The Waste Management Phoenix Open | Thursday 29 January - Sunday 01 February | TPC Scottsdale
It seems like yesterday that the previous instalment of this tournament teed off and the golfing world turned their attention to Arizona and TPC Scottsdale. This has always been one of the most entertaining events on the calendar as the Stadium Course always offers an electrifying atmosphere, especially as excitement reaches its peak on the par 3 16th. Here you will find thousands of fans lining the hole from tee box to green. It gets so hectic that the caddies often let the atmosphere get to them and go running from tee to green, seemingly forgetting that they’re lugging a heavy golf bag behind them in their attempts to gain the respect of the masses.
Apart from that aspect of the course, which will test the nerves of even the most experienced campaigner, the course offers challenges on almost every other hole. A litany of bunkers are scattered across the narrow fairways and accuracy, as well as scrambling, is the name of the game. The ability to make birdies is also of huge importance as despite the fact that the course is difficult, scores are generally quite low. Golf fans are in for a bumper weekend so free up your schedules because Sunday will offer a lot of entertainment. Let’s see if we can find a winner to make this one even better.
To Win Outright
Jordan Spieth 14/1
Matt Kuchar 18/1
Rickie Fowler 20/1
Patrick Reed 22/1
Rory Sabbatini (110/1 a win, 25/1 a place)
Rory Sabbatini has little to no course form here and so the fact that he’s available at such long odds comes as no surprise, however, his game looks to be in decent nick at the moment and he looks like he may be able to pull off a Top 5 finish if all goes to plan. He finished T6 at the Sony Open and a T24 last week and if he can avoid that one poor round that seems to plague him in every tournament he should come close in this one. Each way here is the bet for me.
Ryan Palmer (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
Unlike Rory Sabbatini, Ryan Palmer has performed here in the past and managed a fifth place finish in 2013. Last week his game looked to be in good shape and he was especially accurate with his short irons, so if he can repeat that feat then he’ll make a lot of birdies and give himself a real chance. Like Sabbatini, he seems to manage three great rounds and blow it in the fourth so if he can avoid that he’ll be near the top on Sunday.
Phil Mickelson (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
With three wins in this tournament under his belt you don’t need to look much further than Phil Mickelson. Although he didn’t look to be at his best last week, that can be excused as it was his first start of the year. Having said that, a Top 25 in decent company is nothing to sniff at so 25/1 looks like a lot of value on the old timer. Each way is the bet here.
Patrick Reed (22/1 a win, 48/10 a place)
I backed Reed last week and I’m sticking to my guns this time around and giving him one more chance to compete in a tournament that should suit him perfectly. He’s no stranger to high-intensity tournaments and was the US team’s standout player in the Ryder Cup which, despite the difference in format, offers a similar electric atmosphere to that found in Arizona. I may be clutching at straws trying to compare the two tournaments but Reed has also been playing some great golf over the past few weeks and based on that alone, cannot be ignored. Each way is the bet for me.