Justin Timberlake Shriners Open preview

The PGA Tour’s Fall Series continues this week with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Scotland’s Martin Laird defends the title.

Martin Laird

Lowdown: The PGA Tour's Fall Series continues this week with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Scotland's Martin Laird defends the title. 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. Opened for play in 1992, 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. In last year's tournament, Martin Laird came through a three-way playoff with George McNeill and Chad Campbell, taking the title at the third extra hole. Laird will be back to defend his title but he'll have to get past a strong field. Seven Major winners are on the start sheet as are 10 tournament winners from the 2010 PGA Tour.

Venue: TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada Date: Oct 21-24 Course stats: par 71, 7,223 yards Purse: $4,300,000 Winner: $756,000 Defending Champion: Martin Laird (-19)

TV Coverage: Thursday 21 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm Friday 22 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm Saturday 23 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm Sunday 24 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm

Player Watch: Rickie Fowler - The young superstar played a great final round last week to finish in fourth spot. Since his impressive Ryder Cup debut, he's been playing some excellent golf and is overdue a victory.

Charley Hoffman - He's been in the top-15 three times at TPC Summerlin and was sixth in this event last year. He makes a lot of birdies and that's required round this course where low scoring is the norm.

Nick Watney - He hasn't played since the Tour Championship so his form is a bit of an unknown. But, he's a reliable performer and he lives in Las Vegas so will be feeling relaxed this week.

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, disasters are possible too and with a lake guarding the front of the green, it generally witnesses the odd eight or nine.

Skills required: Going low. The winning total at Summerlin tends to be around the 20-under-par mark. 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?