The Confidence Factor: Horses for Courses WMPO

I’ve been in bed the last two days but this will at least get you started.

The ball is in the air tomorrow morning.

Click here for Horses for Courses


Waste Management Phoenix Open

The Stadium Course

TPC Scottsdale


South Course Cheat Sheet

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,261
Par: 71 (35-36)
Greens: TifEagle Bermuda; overseeded with Velvet Bentgrass, Poa trivialis and ryegrass; 7,100 square yards.
Stimpmeter: 12′
Rough: Rye, fine fescue and Bermudagrass at 2.5″
Bunkers/Water Hazards 67/3
Architect(s): Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish (1988); Tom Weiskopf (2014 renovation).
Purse: $7.1 million; $1.278 million, 500 FedExCup points (winner).
Defending Champion: Gary Woodland (-18) 266
Notes: 132 players; top 70 and ties play the weekend.
Notes II: The last four 54-hole leaders have NOT sealed the deal.

History Lessons

Previous Winners (since 2015):

Year Winner Score Comment
2018 Gary Woodland -18 Defeated Chez Reavie on the first playoff hole; Rickie Fowler led by one after 54 holes.
2017 Hideki Matsuyama -17 Defeated Webb Simpson on the fourth playoff hole to defend his title.
2016 Hideki Matsuyama -14 Defeated Fowler on the fourth playoff hole; Danny Lee led by three after 54 holes.
2015 Brooks Koepka -15 Held off four players including Matsuyama to win in his first attempt at TPC Scottsdale.

2018-19 Winners

Event Winner
Safeway Open Kevin Tway**
CIMB Classic Marc Leishman
Sanderson Farms Championship Cameron Champ**
WGC-HSBC Champions Xander Schauffele
Shriners Hospitals for Children Bryson DeChambeau
Mayakoba Golf Classic Matt Kuchar
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III
Hero World Challenge* Jon Rahm
Sentry TOC Xander Schauffele (2)
Sony Open in Hawaii Matt Kuchar (2)
60th Desert Classic Adam Long**
Farmers Insurance Open Justin Rose

(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)

 Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record: 256 (-28); Phil Mickelson (2013).
Course Records: 60; Mickelson (2005, 2013).
Recent Defending Champion(s): Matsuyama.
Multiple Winners (entered) Matsuyama, Mickelson and J.B. Holmes.
First TOUR Win (last): Koepka, Stanley (2012) and Holmes (2006).
First-time (event): Koepka and Stanley.
Low Round 2018: 64; Woodland, Haas, Kuchar and Hossler.
Odd Fact: Andrew Magee aced the Par-4 17th in 2001. It’s the only ace on a Par-4 hole in TOUR history.
Odd Fact II: Since the renovation, nobody has posted lower than 63 (Matsuyama, 2015; John Peterson 2017).


The Confidence Factor was the weekly column I wrote for PGATOUR.COM. It has evolved into Horses for Courses. I’ve included the link here for you. It can also be found in The Confidence Factor section at my website. For now. Until I make a new category. Relax.

Inside the ropes

Did you know it’s a party here? Me neither!

Maybe that’s a clue as to why Matsuyama does well here. He hits all the targets, ignores all of the moving ones plus the language barrier probably allows him to tune out all of the other “stuff” that goes along with the golf this week.

Trend or Not a Trend?

2018 2017 2016 2015
  Woodland Matsuyama Matsuyama Koepka
-18 -17 -14 -15
Distance of All Drives 8 10 25 5
Driving Accuracy T19 T6 T44 T47
Greens in Regulation 4 T2 1  T4
Ball-Striking 2 2 26 6
Proximity to the Hole 13 2 T6 11
Putting: Birdie-or-Better % 1st 24 T16 T13
SG: Off-the-Tee 12 9 10 19
SG: Approach-the-Green 2 1 4 21
SG: Around-the-Green 32 28 9 7
SG: Putting 16 47 29 18
SG: Tee-to-Green 2 1 1 T4
Scrambling 25 T12 16 T2
Bogey Avoidance T20 T3 T3 T6
Par-3 Scoring T36 T21 T32 T8
Par-4 Scoring T4 10 1 1
Par-5 Scoring 1 1 T12 T60
Par Breakers 1 T3 T3 T6


Hideki Matsuyama: Come on fam, this isn’t that hard.

Jon Rahm: Former ASU player isn’t worried about people on his lawn. Excellent start to 2019 will continue this week.

Phil Mickelson: His 30th start here has him seeking his fourth title. T2 in the Coachella Valley suggests that’s not a ridiculous idea.

Rickie Fowler: The last three years he’s prepared for WMPO by stinking up the joint at Torrey Pines. He’s 41-under at TPC Scottsdale following.

Justin Thomas: Form is temporary, class is permanent. Check the stat predictors in Horses for Courses.

Webb Simpson: Thrives in the desert; closed 65-64 here in 2017.

Matt Kuchar

Gary Woodland

Adam Hadwin

Xander Schauffele


Supporting Actors

Billy Horschel

Brandt Snedeker

Chez Reavie

Ryan Palmer

Daniel Berger

Emiliano Grillo

Cameron Smith

Abraham Ancer

Martin Laird

J.B. Holmes

Byeong-Hun An

Bubba Watson

DFS, Red Herrings, Long Shots, Caution

Tony Finau: Only four of 10 rounds here in the red. Shocking.

Austin Cook: Baby Cookie finally showed up so we’ll see if #NappyFactor or rust kicks in.

Andrew Putnam: I hope his T34 at the Desert Classic throws gamers off the scent. He made the second-most birdies two weeks ago.

Kevin Na: First start back from a broken pinky finds an extremely soft landing spot.

Kyle Stanley: Nothing inside the top 35 since his win on debut in 2012.

Chesson Hadley: Last three on TOUR: MC. Three previous: T2, T73 and T7. He was T5 last year.

Jason Kokrak: He’s sniffed around the top 10 the last two weeks. Strike while the iron is hot.

Trey Mullinax: Hasn’t MC in 2019 and all three are better than the last.

Vaughn Taylor: T7 in the Coachella desert last time and T11 here last year.

Brian Stuard: Never missed in five tries.

Brendan Steele: Never missed in eight tries with four top-10 paydays.

J.J. Spaun: T4 on debut in 2017 but WD last year.

J.T. Poston: Hasn’t MC in 2019 with all T40 or better.

Chris Kirk: He’s WD once but cashed in the other six but nothing better than T11.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter (@MikeGlasscott) or email me







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