Rickie and the rookies to star in Vegas

Rickie Fowler will be the headline act in the Shriners Open at TPC Summerlin

Rickie Fowler
Credit: Harry How (Getty)

The PGA Tour heads for Las Vegas and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Rickie Fowler makes his first start of the season and 34 of the 35 Web.com graduates will play.

This tournament began life in 1983 as the Panasonic Las Vegas Celebrity Classic – an event won by Fuzzy Zoeller. In various guises, including the Las Vegas Invitational and Invensys Classic, the competition has been won by Greg Norman, Tiger Woods (his first PGA Tour victory back in 1996) and Jim Furyk amongst others.

Last year two late birdies and an eagle helped Ben Martin to narrowly hold off Kevin Streelman.

Opened for play in 1991, the TPC at Summerlin was designed by Bobby Weed assisted by Fuzzy Zoeller. It’s an oasis in the desert at the heart of Summerlin – a 22,000 acre residential estate at the wetern edge of Las Vegas.

After Emiliano Grillo’s debut victory last week in the Frys.com Open, the rookies who have graduated from the Web.com Tour will be looking to continue to shine. Patton Kizzire who was the leading money winner on last year’s Web.com Tour makes his first start as a PGA Tour member.

Star players in the field include Rickie Fowler, last week’s runner-up Kevin Na and Jimmy Walker.

The weather this week looks like being perfect so expect low scoring.

Venue: TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada Date: Oct 22-25 Course stats: par 71, 7,225 yards Purse: $6,400,000 Winner: $1,152,000 Defending Champion: Ben Martin (-20)

TV Coverage: Thursday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 10pm Friday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 10pm Saturday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 10pm Sunday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 9pm

Player watch:

Rickie Fowler – He’ll start the week as favourite, and rightly so. He has three wins in the last five months. He hasn’t played this event since 2010 but was tied for 22nd that time out.

Rickie Fowler swing sequence:

Kevin Na – Lost out in a playoff last week at the Frys.com Open so is clearly on fine form. He won this event in 2011.

Tony Finau – He’s a powerful and talented player who could step up a rung on the professional ladder this coming season. He was tied seventh in this event last year.

Key hole: 16th. A par 5 of 560 yards, it generally ranks as one of the easiest holes on the course. It’s reachable in two for long hitters so birdies are common, however, last season there were more triple bogeys (or worse) on the hole than any other on the course. This is principally because of the lake guarding the front of the green.

Skills required: Going low. The winning total at Summerlin tends to be 20-under-par or better. The winner will make a hatful of birdies and the occasional eagle over the four days.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?