Tiger Woods announced that he and Daniel Berger would be playing in the Hero World Challenge. The two round out the elite 18 man field that plays in the Bahamas the week after Thanksgiving. Given his recent social media activity this isn't a surprise and by the looks of his swing he appears to be healthy. The question that remains is if his body will be able to hold up over the course of 72 holes and a rigorous practice schedule.
What happens in Vegas
The PGA Tour's Asian Swing is over and the action returns stateside for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The Vegas event kicks off the final three official events of the PGA Tour in 2017.
Rod Pampling put on a ball-striking clinic en route to his first PGA Tour title since 2006. The 47 year old Pampling came from one behind Lucas Glover to win and earned himself a two year exemption with it.
This week's venue is TPC Summerlin, a Fuzzy Zoeller - Bobby Weed collaboration. The 7200 yard par 71 was born in the peak of dark ages of golf course architecture and weaves its way through a residential development. It's fairways are narrow and have shrunk from their original width over the years. The narrow fairways and the course's usual firm and fast conditions reward good ball-strikers. Last year, none of the top 9 finishers ranked outside of 15th in strokes gained: tee to green on the week.
Positioning for the reshuffle
This three event stretch is one of the most critical parts of the 2017-2018 schedule for Web.com Tour and Finals graduates. A good run will move them up the priority rankings and earn valuable starts in tournaments at the beginning of 2018. Poor play can cost players early starts in 2018 and add pressure in the events they do get into.
Ripe for a virgin
Ten of the last fifteen winners at the Shriners have been first time winners. With the influx of young talent on Tour, it wouldn't be surprising to see it happen again.
The Shriners is typically a birdie fest, here's who Paulie expects to fill it up this week.
Ballyneal - Pure Doak
I put together a video on my recent trip to Ballyneal, one of the finest courses in the world. Tom Doak's design is set in the stunning Colorado chop hills and is reminiscent of golf in the British Isles. The video takes a deep dive into the short par 4 12th, one of the best par 4's in America. Watch below.
The Race is on
The European Tour's Rolex Series picks back up with the Turkish Airlines Open. The Turkey event is the European Tour's third to last of the season and will mark the final leg of the season-long Race to Dubai. The field is strong with 12 of the top 20 in the Race To Dubai standings and Thorbjorn Oleson will look to defend his 2016 title.
A nice add
The European Ryder Cup team got a nice bump when Paul Casey rejoined the European Tour, making him eligible for next year's matches. Casey decided to play exclusively on the PGA Tour in recent years making him ineligible to compete for the Europeans. Currently ranked 15th in the world, Casey's strong tee to green game will bolster the talented European squad.