PGA Tour Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Smylie Kaufman will try to become just the second man to claim back-to-back titles in Las Vegas. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

• COURSE: TPC Summerlin, 7,255 yards, par 71. Now in its 25th year as a PGA TOUR venue, the 1991 collaboration of Bobby Weed and two-time major champion Fuzzy Zoeller was carved from rugged Nevada desert to join what was then a three-course rotation for the Las Vegas stop. It became the sole venue in 2008 as part of a tournament restructuring. TPC Summerlin meanders through arroyos and canyons leading to a four-hole closing stretch packed with risk/reward – the drivable par-4 15th, the par-5 16th, the water-lined par-3 17th and a strong par-4 No.18.

• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

• CHARITY: Shriners Hospitals for Children, a system of 22 facilities offering specialty pediatric care and medical teaching. The network has the largest full-time staff of pediatric orthopedic specialists in the United States, and its burn centers and spinal cord rehabilitation programs are recognized worldwide.

• FIELD WATCH: PGA Championship titleholder Jimmy Walker and U.S. Ryder Cup teammates Brooks Koepka, J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore top a lineup that features six of the top 36 in the current world rankings. … Winning Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III makes his first start since being elected to the World Golf Fall of Fame. Current Hall of Famers Ernie Els and Vijay Singh also are entered. … Wesley Bryan, a three-time winner on the Tour last year, makes his second start of his PGA TOUR rookie season.

• 72-HOLE RECORD: 260, Ryan Moore (2012), Webb Simpson (2013).

• 18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Chip Beck (3rd round, 1991 at Sunrise GC). TPC Summerlin record: 60, J.J. Henry (1st round, 2013).

• LAST YEAR: Smylie Kaufman stormed from seven shots off the pace with a 10-under-par 61 on the final day, becoming the 10th first-time winner at Las Vegas in a 14-year span. Kaufman played his last 11 holes in 9-under par, notching eagle and seven birdies, before enduring a two-hour wait to see if anyone from the final groups could catch him. No one could, though former winner Kevin Na came close. Tied for the lead with two holes to play, Na bogeyed the par-3 17th after flubbing a chip and missed a 15-foot birdie attempt at No.18. That left him one stroke back, part of a six-way tie for second with Alex Cejka, Patton Kizzire, Jason Bohn, Cameron Tringale and third-round leader Brett Stegmaier. The Shriners was just Kaufman’s fifth start in a PGA TOUR event.

• STORYLINES: Recent trends have shown Las Vegas to be a prime locale to add another first-time winner to the list. Kizzire already has a runner-up finish this season at the Safeway Open, and Derek Fathauer was third when the TOUR stopped in Malaysia earlier this month. … Former champions Moore and Na head a strong Las Vegas delegation that seeks to keep the trophy in town again. Also among more than a half-dozen Vegas residents are Charley Hoffman, Scott Piercy, Nick Watney and Alex Cejka. … Moore and Bryson DeChambeau give the event two of just five men to win the U.S. Amateur and NCAA individual titles in the same year. The others: Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods. … Kaufman will try to become just the second man to claim back-to-back titles in Las Vegas, accomplished by Jim Furyk in 1998 and ’99.

• SHORT CHIPS: Na, Piercy, Spencer Levin and Peter Malnati are set to become the only men to tee it up in each of the new season’s first four weeks. … Dean Wilson, winner of The International in 2006, is one of four new inductees as the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame kicked off tournament week. Wilson lived 12 years in Las Vegas during his PGA TOUR career. … A total of 22 Shriners Hospital patients will serve as standard bearers during the final round. Among them: Ashlyn Oswald, 16, once a nationally competitive gymnast before a debilitating spinal condition sent her to Shriners for relief.

Scott Harrigan
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