waste Management (2); Honda (7); Valero (8); Wells Fargo (9); Travelers (4); Reno-Tahoe (3)
Kevin Streelman … Shriners (6); Mayakoba (2); CareerBuilder (8); Pebble Beach (1); Valero (9); Heritage (5); Memorial (4); Travelers (7)
Gary Woodland … Sony (1); Farmers (2); Waste Management (3; defending); Memorial (4)