We’re fast reaching the end of the PGA Tour calendar, with this penultimate event in Las Vegas and then one more in three weeks. Players still outside the top 125 are running out of time to save their playing privileges, but can gain much hope from previous results at this venue.
TPC Summerlin has been hosting a PGA Tour event of some description for decades, and has particularly developed a reputation as a course for shock winners this century. Since changing from a five-round event to four, all six champions started the week at 100/1 or more, and all had money list concerns. Two of them; Andre Stolz and Wes Short, were 500/1 chances. Naturally under the circumstances, stakes should be kept relatively small.
JT Shriners betting
Summerlin is a typical resort course and pure test of target golf, with relentless birdies the order of the day. The winning score around this par 71 is always at least in the high teens. Predictably for such a layout, the key stats over the years have been greens in regulation, putting and birdie average.
2pts ew DJ TRAHAN @ 25/1 (GENERAL, 28/1 TOTE)
Trahan has enjoyed an impressively consistent campaign, registering seven top-ten finishes, and arguably deserves a third PGA Tour title for his efforts. Both wins came in low-scoring target golf affairs, so Summerlin should rate one of the best chances he’ll get. Indeed, he’s been seventh and runner-up on his last two visits, and can boast good recent form after third place at Annandale last time.
1pt ew RYAN PALMER @ 50/1 (GENERAL, 55/1 TOTE)
I recall backing Palmer at this time of the year before, though then he would have been chasing his card rather than sitting comfortably inside the top 25 on the money list. Palmer has enjoyed a great season, highlighted by an outstanding final day performance to win the Sony Open and finishing runner-up in a WGC event. Even during those previous poor seasons, Palmer was one of the most prolific birdie-makers around, so he could well finish the year as well as he started it.
1pt ew JOHN MALLINGER @ 55/1 (GENERAL, 60/1 STAN JAMES)
Despite rapidly losing patience with him, Mallinger gets one more chance to deliver the goods during this Fall Series. He is 130th on the money list, and blew a golden opportunity to save himself with Sunday’s poor round. Nevertheless, his game appears to be in broadly good nick, and I have always felt his breakthrough would occur in this type of putting contest.
At 146th Mackenzie is a very plausible candidate from below the cut line. He’s a two-time PGA Tour winner, one of which came in Nevada, and has a top ten to his name on this course back in 2005. Recent form is also fair, finishing sixth at the weekend, putting well. Mackenzie is another apparently well suited to target golf.
Piercy offered us no sort of run for our money at these odds last week, but is retained for this ideal course in his home state. He remains locked in a battle to save his card from 132nd place, and won’t get a better chance. He tops the birdie stats for the last three months, and was bang in contention last year until a poor final day sent him back to 14th.