Brooks Koepka put together a solid year during the 2020-21 PGA Tour season, winning a title and finishing in the top six at three different majors. But that still rates as a disappointing year for the four-time major champion, and he’ll be looking to start the new season strong this weekend in the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
Koepka comes into the Shriners as the +2000 co-favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Koepka seeks wins in 2021-22 season
For Koepka, goal number one of the new season is simple: start winning tournaments again.
“I just want to keep winning. I think that’s the goal,” Koepka told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That’s what I’m out here to do is to win, to win multiple times and then probably stay healthy is probably a good goal.”
Koepka enters as the most prominent player in the field, and at No. 9, he holds the highest Official World Golf Ranking of any entrant at the Shriners. But this weekend’s event boasts a fairly strong field with plenty of top tour competitors in the mix for the win.
Viktor Hovland (+2000) comes into the tournament as the other co-favorite alongside Koepka. Scottie Scheffler, Abraham Ancer, and Will Zalatoris closely follow behind the leaders, each sitting at +2300 to win the Shriners.
Scheffler and Zalatoris are among the leading contenders still looking to pick up their first PGA Tour wins.
“As far as not winning on tour I think if I wanted to do something to where I could win a random event out here I would go play a weaker schedule than I do,” Scheffler said, via Golf Digest. “For me, I like playing tournaments against the best players in the world and that’s what our PGA Tour’s about, and so I like competing and I’m not going to change my schedule. I’m just going to keep trying to put myself in position to win tournaments.”
Pros need to score low to win Shriners
Zalatoris put himself in contention for his first win last week at the Sanderson Farms Championship. But it was another young gun, Sam Burns, who picked up the title instead. Burns credited his experience at the top of the leaderboard – this was his second win in 2021 – for helping him down the stretch. He’s now a +2500 pick to go back-to-back and win the Shriners.
“Having those experiences around the lead, I think those were really important for me,” Burns told reporters after Sunday’s round. “Having that under my belt today, that experience was definitely helpful. And coming down the stretch, I felt a lot different than I have in the past – not necessarily more confident, but just in a better state of mind.”
|Shriners Children’s Open Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Brooks Koepka: +2000||Viktor Hovland: +2000|
|Scottie Scheffler: +2300||Abraham Ancer: +2300|
|Will Zalatoris: +2300||Sam Burns: +2500|
|Webb Simpson: +2500||Louis Oosthuizen: +3000|
|Hideki Matsuyama: +3000||Sungjae Im: +3200|
|Harris English: +3200||Patrick Reed: +3400|
Whoever wins the Shriners will have to put up a low score. TPC Summerlin offers plenty of scoring opportunities and a low-challenge environment for PGA Tour pros, meaning players don’t have to be overly aggressive to find birdies and eagles.
“Last year shocked me a bit with the 7-under cut,” Louis Oosthuizen said, via the Review-Journal. “It’s a golf course that has, off the tee, wide fairways and you can really, really attack it. You’re going to see a lot of birdies around this golf course.”