This article is part of our PGA Tour Stats Review series.
The PGA Tour moves to Las Vegas this week for the Shriners Open, which will feature 144 players instead of the 132 it should have. (It isn't a stats story but if you need a funny read, check out how that happened. Here's the stats column for this week:
To win in Vegas you gotta make tons, and tons and tons of birdies. (It usually takes 20-under or better to get it done, even after it shifted to a 72-hole tournament.) But who will make those birdies?
It could be defending champion Smylie Kaufman, who shot 61 on Sunday to get his first PGA Tour win. It could be Jimmy Walker or Brooks Koepka or former champion Ryan Moore, who are also in the field. Additional players in the field include Davis Love, Ernie Els, Wesley Bryan, J.B. Holmes, Vijay Singh, Keegan Bradley, Bryson DeChambeau, Graham DeLaet, Tony Finau, last week's winner at the Sanderson Farms Cody Gribble, Graeme McDowell, Jon Rahm, Webb Simpson and more.
Our picks are Koepka, Bryan and DeLaet.
Koepka is a birdie machine – he ranked sixth last year in birdie average and fifth in the birdie or better percentage – while also ranking 12th in SG-total and 10th in eagles, which obviously counts as part of this.
Impressively, even as Bryan racked up wins on the Web.com Tour, moonlighted for a bit on the PGA Tour and then ultimately stopped playing on the Web.com Tour after the Battlefield Promotion, his birdie