Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open

PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open

Damien Kayat takes a look at the Waste Management Phoenix Open taking place at the Stadium Course, Arizona. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

2020 US PGA Tour | US Open 
TPC Scottsdale, The Stadium Course, Arizona
Thursday 30 January - Sunday 02 February 2020

Mark Leishmann gate-crashed Tiger’s party last week, in the process also defying Rory McIlroy in his quest for the World Number One ranking. This week sees the West Coast Swing head to Arizona for the rowdiest week in golf. Perhaps only the Ryder Cup can muster an atmosphere as rowdy as the Phoenix Open. There is almost a brief amnesty on proper protocol, and I think it brings something special to this event.  The signature par 3 16th captures the intensity of a UFC battle, with 20 000 fans packed into the grandstand. Players need to embrace the cacophony if they stand any chance of succeeding this week. The Phoenix Open dates back all the way to 1932, and TPC Scottsdale has hosted every edition since 1987.

The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale opened 34 years ago and was designed by Tom Weiskopf. The former Open Champion also oversaw a massive redevelop following the 2014 Phoenix Open. This is still a relatively low-scoring desert track, with generous fairways and some reachable holes.  Truly errant driving will be punished by some severe scrub and waste areas. The closing four holes often produce dramatic late swings. The reachable par 5 15th is followed by the iconic par 3 16th. You then have a drivable par 4 17th to look forward to. This event will reward pin-point accuracy from the fairway.

Jon Rahm enters this event as the clear favourite, despite blowing a 54-hole lead at Torrey Pines last week. He actually did well to surge back into contention on the back nine. The Arizona State alumni actually stands an outside chance of stealing the World Number One spot this week. Justin Thomas has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season while Ricky Fowler aims to defend his title this week. Hideki Matsuyama is a former two-time champion while Xander Schauffele looks to put last week’s missed cut behind him. Bryson DeChambeau will look to convert some of his European desert form into a strong showing this week.

Past Winners
2019: Ricky Fowler (-17)
2018: Gary Woodland (-18)*playoff
2017: Hideki Matsuyama (-17)*playoff
2016: Hideki Matssuyama (-14)*playoff
2015: Brooks Koepka (-15)

Betting Favourites (To Win): 
Jon Rahm (6/1)
Justin Thomas (9/1)
Webb Simpson (14/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (14/1)
Ricky Fowler (16/1)

Value Bets

Bubba Watson
To Win (30/1), To Place (13/2)
ubba Watson showed some brilliant form last week at Torrey Pines, ultimately tying for 6th. It broke a string of humdrum results and could be the catalyst for some more consistent form. And his course history at TPC Scottsdale is brilliant, despite Watson not enjoying the course overly much. He has five top 10’s since 2007. He actually has four top 5’s since 2012, including back to back T2 finishes in 2014 and 2015.  Bubba may say he doesn’t like the course, but that could be Bubba attempting to be enigmatic. He has a brilliant history here and has come into some form.

Max Homa
To Win (100/1), To Place (22/1)
BA Scottsdale resident, Max Homa will have fond memories of the Stadium Course. He entered the Phoenix Open in dreadful form last year, having missed six consecutive cuts. He finished in a decent 26th place, which probably helped propel him to that breakthrough victory at Quail Hollow. Homa arrives this year in much better form, picking up a top 10 at Torrey Pines last week. Homa’s recent iron-play seems to be in brilliant shape. His last four starts yielded GIR stats of 1st, 4th, 10th and 14th respectively. Homa looks like the fabulous value in the place markets this week.

The Man to Beat

Xander Schauffele
To Win (18/1), To Place (39/10)
Xander had a poor week at Torrey Pines, missing the cut for the first time since the Northern Trust. But I’m prepared to view that as an aberration in an otherwise uninterrupted period of excellent form. Schauffele is one of the world’s most consistent players, finishing in a tie for 2nd at last year’s Masters and a tie for 3rd at the US Open. He was recently runner-up to Rory at the WGC HSBC. His last outing prior to Torrey Pines was a T2 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Schauffele is generally surgical with his irons, making him ideal for this course. He finished 17th here in 2018 and showed improvement with a tie for 10th last year.  I like him in the upper markets at 18/1.

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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