Shriners Children’s Open DFS picks 2023: Tom Kim's chances at a repeat in Vegas
TPC Summerlin, site of this week’s Shriners Children’s Open, is in mint condition, a full year after every green and fairway was replaced. The course offers little resistance to scoring—you need birdie-makers here and players who routinely hit it within scoring range.
Golfers can be slightly wayward off the tee as long as they keep it out of the desert. That’ll transition to plenty of wedge shots and a “putting competition” for who will hoist the trophy in Las Vegas.
Here are all the players who have my interest—and those who certainly don’t—this week at the 2023 Shriners Children’s Open:
Golfers I'm Definitely Playing
Tom Kim ($10,900 DraftKings)
Kim is playing the best golf of his career since he won this event last year. He has piled up seven straight top-20 finishes, including a T-18 and T-6 in two DP World Tour events in September. His iron play is back to being an asset, and he has gained a staggering 25.4 strokes putting over his last seven events, per the RickRunGood.com golf database.
Adam Schenk ($9,300 DraftKings)
Schenk has flashed greatness this year, piling up six different top-10 finishes over his past 11 starts. In those events, he routinely gains four-plus strokes on approach—a skill-set that would be very handy at TPC Summerlin this week. This will be his seventh start in Las Vegas, missing just one cut and earning five top-20 finishes.
More from Golf Digest
Andrew Putnam ($8,300 DraftKings)
His course history is stellar, padding his résumé with three top-18 finishes in his last four trips to Sin City. He missed the cut at the Fortinet Championship, ending a streak of nine consecutive weekends. He was uncharacteristically bad on the greens in Napa, losing 4.50 strokes putting— his worst putting event in two years, per the RickRunGood.com golf database.
S.H. Kim ($7,600 DraftKings)
It was a disappointing MC in Jackson last week for Kim, but I’ll forgive him quickly. He followed up a Thursday 73 with a Friday 67, missing the cut on the number. That’s hardly worrisome for a golfer who finished runner-up in Napa to start his season and will look to improve on his T-4 finish from last season.
Kelly Kraft ($6,400 DraftKings)
Kraft is quietly putting together a solid start to his fall schedule, finishing T-25 in Napa and T-16 in Jackson. He’s always been a solid putter, which has continued as of late, but now he’s gained strokes ball-striking in three straight events. If he has “found something,” this is a very good value.
Golfers I Might Play
JT Poston ($10,000 DraftKings)
Poston’s “course fit” could rival anyone in the field. He’s built for birdie-fests thanks to his high-end approach play and putting. Both are ways that he can truly separate himself from the rest of the field. He’ll need to keep his ball in play off the tee and avoid the desert to find success this week.
Nicolai Hojgaard ($9,600 DraftKings)
This event is all about birdie opportunities and few golfers give themselves as many looks as Hojgaard. He’s earned over six “opportunities” (birdie putts of 15 feet or closer) per round over his last 36 rounds and is gaining more in that category than all but two players in this field. He’s a bit more volatile than others, but the upside is unquestioned.
Justin Suh ($7,900 DraftKings)
Suh has a few positives going for him this week. He’s an excellent putter who has gained strokes in that category in 13 of his last 14 measured starts. That’s important around TPC Summerlin as this event often turns into a birdie-fest. Suh is also a Vegas resident who can be found at TPC Summerlin regularly. While he missed the cut in 2022, he finished T-8 in 2020—his only other previous start at this event.
Hayden Buckley ($7,100 DraftKings)
Buckley was sidelined for nearly two months last year after tearing a muscle in June. He played one event after returning, a T-52 at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in an attempt to progress in the playoffs. Now with a few extra months of healing, Buckley should be back to full strength. When healthy, he’s a top tier ball-striker who has earned a T-20 and T-8 in his two trips to Las Vegas.
Harry Hall ($6,700 DraftKings)
Hall has gained 15 strokes to the field in his eight career rounds at TPC Summerlin, which makes sense as he plays out of this club. This has been the best course for him in his young career and form hasn’t mattered when he shows up at this home game.
Golfers I'm Fading
Cameron Davis ($10,300 DraftKings)
The one thing you cannot do at TPC Summerlin is hit it in the desert, which should be terrifying when rostering Davis. His accuracy off the tee leaves plenty to be desired, ranking 140th in fairways and 156th in Distance From Edge of Fairway. This will be his fifth trip to Vegas with zero top-25 finishes previously.
Emiliano Grillo ($9,400 DraftKings)
An accomplished ball-striker in a slump is a way to describe Grillo, who has coughed up strokes ball-striking in four straight starts—something almost unheard of in his career. Now he will try to get right at a course that has his number, with no finish better than T-34 in five trips to TPC Summerlin.
Luke List ($8,400 DraftKings)
Despite the win last week, List’s stat profile screams “red flag!” He was barely positive on approach (+0.09) in Jackson and gained 9.47 strokes in the short-game categories. I repeat, Luke List gained 9.47 strokes in the short game. That’s the third-best tournament of his career and unlikely to continue this week.
Michael Kim ($6,900 DraftKings)
The last time we saw Kim, he finished T-5 at the Wyndham Championship, but I worry about his chances in his fall debut. He’s been unable to solve TPC Summerlin, missing five straight cuts–and he’s never gained strokes from tee-to-green in six career trips.
Lexi Thompson ($6,100 DraftKings)
I’m excited to see Thompson carve out a place in history, and I’ll be following her around on-site to see how she handles the course. With that being said, the stat profile doesn’t set-up well for her to find success. On the LPGA, she’s a big hitter—averaging 270.3 yards off-the-tee. On the PGA Tour that would put her last among all qualified golfers. She also ranks 126th in putting on the LPGA and has missed five of her last seven cuts.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly podcast, "The Loop" (below) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "The Loop" wherever you get your podcasts!
Rick Gehman, founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.