2022 Shriners Children’s Open Updated Odds & Picks: Why Cam Davis Could Hit the Jackpot in Las Vegas this Week
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Davis.
- The Shriners Children's Open begins Thursday in Las Vegas at TPC Summerlin.
- Jason Sobel breaks down his favorite players to back in a variety of different markets, including a Presidents Cup player to win outright.
- Check out his picks and analysis below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Shriners Children's Open odds via bet365
|Si Woo Kim||+5000|
|Paul Haley II||+17500|
This week’s event is the Shiners Children’s Open, which I’ve always thought would have a much higher profile if it wasn’t mired amongst the fall part of the PGA TOUR schedule.
It’s golf. It’s Vegas. It’s a brilliant combination. What more could we want?
For years, I’ve had the idea to embed with a few players for the week – players who, let’s just say, are focused on more than just their job while they’re in town.
This might be the most extreme example, but years ago, I wrote a profile on Eddie Pearce, who was supposed to be “the next Nicklaus” before enjoying himself too much off the course. He told me a story about playing in the Vegas event.
“I was at the casino all night, just drinking and having a great time,” he said. "I started gambling, playing the dice, playing blackjack. Before you know it, it didn’t make any sense to me, but I see [PGA Tour official] Jack Tuthill. At that point, I’d had the dice in my hands for 18-20 minutes, so I was up big time.
"He said, ‘What are you doing? Do you know what time it is? It’s 11:00.’ Well, I was supposed to tee off at 8:30. I said, ‘You see these chips? This is a lot more than the prize money in the tournament.’ I gave him a $500 chip and said, ‘This should cover my fine.’”
That was some 50 years ago, and I’m guessing there aren’t too many players in this week’s field who will even come close to missing a tee time because of some hot dice, but we can dream, right?
If nothing else, I want to hang with the players who miss the cut on Friday but decide to spend the weekend anyway. Those are my type of guys.
Anyway, on with the picks, beginning with an outright play on a recent Presidents Cup player.
One player to win the tournament
Cam Davis (+4000)
There was a Monday morning narrative in the golf world, one which I just wasn’t buying: It stated that Mackenzie Hughes and Ryan Fox, fresh off victories on their respective tours, should’ve been on the International team at the recent Presidents Cup. I maintain that there were no “snubs” – for either team – as the last few spots for the Internationals and the last spot for the Americans were largely up for grabs.
That said, I can absolutely get behind the concept that Taylor Zarzour floated to me Monday morning on “The Starter,” his SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show. His contention that each player had a little extra motivation is valid and has plenty of merit. Over the past week and a half, I’ve contended that those who played on that International team should similarly receive a confidence boost in coming weeks and months.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if Tom Kim or K.H. Lee finds immediate success in the aftermath of that defeat, but my pick here is Davis, who’s been trending in the right direction for a while now and despite a 2-3-0 record at Quail Hollow, should have reason for optimism this week.
In addition to recent form – which includes five finishes of 16th or better in his last seven starts – I like that Davis bombs it off the tee (35th in Driving Distance last season) and makes a lot of birdies (34th in Birdie Average), each of which equates to success on TPC Summerlin.
Potential selections for one-and-done pools
Si Woo Kim (+6500)
While I realize the number of OAD pools currently being conducted during the fall portion of the schedule is minimal in comparison to those which will kick off in January, there’s still a strategy here: Namely, try to get off to a hot start without burning too many guys that you’ll want to use later down the road.
Si Woo fits the bill here, as a guy with win potential, but not one you’ll be missing too much if you don’t have him six months from now. Really, though, I like his outright price as much as his OAD prospects this week, as 65-1 seems like a nice number to chase for a player who owns three top 25s in five previous starts at this event.
Rickie Fowler (+6000)
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Whoever coined this phrase didn’t spend a dozen years considering Fowler bets, or else it would be extended to placing blame for the 83rd degree of fooling. And yet, here we are again.
Following a T6 result in his first start of the season, Fowler is fooling us once more – and I’m willing to bite, at a conservative range. We watched Fowler’s longtime caddie Joe Skovron have success in his first week on Tom Kim's bag at the Presidents Cup, and while it’s sensible to suggest Skovy has fallen up, I do think this change could have beneficial results on Rickie, as well, since he’ll be forced to take on greater ownership of his own performance moving forward.
When he’s playing well, he plays well here – and when he’s not, he doesn’t. That might sound too simplistic, but results of 7th-22nd-25th-4th have been followed by MCs in each of the past two years. If we’re buying into the notion that he's ready to play well again, then we should buy low on him here.
Kurt Kitayama (+9000)
While I realize I’m burying Kitayama a bit here, as the third OAD selection among a full preview of players, the truth is that he’s one of my favorite players across the board in all formats this week.
You’re getting the world’s 56th-ranked player, who lives in Vegas, who posted a seventh-place finish in his last start, who has four top-20s in his last seven events, who should be a strong course fit… all of that, for 90-1? Count me in, whether it’s an outright ticket, props or DFS. I’ll have a large Kitayama investment this week.
Gary Woodland (+7500)
Truth be told, I got to the end of this preview and was going to throw Woodland’s name in the “Also Receiving Votes” category below, but that would be doing him a disservice.
