By Michael McGill

This week sees the start of the Fall series which commences with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

The tournament is being played at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner will take home US$792,000 from the US$4,500,000 purse.

TPC Summerlin is a Par 71 course measuring 7243 yards. There are 105 sand bunkers and 4 water hazards. The large greens are bentgrass and will be running at 11 on the stimpmeter.

Finding the winner at this event has been difficult in the past as several of the lesser known names on tour have taken home the winners cheque and trophy. Names such as Kevin Na, Marc Turnesa, George McNeill and Troy Matterson can be found on the honours board.

Many players will be battling it out to stay inside the Top 125 on the money list to keep their cards for next year. Others will be trying to get into this select group. So expect to see a few more of the lesser known players up there on the leaderboard over the weekend.

To play well at TPC Summerlin you need to go low! Look at the past four winners and you will see what you need to produce. Last year Kevin Na won with a score of -23, Jonathan Byrd was -21 in 2010, Martin Laird at -19 in 2009 and Marc Turnesa was -25 in 2008.

For a player to come out on top he will need to make a lot of birdies this weekend. Hitting lots of greens will be the main key.

Past winners have also played the Par 5’s well which has seen them rocket up the leaderboard.

Also expect to see the winner ranking high in putting stats as the stimpmeter is at 11 this week so they will be holing them from everywhere on these large greens.

The rough will not punish the players this week so expect to see a few of the big hitters giving it some power and muscle.

The field this week consists of six past winners which includes Kevin Na, Marc Tunesa, Stuart Appleby and George McNeill. There are also six Major winners teeing it with the likes of Trevor Immelman, Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink and Vijay Singh.

Looking at the bookies boards the top five in betting are- 12/1 Nick Watney, 14/1 Ryan Moore, 18/1 Robert Garrigus, 20/1 Jason Day and 25/1 Tim Clark.

Time to look at our selections this week.

Chad Campbell 50/1

Chad is currently sitting at 108th on the money list and needs to keep grinding away to stay inside the top 125. The reason he has been selected this week is due to his course form.

His season to date has produced only two top 10 finishes which were a T3rd at the St Jude Classic and a T4th in August at the Wyndham Championship where he finished at -14.

His current stats are nothing to write home about either!

Lets look at his course form now.

2011.  T23rd. Hitting 80% GIR’s and being -7 on the Par 5’s.

2010. T28th. Hitting 86% GIR’s and being -7 on the Par 5’s.

2009. P2nd. Hitting 87% GIR’s and being -5 on the Par 5’s.

2008. T3rd. Hitting 82% GIR’s and being -13 on the Par 5’s.

Now that he has had a short break during the FedEx Cup play offs we can expect to see Chad enjoying his golf at a course that seems to suit him down to the ground. At the current odds of 50/1 he makes for a fantastic each way selection.


Bryce Molder 50/1

Bryce is another player hit sits inside the top 125 on the money list at 83rd. He has made 16 cuts from 23 starts this season ans racked up eight top 25’s and two top 10’s.

He started the season with all guns blazing producing six Top 20 finishes from his first eight events.

While he went off the boil a little in the middle of the season  he managed to come back with a 9th place finish in September at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Stats wise he is ranked 6th in strokes gained putting which will see him suited to this course.

If you look at his fall series last year you get the feeling he really enjoys this time of the year when a few of the bigger names take a break.

T10th. Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

P1st. Open

T11th. The McGladrey Classic.

Hopefully he brings that confidence this series and reproduces the same form which saw him win his first PGA tour title in the Open.


Good luck and good punting

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