The tournament that is usually played at the spectacular Nine Bridges in South Korea will, for the second year in a row, head to Las Vegas, this time at the new Tom Fazio-designed The Summit Golf Club.
As always this is a no-cut event and as a result it’s by far the strongest field of the season with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa (a member here) Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy kicking off their 2021/22 season in the Nevada desert.
Meanwhile, Jason Kokrak, who captured his first Tour title in nine years in 2020, then went on to win again later last season, returns to defend.
Course: The Summit GC
Length: 7431 yards (Par 72)
Architect: Tom Fazio
With this being the first significant pro event held here both the players and us punters come into this week blind, but judging by the photos of the course, it looks and feels like your classic desert resort.
With well-manicured wide fairways protected by large bunkers and a few man-made lakes.
The Bentgrass greens are on the larger side and are protected by rough, bunkers and some water.
Both the par 3s and 4s have a balanced length composition hinting at players having to perform with most clubs in the bag.
But it is worth noting that three of the four par 5s clock in at over 580 yards which should lead to a sizable advantage for the longer hitters in the field.
Always hard to predict a winning score but with four par 5s, elevation making the course play shorter than the scorecard and a benign weather forecast it would not surprise me if we saw a winning score in the low 20s under par.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Bentgrass putting
- Par 5 scoring
- Strokes gained off the tee
- Strokes gained approach
- Driving distance
Wagered: 5.5 units
Won: 20.5 units
Result: +15 units
It might have taken several years to long but big Tony is finally a two-time PGA winner after his impressive performance at the Northern Trust, he followed that up by playing well at the Ryder Cup.
I have a slight worry it is that he could have a hangover from Whistling Straits but if its one from that team that should be able to handle that it’s the deeply religious family man from Salt Lake City.
Having grown up in the neighbouring state of Utah and now residing in Scottsdale he should have a lot of experience on similar types of climate and courses.
If that win this summer actually is the famous ketchup effect we will look back at the number we are getting this week as being way too generous.
The stylish Australian had something of a twilight season last year when he somehow someway evolved into a good putter (he ranks 6th in this field over the last 24 rounds) unfortunately his long game went in the opposite direction leading to a lot of made cuts but not often sniffing the lead come Sunday.
The last regular-season event saw him finally put it all together on his way to a runner-up finish at the Wyndham, his good iron play along with his improved putter carried over to his season debut last week but a subpar driver saw him finish just outside the top 30.
The wider fairways should help his driving and the rest of the conditions from the desert climate to the need of a complete iron game should set up perfect for the former Masters winner and more importantly we know he can win in these type of top-end fields as last seen at Riviera 12-months ago.
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