The results haven’t been there for him lately, with five straight outside the top 50, including an MC last week, but Woodland has spent a lot of time in Vegas over the years working with Butch Harmon and should have a comfort level. With results of 10th and 18th among his three career starts here, he could be a sneaky pick to contend. We know he owns that type of upside, so I don’t mind taking a chance on him through a few different platforms.
One player to finish top five
Aaron Wise (+330 for top five)
We often speak about the best players without a major championship victory and sometimes speak about the best players without a PGA TOUR victory, but we rarely speak about the best players with just one victory. I’d have to pore over the stats and analytics to find some definitive answer to this topic, so instead I’ll blindly submit Wise’s resume.
It’s now been nearly four-and-a-half years since his first and only win. While it seems counterintuitive to suggest that he's continuously been improving during that time, it’s not untrue. He remains on my short list of players primed to make a big-time leap this season, and I think that starts in his debut, where he finished in a share of eighth place last year.
One player to finish top 10
Taylor Montgomery (+330 for top 10)
If you haven’t been paying attention during the season’s first few events, then you might not have realized we’ve officially reached Taylor Montgomery Chalk Week, but here we are.
Just as the home-state narrative surrounded Davis Riley in Mississippi last week — and he responded with a relatively solid top-20 finish — Vegas’ own Montgomery should draw a ton of public support, especially after finishes of solo third and T-9 to start his rookie campaign in cities that aren’t Vegas, all of which came on the heels of a 2nd-3rd-4th-9th close to the last Korn Ferry season.
I won’t go completely all-in on Montgomery this week, but for a guy who seemingly finishes in the top 10 every week these days, playing him for yet another top-10 finish in his hometown only makes sense.
Two players to finish top 20
Martin Laird and Scott Piercy
I'm doubling up here with a couple of desert-specialist veterans who should be well aware of how to attack this golf course. Laird is a two-time champion of this event who owns three other top-20 finishes, including a T-11 last year. I don’t mind his 150-1 outright number, either.
Piercy has six top-20 finishes in 16 career starts at this one, with two in the last four years. Fresh off a final-round 67 to finish T-19 in Mississippi, I like him to at least match that result in a more familiar environment.
One player to finish top 30
As mentioned above, Lee is one of those International team players who could receive a boost from hanging with the U.S. side a few weeks ago. Not that he needs much of one, as he’s coming off top-30 finishes in all three FedEx Cup playoff events in his last three starts. For a man whose goal is to become known as the world’s sexiest golfer, going low in Sin City would certainly help the profile.
One player to finish top 40
This is an admittedly conservative play on Taylor, who’s finished 6th-19th in his first two starts of this season. It does, however, fit his performance at this event, where he’s never seriously contended but owns four top 40s in eight career starts. Buoyed by a win from his Canadian buddy Hughes, don’t be surprised to see another solid week from Taylor.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups
Here’s what Cantlay has done in four career starts at the Shriners: 8th-2nd-2nd-1st with a scoring average of 66.63 while going 70-under in those 16 rounds. And here’s what he’s done in non-major, non-playoff starts over the past six months: 2nd-4th-13th-3rd-2nd.
That doesn’t include his BMW Championship victory, but it does help prove a point I’ve made previously. There are few top players who consistently push the gas pedal in “lesser” events, rather than easing off. That’s not to suggest those other guys are dogging it or don’t care; if you want your game to peak four times each year, then you’ve got to figure out a way to step it up a notch.
Cantlay, though, has spoken about the fact that he doesn’t compete enough to not give it his full effort every time, which is what makes him such a valuable play in events like this, as we know he’ll give it his full attention. He’s one of the game’s few elite players I’ll always target in a tournament such as this one.
A lower-priced option for DFS lineups
There are times during the year when a result takes place which makes us think: Who in their right mind would try to bet on this stupid sport? Enter Higgo, who prior to last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship had missed the cut in five straight starts and 14 of his last 16. So, of course he finished solo third in that one. None of that makes any sense, but putting him in your lineups might.
The UNLV product is back in his college town this week. In his young career, he’s been a momentum player of the highest magnitude, as that cold spell was preceded last year by a run of three wins in five starts – two on the DP World Tour and one on the PGA TOUR. Considering the volatility, I don’t love him for cash games, but he makes a ton of sense for GPPs, where we can leverage that ceiling.
One player to post the low round Thursday
While a guy like Cantlay can easily post a low Thursday number and take all the fun out of our beloved FRL wagering, I’d rather take a chance on a few bigger numbers and try to hit one. Lashley opened with a 63 two years ago and sandwiched that with a pair of first-round 67s, so he has what it takes to post a solid opening total here.
One player who should beat comparable players
J.J. Spaun (+9000)
Spaun is a player I like targeting in West Coast events, and while it can be successfully argued that Vegas doesn’t exactly border the Pacific, his record of two top-15 results in five starts here suggests that it extends to the coast for the sake of this rationale.
At 90-1 outright, if you can find him as a plus-money matchup against the likes of Matt Kuchar, J.T. Poston and/or Lucas Herbert, I’d fire on that. He doesn’t make a bad DFS play, either.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value
Keith Mitchell(+5000), Emiliano Grillo (+5000), Andrew Putnam (+6000), Davis Riley (+6000), Maverick McNealy (+6500), Dylan Frittelli (+15000), Callum Tarren (+15000), Byeong Hun An (+15000), Austin Smotherman (+18000), Kevin Tway (+40000)