Its all about the kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
By: Ross Starkey

The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is played at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tournament used to be played on three different courses, but since 2008 it has found its home exclusively at TPC Summerlin.

Interesting, but not surprising, Las Vegas was the first city on the PGA Tour to provide golfers with a $1,000,000 purse. The prize fund for this event is $6,000,000 which is an increase of $1.5 million on last year's pot. The winner takes away $1,080,000, 500 FedExCup points and an invite to The Masters.

At almost 7,243 yards, par 71 with water featuring on only four holes TPC Summerlin usually gets hit with a barrage of birdies. The par 3s will be key, only one out of the four averaging under par. Holes to watch should be the 'short' 9th, a 235 yard par 3 that usually ranks among the toughest on the course, and the 560 yard par 5 16th which usually yields plenty of birdies and eagles. Its played over a lake to a narrow green and two thirds of the field will go for it in two.

This is the second event on the re-scheduled PGA Tour and it will be interesting to see how the graduates fare here after the opening week in California. Best of them all was Billy Hurley III, who finished tied 9th.

Who to look out for:

Ryan Moore won here last year for his first PGA Tour victory, beating Brendon de Jonge by one shot. Moore is a consistent performer who will be looking to repeat his win here last year and start his season off with a good showing.

Charley Hoffman hosts his own pro am event on the Monday before the tournament in aid of his his own Foundation. Hoffman will be feeling right at home here. He lives in Las Vegas and went to college there too. His best finish here was 6th in 2009 and I expect him to go better after a 2013 season in which he often put up his hand first but failed to provide the right answers on the weekend.

Like Hoffman, Brendon de Jonge had a good 2013 but failed to take any one of a number of chances he had. Four top tens and 51st on the FedEx Cup meant he made the Presidents Cup team. He finished just one stroke back of Moore last year and with an improved putting stroke this year he could well go one better.

George McNeill won here in 2007. 2013 wasn't a great season for him, finishing in 121st spot on the FedEx Cup Rankings. But he started the season in great form with a tied 7th at the Open and with good for here in Las Vegas, he might be one dark horse to look out for.