Shriners Open: Steve Palmer's market analysis, best bets, free tips – Racing Post


Martin Laird is a former Shriners Open champion

Scott Halleran

When to watch

Sky Sports Golf, 6pm Thursday. Starts 2.40pm Thursday

Best bets

Martin Laird top Scottish player
3pts 11-10 Betfair, Paddy Power

Collin Morikawa to beat Tony Finau
1pt 11-10 Betfair, Paddy Power

Preview

The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas is set to showcase the young guns of the PGA Tour and television viewers can enjoy a mouthwatering Thursday-night threeball comprising Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff and Joaquin Niemann.

The talented trio, who have all won their maiden PGA Tour titles in the last three months, tee off at 8pm UK and Ireland time. Morikawa at 22 is the oldest member of the group and competing this week in the same state where he made his breakthrough in the Barracuda Championship in July.

Wolff was the first to get off the mark in the 3M Open in Minnesota, then Niemann romped to a six-shot triumph in The Greenbrier. Wolff has had almost two months off, so may struggle to keep up with his playing partners in round one at TPC Summerlin – a Morikawa versus Niemann shootout seems likely.

Morikawa lives in Las Vegas, so feels extremely comfortable at Summerlin, and the sweet-swinging Tour newcomer looks a good value 11-10 outsider in a 72-hole match against Tony Finau.

Morikawa has not missed a cut on the PGA Tour this year, a streak of ten events in which he has won the Barracuda, finished second in the 3M Open, fourth in the John Deere Classic and tenth last week in the Safeway Open.

Finau has missed four cuts in 23 starts and had an unhelpful trek from Scotland to Vegas after finishing tenth in the Dunhill Links Championship last week. He makes zero appeal at 4-6 to beat Morikawa.

Another Shriners investment to consider is the 11-10 about Martin Laird finishing as top Scottish player – essentially a match bet against Russell Knox. Laird has lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, for many years and is comfortable in desert conditions. He has impressed at TPC Scottsdale in the Phoenix Open and can do likewise at TPC Summerlin.

Laird won the Shriners in 2009 and was second the following year. He has a strong record in the other Nevada event, the Barracuda, where he finished seventh in July.

Knox, like Finau, was in Scotland last week and faced a long journey home after sharing 15th spot in the Dunhill. The Florida-based Scot does not deserve to be odds-on to beat Laird.


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