The PGA Tour’s Fall Series continues this week with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Scotland’s Martin Laird defends the title.
This tournament began life in 1983 as the Panasonic Las Vegas Celebrity Classic – an event won by Fuzzy Zoeller. In various guises, including the Las Vegas Invitational and Invensys Classic, the competition has been won by Greg Norman, Tiger Woods (his first PGA Tour victory back in 1996) and Jim Furyk amongst others.
Opened for play in 1992, the TPC at Summerlin was designed by Bobby Weed assisted by Fuzzy Zoeller. It’s an oasis in the desert at the heart of Summerlin – a 22,000 acre residential estate at the wetern edge of Las Vegas.
In last year’s tournament, Martin Laird came through a three-way playoff with George McNeill and Chad Campbell, taking the title at the third extra hole.
Laird will be back to defend his title but he’ll have to get past a strong field. Seven Major winners are on the start sheet as are 10 tournament winners from the 2010 PGA Tour.
Venue: TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: Oct 21-24
Course stats: par 71, 7,223 yards
Purse: $4,300,000 Winner: $756,000
Defending Champion: Martin Laird (-19)
Thursday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Friday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Saturday 23 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Sunday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Rickie Fowler – The young superstar played a great final round last week to finish in fourth spot. Since his impressive Ryder Cup debut, he’s been playing some excellent golf and is overdue a victory.
Charley Hoffman – He’s been in the top-15 three times at TPC Summerlin and was sixth in this event last year. He makes a lot of birdies and that’s required round this course where low scoring is the norm.
Nick Watney – He hasn’t played since the Tour Championship so his form is a bit of an unknown. But, he’s a reliable performer and he lives in Las Vegas so will be feeling relaxed this week.
Key hole: 16th. A par 5 of 560 yards it generally ranks as one of the easiest holes on the course. It’s reachable in two for long hitters so birdies are common, however, disasters are possible too and with a lake guarding the front of the green, it generally witnesses the odd eight or nine.
Skills required: Going low. The winning total at Summerlin tends to be around the 20-under-par mark. The winner will make a hatful of birdies and the occasional eagle over the four days.