This week an old quote comes back to haunt us: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
Well, it doesn’t go much more awry than having written about this week’s betting choices at this week’s 2021 Shriners Children’s Open when something goes terribly wrong.
How wrong? Let’s just say that our lock-of-a-lifetime, bet-the-rent-money choice of Patrick Cantlay to win this week went south in a hurry.
The Shriners Children’s Open, being held at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, had everything lined up for us when it comes to picking a winner.
We had Cantlay, the hottest golfer in the world right now, as the no-doubt pick to win. After all, he comes into Vegas after having closed out the 2020-2021 wraparound season with victories in the final two playoff events worth about a gazillion dollars.
Add in earning Player of the Year honors for his efforts and an impressive 3-0-1 record in helping Team USA breeze to the Ryder Cup title, he had one of those years you never forget.
He won here in 2018 before losing to Bryson DeChambeau by a stroke in 2019 and then falling in a playoff to Kevin Na in 2020. To say he loves this place would be an understatement.
There was a great chance he would have kept up that amazing run with a win here…except for one small detail: He decided not to tee it up this week.
Well, back to the drawing board.
Odds To Win The Shriners Children’s Open By DraftKings
|Shriners Children’s Open Odds||DraftKings|
Shriners Event Has A Great History
Having lived in Vegas for the past 25-plus years, we’ve spent more than our share of time watching this event grow.
Here are a few tidbits bettors may not realize. This was the first Tour event to offer a million dollar purse when it was the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro-Celebrity Classic back in 1983 with Fuzzy Zoeller walking away with the $135,000 winner’s check. That check last year would mean a player finished 14th.
Tiger Woods is also part of the impressive history of this event as he won his first Tour title here, winning the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational.
Jim Furyk has won here three times, the first in 1995–also his first PGA Tour win. In fact, three of his first four wins on Tour came right here.
Shriners A Great Spot For That First Win
So as we said earlier, Woods and Furyk picked up their first PGA Tour wins right here. And, as you might not have known, Cantlay’s victory here in 2018 was his first PGA Tour victory.
Sensing a pattern?
There are others who have won here for the first time and this year Scottie Scheffler at +2200 could add his name to that list.
Scheffler had a solid last season and is teeing it up for the first time in this wraparound season….unless you count an impressive run in helping Team USA win the Ryder Cup.
But the first time teeing it up in a season (officially) in a Tour event makes picking a player like this just a little bit more of a gamble.
But, after all, we are in Vegas and gambling is what happens here.
He made his Vegas debut last year and wound up T-74 after a weekend struggle. He opened with rounds of 67 and 67 before fading.
He finished the 2020-2021 wraparound season at No. 22 in the FedEx Cup standings and played well enough to earn that call to play on the Ryder Cup team.
Right now he’s on the rise and gaining confidence each time out. He’s coming off a season where he posted eight top-10s including a second in a WGC event and three third-place finishes.
There’s nothing better than a victory to really help that confidence keep growing so why not pick up that first win in Vegas.
Believe us, stranger things have happened here.
Looking Down The List For Better Money
Then there’s another extreme: picking a guy who has won before, but it’s been a while.
Check out Paul Casey at +2500. He hasn’t won since 2019 (when he won the second of back-to-back Valspar tournaments) but he’s played solid enough recently to pique our interest here. Last season he had seven top-10 finishes with his best being a T-4 at the PGA Championship.
And he’s coming off a solid showing at the Ryder Cup for Team Europe. Now, 0-4-0 in Ryder Cup may not seem impressive but let’s put that in perspective. He went up against Dustin Johnson every time he played. Johnson went 5-0-0 in leading the Team USA route but Casey pushed him to the limit in most of the matches and lost his singles match to DJ on the 18th hole.
Casey did miss the cut here last year despite having both rounds under par the first two days. It’s just that low scores here are the norm. Very low.
TPC Summerlin is a course that favors shot-makers over bombers so can Casey maneuver his way around the course this week and be a factor?
We’re hoping so but if we knew that answer definitively, it would make it a lot easier to make a bet…or stay away.
Look Out For The Local Guys
A pair of local players are worth a look.
Kevin Na, the defending champ, is at an eye-opening +2200 and Maverick McNealy, also seeking his first victory, is at +6600.
Both have logged plenty of rounds on this course and Na’s win last year proves familiarity can breed success.
It would be McNealy’s first win so we’re right back to that factor…again.