2022 Shriners Children’s Open Fantasy Golf Power Rankings and Picks
The formula is simple to enjoy a successful week in Vegas. Stay hydrated, manage your bankroll and don’t become too enamored with the favorites. Also, watch your dealer closely. Like the Good Doctor said, there’s madness at any hour, in any direction.
Several miles from the Strip, the path to profit at TPC Summerlin is similar. Keep the ball in play off the tee, attack the hole locations and drain some putts. Power is not a prerequisite for a course listed at 7,255 yards that plays about five percent shorter because it sits at 2,700 feet above sea level.
RELATED: Caddie Line homepage
The home of the Shriners Children’s Open is a Bobby Weed design and the easiest par 71 on the Tour schedule. Five of the last six winners reached at least 20-under par and with a gorgeous weather forecast in the desert again this week, expect more of the same.
This week’s Power Rankings focused on players with recent success Tee-to-Green, past prosperity in the desert and the ability to shoot low scores and create birdie opportunities on the Tour’s shorter and easier courses.
It’s a good week to pluck a few names from the Bargain Bin to build a roster. Don’t fear the chalk, either.
Shriners Children’s Open Fantasy Golf Power Rankings
25. Matt Kuchar – Made the Shriners cut three times in the last five years and opened the 2022-23 season gaining 7.1 shots Tee-to-Green to finish T-12 in Napa.
24. Martin Laird – The 2020 champion in Las Vegas is top 30 in recent SG: Tee-to-Green, Good Drives Gained and scoring on easy courses.
23. Joel Dahmen – Strong ballstriking week in Jackson (4.5 shots gained on approach) produced a top 15 and he’s always enjoyed Vegas, making the cut the last four years with a T-24 and T-9.
22. Stephan Jaeger – He’s second in the field in par-5 scoring and seventh in recent SG: Tee-to-Green. Just needs a slightly better week of ballstriking because scoring clubs are in form.
21. Si Woo Kim – It’s possible the putts he holed under pressure in the Presidents Cup propel Kim to a career year. Nobody doubts his talent and he’s uber aggressive. Strong record in the desert.
20. Andrew Putnam – Lack of distance off the tee won’t be as much of a hindrance this week and with good form and a pair of top 20s here as well as other desert success, presents excellent value.
19. Dean Burmester – Finished 11th or better in five of his last six starts worldwide, including a T-11 at The Open and a T-4 in Jackson. Makes birdies in buckets and excels on the par 5s.
18. Rickie Fowler – He’s returned from exile. New caddie, new swing coach, casual rounds in the low 60s at Cypress Point and a top 10 last time out in Napa. He’s a sly desert fox who can still sizzle on the greens.
17. Keith Mitchell – He’s winning this season. Played consistent golf from tee-to-green throughout last season and his excellent driving should turn the par 5s into mid-to-long iron approach shots.
16. Christiaan Bezuidenhout – Rare week of poor putting in Jackson wasted solid ballstriking. Making his Vegas debut and is among the best in the field in proximity from 125-175 yards.
15. Taylor Moore – Shot a pair of 69s on the weekend in Jackson, gaining nearly five shots on approach, continuing his trend of flourishing on the Tour’s easier layouts.
14. Mark Hubbard – Started the week in Jackson with low expectations and nearly slipped out of Mississippi with his first Tour victory, dropping to T-4 with a Sunday 74. Top 10 in the field in scoring and Opportunities Gained on easier courses.
13. Matthew NeSmith – Coming in hot after a final-round 64 produced a top-10 finish and oozing with confidence considering he’s finished 18th, eighth and fourth in three Shriners starts.
12. Tom Kim – Everyone’s new favorite. Likely to be quite popular in all the markets this week and with good reason, he should be in the fairways and putting for birdies often. Better than the field average in every meaningful metric.
11. Mito Pereira – He’s still here. Ranks second in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green over the last 36 rounds and Opportunities Gained on easier courses over the last 50. Finished tied for 40th here last year.
Shriners Children’s Open Fantasy Golf Best Bets
10. Taylor Montgomery – Born in Vegas and attended UNLV. Finished third and ninth in his first two starts as a Tour member thanks to a white-hot putter. Also gained 2.4 shots on approach last week. Will be surprised if he’s not in contention.
9. Tom Hoge – Finished 10th in the Tour Championship and 12th at the Fortinet, gaining more than four shots on approach. Ranks 11th in Good Drives Gained, 15th in Opportunities Gained and 22nd in par-5 scoring. Finished seventh, 24th and 14th here in the last five years.
8. Max Homa – Quietly becoming one of the best players in the world. Ranks third in par-5 scoring and top 10 in SG: Tee-to-Green (last 36) and Opportunities Gained on shorter courses.
7. Taylor Pendrith – Also confident he’ll win this year and his touch and scoring ability around the greens are more impressive than his prodigious length off the tee. Ranks 10th in par-5 scoring and 18th in Birdies or Better Gained.
6. Cameron Davis – Another player who benefited from the Presidents Cup experience. Should feel like he can contend anytime he tees it up and this course suits his skill set of crushing par 5s and reeling off birdies on easier layouts.
5. Aaron Wise – Coming off the best year of his career and feels like another victory is imminent. Landed in the top 25 in seven of 12 tournaments coming in and has a T-8 and T-15 here in the last five years.
4. Adam Svensson – I’m probably overly bullish on Svensson. Guilty. A hot putter is going to accompany his steady ballstriking and wedge prowess one of these weeks. He’s top 5 in the field in SG: Approach (shorter courses), Opportunities Gained and proximity from 150-175 yards.
3. Emiliano Grillo – Don’t look now but Grillo’s putting has improved dramatically over his last six tournaments, gaining at least 1.8 shots on the greens in each outing. He’s the best in the field from 125-175 yards and third in SG: Tee-to-Green over the last 36 rounds.
2. Sungjae Im – Loves the desert, thriving in the past at the Stadium Course at PGA West and TPC Scottsdale and of course winning in impressive fashion at TPC Summerlin last year. Form is incredible with three runner ups and nothing worse than 15th in his last five tournaments.
1. Patrick Cantlay – Yeah, he’s the chalk. But this is his honey hole and he’s a steady contender most everywhere but especially in the desert. Before skipping last year’s tournament, finished first, second, second and eighth the four previous years. Should be ready to get a head start on another outstanding season.
Shriners Children’s Open Fantasy Golf Picks: Bargain Bin
Austin Eckroat, Chris Gotterup, Ben Griffin, Beau Hossler, Peter Malnati, Scott Piercy, Chez Reavie, Patrick Rodgers, Davis Thompson, Brandon Wu.