Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    Viva Las Vegas – what a great week to grab some winners!

    Vegas Baby

    From Mississippi to Vegas the PGA Tour goes this week. After Mackenzie Hughes took
    down the field and wrestled off “The Ox” Sepp Straka in a playoff in Mississippi, the
    world’s best head to Sin City for a week of various activities, some of which will be golf
    related. We’re in the thick of the fall season, which is a stretch of the calendar that will
    all be a distant memory in upcoming years as we shrink down the brutal calendar we’ve
    come to know in golf. Regardless, there’s a handful more opportunities this year for
    PGA Tour newbies and regulars to get a leg up on the world’s best who keep a lighter
    playing schedule. While the events don’t have as much panache, the Fedex Cup points
    and dollars still count the same.

    This year’s field is fronted by Presidents Cup participants Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa,
    young sensation Tom Kim, and 2021 Champion Sungjae Im. Cantlay lifted the trophy at
    this event in 2017 and is the odds on betting favorite here.

    Drama On The River

    This tournament has always had a Vegas show flare for the dramatic, with electric
    finishes swirling in my memory, dating back to Jonathan Byrd’s infamous “walk off hole
    in one” victory in 2010. Three out of the last five Shriners Open’s have gone to a playoff,
    so expect Sunday chaos. The event has been held at TPC Summerlin for the last
    several years but has bopped around to nearly a dozen Vegas area tracks in its history.
    Summerlin plays to a modest 7200 yards as a par 71 tournament track, and with Vegas
    at elevation you’ll see lots of wedges into par 4’s and par 5’s reached in two. Much like
    many other desert golf courses, power + accuracy will reward lots of birdie looks all
    week long.

    Picking The Shriners

    It’s almost as if there’s an added impetus to traveling to Las Vegas, can’t imagine what
    that would be. This is one of the few tournaments where I make sure I’m picking guys
    who have their head on straight all week – distractions are easy to find. From a golf
    perspective, I want longer hitters that aren’t afraid to make a risky play when needed, or
    bet on themselves with aggression. This tournament feels like a 54 hole pro am
    followed by a chaotic birdie-filled Sunday finish, so guys that have a history of low
    rounds are nice thoughts as well.

    Making Your Picks

    I’m prefacing my weekly picks based on exactly what I value the most. With every play I
    make, I’m always taking into account these factors and for the Shriners in Vegas, we’re
    fittingly betting on gamblers this week…and some bombers too!

    1. Who’s hot and trending – recent high finishes, top 10 streaks and consistent play
    are never a bad thing.

    2. Horses for courses – players love certain courses and course familiarity and
    experience are invaluable in a field of the world’s best.

    3. What the numbers tell you this week – while I’m far from analytical, there’s always
    a tournament darling or two scattered across the golf talk stratosphere that stuns on

    4. Intangibles – while this allows for theater of the mind, there’s a mysterious optimism
    surrounding that feels “due” or if the price looks just right for buying.

    At the Sanderson Farms, my picks were circling contention all week – starting with Davis
    Riley who is due to win really soon. My boy and our new friend (if you’ve been betting
    him) Taylor Montgomery is a top 10 machine, so overall the picks were a B- this week.

    The Six Pack of Picks

    (Wanna start a Pick-X pool with your friends? Learn more here! Or, if you’re looking to
    start your own PGA One-and-Done pool, check those out here) (Hint: the main
    difference between the two is how many players you’ll pick each week)

    1: Sungjae Im – Riding a sturdy Prez cup effort, Sungjae loves the track and had a
    week off to relax, a prime spot for him to defend.

    2: Aaron Wise – His form here is too good to pass – three top 10’s at TPC
    Summerlin in recent years.

    3: Taylor Montgomery – A fixture in my picks until further notice, and especially
    this week since it’s a home game for the Las Vegas resident who knows the
    course inside and out.

    4: Brian Harman- The little lefty is a perfect fit for this course IF his wedges are
    on. Not the longest driver but he’ll give himself a million birdie looks.

    5: Si Woo Kim – The leading point getter for the International Team should ride
    some momentum into this week’s event.

    6: Dean Burmester – Taking a chance on a newbie that finished 4th last week in
    Mississippi, the former Euro Tour player is just getting his feet wet on the PGA

    RYP One and Done Pick: Sungjae Im

    The Deets

    Where to watch: Golf Channel and ESPN+ all weekend – with no shortage of gambling
    references on the broadcast – they think they’re so edgy.

    Why to watch
    : The Shriners has a run on great finishes and has propelled some great
    names to stardom early in their careers.

    What to eat: My dining pick on the Strip is always Tao Asian Bistro.

    Purse: $7.9 million

    Winner’s Share: $1.42 million


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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