There was not a care in the world for Carter Smylie Kaufman as he teed off at 10:35 a.m. local tim, seven shots behind 54-hole leader Brett Stegmaier. Five hours later, the eventual champ was grinning ear-to-ear after scorching TPC Summerlin with a bogey-free, 10-under-par 61. His navigation was highlighted by a 13-footer for eagle after driving the green at the par-4 15th. This catapulted the youngster to a 7-under 29 on his inward nine.
Next, he waited anxiously for two-and-a-half hours with the clubhouse lead. The mark of 16-under surprisingly remained atop the leaderboard and Kaufman is now officially a winner on the PGA TOUR.
The LSU product collected just under $275,000 over the entirety of his 2015 Web.com Tour campaign. He just quadrupled that amount earned in just his second week as a card-carrying member of the PGA TOUR.
Kevin Na: Another week, another close call. After losing out in a playoff during the season lid-lifter, he bounced back immediately with another runner-up finish this week at TPC Summerlin. The Las Vegas resident used his local ties to his advantage in 2011 when he won this event, and history nearly repeated itself as he stepped on the 18th tee box just needing a birdie to force a playoff. Continue to play the hot clubs until he gives us a reason to back off.
Patton Kizzire: The Web.com Tour prodigy wasted no time getting to work on the big stage. Took time off last week to say his wedding vows, and now he stands on the podium in his first start as a PGA TOUR member. The cat is officially out of the bag, as he should be high on all gamers' radars moving forward.
Cameron Tringale: It's unwise to play the what-if game, but he would surely like to go back in time to Friday and take back his penalty on the green for moving his ball. The chips may have fallen completely different but he still managed a 15-under 269 with the penalty stroke on his card. The search for his maiden victory continues to loom.
Jason Bohn: The veteran continued his career-revival tour with a 15-under 269. He's doing his best imitation of a fine wine, tallying a career high in earnings last season. Gamers should continued to ride the 42-year-old to weekly success. At the same time, we should be ready to hop off the train at any sign of potential derailment. Having a career season at his age is very rare, and following that up with another great season? Well, that's really hard to do.
Alex Cejka: Aces are always good in Vegas, but the German still fell one stroke shy, even with his Saturday hole-in-one at the par-3 17th. Finishing the week at T2 (-15-under 269) is a good consolation prize. After closing out 2014-15 at 71st in the FedExCup race, he's already has a nice wad of points banked to kick off the new season.
Brett Stegmaier: It took a little longer for the teammate of Billy Horschel and Matt Every to secure a PGA TOUR, but he's wasting no time now that he's made it. Making just his second start as a PGA TOUR member, Stegmaier signed four rounds of 2-under 69 or better. Considering his 12-and-12 record on the Web.com Tour last season, it's still a little early to consider him as a breakout candidate.
William McGirt: You might have crossed his name off your list of favorites following a 2-over 73 on Friday. He bounced back with a 2-under 69 on Saturday and finished with a remarkable 9-under 62, saving the best for last. Course history buffs were all over the Wofford product as he entered with three top 35s in four tries at TPC Summerlin. It's safe to add him to your list of course horses for next year.
Chad Campbell: The UNLV alum nearly took his local knowledge all the way to the winner's circle. A T8 will have to suffice, as the PGA TOUR veteran circled 23 birdies on his return to the old stompin' grounds. He is now 11-for-13 in his career at the Shriners.
Russell Henley: The Georgia Bulldog minimized the damage throughout the week, squaring just six bogeys and carding nothing worse than a bogey all week. With that type of consistency, it's no surprise to see all four of his rounds ending at 2-under-par or better. He grabbed the final spot inside the top 10 this week. It was his first since The Greenbrier Classic last July, finishing outside the top 10 in seven events in between.
The DFS Hero
A weekly spot to point out one golfer that paid off his salary (and then some) across the daily fantasy sports landscape.
Tony Finau: The Utah native nearly made good on his salary by the end of Friday's round after circling an albatross on the par-5 13th hole. Most daily fantasy sites provide a hefty bonus for this rare feat. The shot itself was just as impressive as the bonuses he received across the industry. He bombed his driver 350-plus yards into the rough to kick off the hole. It was from there that he caught a flyer and was just lucky that the hole got in the way. Finau put the icing on the cake Sunday with an eagle-3 on the 560-yard, par-5 16th which provided another juicy bonus for DFS owners. Gamers should continue to look toward Finau on a weekly basis as his play style is very fantasy friendly.
I'm Not Mad, Just Disappointed
It's not all peaches and butterflies when it comes to fantasy golf. These golfers ruined a lot of good lineups across all formats this week.
Brooks Koepka: Somebody switched off the eagle machine off this week as the Florida State product played the par 5s at just 1-under through two rounds. If you're keeping score at home, that is three eagles fewer than he carded last year at TPC Summerlin. His lack of big birds left him one shy of the cut, forcing an early exit. The youngster remains one of the top talents in the game. We shouldn't let this deter us from re-investing in the future.
Will Wilcox: It was all status quo for the fan favorite as he circled six birdies on his way to an opening 5-under 66. It all went sour from there as he added just one birdie on Friday, and gave back every single stroke he had earned in round one. We can chalk this up as a just one bad round. Unfortunately, there is very little room for error in a shootout like the Shriners.
Keegan Bradley: While the anchored-putter ban doesn't come into play until January, it's been just over a year since he made the switch to a traditional flat stick. There are obviously still growing pains as he lost 5.266 strokes putting to the field this week. Perhaps the Robert Streb wedge approach would suit him better. Playing against a weaker field, we really expected better from a golfer of his cachet.
Playing the Odds
If oddsmakers set the price of a golfer to win at five percent (20-to-1) or better, we have to take notice. This section will recap just how well these favorites perform.
Rickie Fowler (10-1): This week's chalk play showed a lot of fight as he battled back from an opening-round 1-over 72. He added 17 of his 20 par breakers over the final three rounds, including a pair of eagles, securing a T25 when all was said and done.
Brooks Koepka (18-1): Low-scoring events have a way of putting superstars on an even playing field with the so-called-journeymen. Shootout or not, this missed cut is still surprising and disappointing.
UP NEXT: We head overseas to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic. Grab your overcoats because there is plenty of rain in the forecast!