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Fowler & Spieth Headline Field at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler makes his season debut in search of his fifth PGA Tour title. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Best field in years tees it up in Las Vegas
  • Spieth and Fowler make their season debuts in Sin City
  • The golfers with the best value to emerge victorious

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler headline a strong group of contenders at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open which includes fellow American Ryder Cuppers Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, and Bryson DeChambeau.

This event has been a breeding ground for first-time PGA Tour winners, with three of the last four and 11 of the previous 16 champs hoisting hardware for the first time at this tournament.

Odds to Win 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Player Odds to Win 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at Bovada
Rickie Fowler +1100
Tony Finau +1100
Jordan Spieth +1200
Bryson DeChambeau +1200
Webb Simpson +1400
Patrick Cantlay +1800
Gary Woodland +1800
Aaron Wise +2500
Cameron Champ +3300
Beau Hossler +3300

*Follow the link in the table to see all options

Will Spieth and Fowler contend in Las Vegas?

Jordan Spieth begins his campaign after a tumultuous season (by his lofty standards) where he did not win a single golf tournament.

Jordan Spieth’s Last Ten Tournaments

Tournament Result
BMW Championship T-55
Dell Technologies Championship T-12
The Northern Trust T-25
PGA Championship T-12
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational T-60
The Open Championship T-9
Travelers Championship T-42
US Open CUT
The Memorial Tournament CUT
Fort Worth Invitational T-32

The 11-time PGA Tour winner did not have a result better than ninth in his final 13 events to close out the season, and is playing this tourney for the first time.

He’s capable of turning it on at any point and winning, but I’d save my cash and put it on someone else.

Rickie Fowler is a better bet to take home the title

Rickie Fowler, meanwhile, is stuck on a criminally low four PGA Tour titles. He’s had some really good season debuts the last four years, however, so expect him to be in the mix come Sunday.

Rickie Fowler’s last Four Season Debuts

Tournament Result
2017 OHL Classic 2
2016 WGC-HSBC Champions T-6
2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open T-25
2014 WGC-HSBC Champions T-3

As the betting favorite, it’s hard to put full faith in a guy that simply just doesn’t get it done as much as he should.

Resist the urge to pull the trigger on Fowler and do the prudent thing and save some money.

First time winners Common at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Year Winner
2017 Patrick Cantlay*
2016 Rod Pampling
2015 Smylie Kaufman*
2014 Ben Martin*
2013 Webb Simpson

*First career PGA Tour victory

2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Best Value Picks

I expect the trend of first-time winners at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to continue and have some intriguing names in mind.

  1. Beau Hossler (+3300): 54-hole co-leader at this event last year to go along with a pair of second place finishes last season. Due for breakthrough victory.
  2. Sam Burns (+5000): 22-year old hotshot has serious game and quietly coming off a tie for third at last weeks Sanderson Farms Championship.
  3. Andrew Putnam (+5000): Tied fourth last week in WGC debut. Only winner on this list having taken home the hardware at the Barracuda Championship in August.
  4. Corey Conners (+12500): The Canadian is fresh off his first career runner-up finish. Also was the 54-hole leader at Valspar Championship last year.
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Michael "Hound Dog" Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statisitician for the Jay and Dan Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he's been featured on Sportscentre, That's Hockey, That's Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.