It might not seem like much, but a change to the third hole at TPC Summerlin figures to affect scores at this week's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The 473-yard hole, previously a par 5, is now a par 4. That means fewer birdies and even fewer eagles. The course will play to par 71 now instead of 72.
"It will be weird seeing guys laying up from 180 yards on a par 4. You don't see that too often," former UNLV standout Charley Hoffman said. "But we play a ton of par 4s on the tour, and I don't think the scores will change much. The game plan is still the same."
Las Vegas-based PGA Tour golfer Alex Cejka said, "On this course, you have plenty of chances to make up a shot."
Tournament director Adam Sperling said the change was intended to make the layout play tougher.
"The PGA Tour wanted to make the course more competitive," he said. "You don't see a lot of par 5s less than 500 yards anymore.
"It takes a shot off par. Last year's 25 under becomes 21."
In addition, 14 trees were added along the right side of the fairways on Nos. 9 and 16, both par 5s. The rough also was grown longer than in years past. That could affect scoring, too.
"I think the course overall will play more difficult this year," Sperling said.
Cejka said the trees along 9 and 16 were a bigger concern than changing No. 3.
"They've taken some of my favorite spots away," he said with a laugh.
• PERRY DROPS OUT -- Kenny Perry has withdrawn from this week's tournament after his mother died Oct. 1.
Perry played in the Presidents Cup last weekend in San Francisco. His Cup teammates Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk will play at TPC Summerlin.
• FREE PARKING -- Fans planning to attend this week's tournament can park for free at the Suncoast, located on the corner of Rampart Boulevard and Alta Drive. A shuttle bus will be operating continuously to and from TPC Summerlin beginning at 6 a.m. daily.
• DENTAL CLINIC -- Approximately 150 students from Gene Ward Elementary School will receive free dental care today as the Shriners hold their Team Smile Dental Clinic at the Zelzah Shrine.
The students also will visit TPC Summerlin and meet some of the players competing this week.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913.