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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Shriners Hospital's for Children Open - Preview

With Sang-moon Bae kicking off the 2014-15 season with a win at the Frys.com Open in our immediate past, it's time to dive into the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with a preview to kick off the research for this week.

TPC Summerlin is once again the host venue, and will play to a par of 71 at 7,255 yards. It has served as the lone host dating back to 2008, but had a part in the previous rotation dating back to 1992. TPC Summerlin features just a trio of par 5s to go with four par 3s and 11 par 4s. Expect those par 5s to yield numerous birdie opportunities and to be reachable by the majority of the field.

Looking back at the winners and second-place finishers since 2008, we have the following:

  • 2008 - Winner: Marc Turnesa (25-under 263) over Matt Kuchar (264) (played as a par 72 that year)
  • 2009 - Winner: Martin Laird (19-under 265) over Chad Campbell and George McNeill in a playoff
  • 2010 - Winner: Jonathan Byrd (21-under 263) over Cameron Percy and Martin Laird in a playoff
  • 2011 - Winner: Kevin Na (23-under 261) over Nick Watney (263)
  • 2012 - Winner: Ryan Moore (24-under 260) over Brendon de Jonge (261)
  • 2013 - Winner: Webb Simpson (24-under 260) over Jason Bohn and Ryo Ishikawa (266)

I'm not sure that this list of players screams anything in particular. When diving into the course history for these players, they have just as many misses as they do hits. Perhaps that means this is a tournament where the hot putter, when combined with decent ball-striking, will emerge with the win. 

Further supporting the putting theory, Webb Simpson was first in SGP last season, while Jason Bohn was second (T2 in the tournament). Ryan Moore was 2nd in SGP in his 2012 win, while Jonas Blixt was first in SGP and finished alone in third place. 

Greens in Regulation tend to be a close second to SGP in the stats category. 

In addition to course history, I will go back and take a look at who putted well in Napa last week. I will also consider GIR, SGP, Par 4 scoring average and Par Breakers. 

We will be back on Monday with this week's Power Ranking. Until then, happy research!

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