The Waste Management Phoenix Open | 04 February - 7 February | TPC Scottsdale
This week the PGA Tour heads to TPC Scottsdale in Phoenix, Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open and if last week was anything to go by, we’re in for another weekend of ups and downs. Last week we were disappointed to miss out on a decent place payout when JB Holmes finished just outside the Top 5 but it’s time to move on and try and find value this week. Although this event has been hosted by TPC Scottsdale for the past few years the course has recently been redesigned and it will be interesting to see how the par 71, 7,265-yard layout plays.
So what do we know about the course? Well for starters the 16th has become one of the most famous holes in golf and nerves of steel are required to hit the ball straight in front of tens of thousands of people. Apart from that, the ability to go low on par 5’s is going to be invaluable as birdies are difficult to come by, and it’s generally on those holes that they’re made. Closely linked to that is the fact that big drives are rewarded handsomely but care must be taken to not stray from the fairway as trouble lies beyond the rough. Overall this is a great all round test of golf and whoever wins, will need to have every aspect of their game in check.
To Win Outright
Bubba Watson: 11/1
Brandt Snedeker: 14/1
Rickie Fowler: 16/1
Brooks Koepka: 18/1
Hideki Matsuyama: 20/1
Bubba Watson (11/1 a win, 24/10 a place)
Everyone is tipping Bubba Watson this week and why not? A quick look at his stats shows he can’t be left out on this layout. He has the long game to get around a course that rewards booming drives and his iron play ranks up there with the best in the world. These stats combined will ensure he makes his share of birdies; which for most, will prove difficult to come by. He’ll also arrive here with a lot of course experience and memories of some close calls, having finished 2nd in the past two years The price isn't huge but the each way bet still looks worth it to me.
JB Holmes (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Our each way bet on JB Holmes almost paid off last week and I’m backing him again this time around, in the hope that he plays as well here as he did in the Farmers. It must have taken a lot to play as well as he did in tough conditions on the final 18 there when you consider that the likes of Dustin Johnson shot as high as 8 over and right now there aren't too many players who are as consistent as Holmes. At this price he definitely looks to be an attractive each-way prospect.
Hideki Matsuyama (20/1 a win, 44/10 a place)
Hideki Matsuyama has gotten his season off to a bit of a slow start but he has always enjoyed playing in Phoenix, as his two Top 5’s here in the past two years indicate. He hasn’t been striking the ball as well as he usually does but he hasn’t been playing much and I’m hoping he kickstarts his year this week. On his day, Matsuyama hits more greens in regulation than most and that combined with his ultra-consistent putting make him an exciting prospect this week. I’ll be backing him each way.
Kevin Kisner (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Kevin Kisner has been exciting to watch every time he has teed off, and if current form is anything to go by he can't be ignored this week. He hasn’t finished outside the Top 10 in his last four starts and those finishes include a win in the Sanderson Farms Championship. He’s shown time and time again that he can take advantage of the par 5’s and go low when he has to, and on this layout that will be invaluable. Right now Kisner will be full of confidence and looking forward to the stadium like atmosphere he will find at TPC Scottsdale. I’m making him my best bet this week, let’s hope he can show the field how it’s done.
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