The end of the year is winding down and the festive break is not far off now. The tour shoots into Las Vegas this week for the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open. Only a handful of players will tee if up that were in China last week. The WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai was a roaring success and gave us our first Asian winner in a WGC event. Well done to Hideki Matsuyama who blitzed the field and ended up winning by 7 shots. It was a performance of a man that is only getting started in the golfing world. Only 3 players outside of the US have won 3 PGA Tour events by 24 years old and those are Rory Mcilory, Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia. Hideki Matsuyama joins those ranks now and finds himself around prestigious company. The talented Japanese player won’t be in the field this week however. Being in Las Vegas seems to inspire the relatively unknown names as out of the last 14 events that have been played here, 10 have been won by first time winners on the tour. Smylie Kaufman’s win last year added to that at this event. Kaufman shot a 61 on the final day to starve off any competition and win his maiden event. It was truly a memorable performance that included him shooting 9 under in his last 11 holes. Whether he will be able to do that again this year when he arrives at TPC Summerlin, which measures 7, 255 yards and plays as a par 71, remains to be seen. All eyes will be on Las Vegas to see if we will have a new first time winner this weekend.
Francesco Molinari (+2000 BetOnline.ag)
The sweet swinging Italian is coming off a 6th place last week in Shanghai. He’s been performing consistently off late and will fancy his chances against a weaker field. Molinari seems to be enjoying a resurgence of form on the PGA TOUR and has been flirting with a win for some time now. He’ll hope that he can find the luck that he needs in Las Vegas to see it happen.
Kevin Na (+2500 BetOnline.ag)
Na came within a whisker of winning this event last year and eventually finished second. A capitulation on the 71st and 72nd hold saw his chances dashed in a very soft way. He would have learnt from that and will come back to TPC Summerlin a stronger and more determined player.
Chris Kirk (+2000 BetOnline.ag)
Chris Kirk is enjoying a stunning start to the season. He’s already recorded to back to back top 10’s and even finished 2nd at Sanderson Farms last week. If he can carry on that form then a win at TPC Summerlin does not look out of the question at all.
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