Preview: 86th Waste Management Phoenix Open

86th Waste Management Phoenix Open

TPC Scottsdale

Scottsdale, Arizona

Yards (per official scorecard):7,261
Par:71 (35-36)
Greens:TifEagle Bermuda.
Stimpmeter:12′.
Rough:Over-seeded Bermuda (with Rye) at almost three inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards67/3 (in play on six holes).
Architects:Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish (1986); Tom Weiskopf (2014).
Course Record:Pre 2014 renovation – 60; Phil Mickelson (2013). Post 2014 renovation – 61; Wyndham Clark (Round 1, 2020).
Post-2016 Tournament Record:Webb Simpson (-17).
Defending Champion:Only three international winners since 2000.
Fact of the Week II:Second week in a row playing a Tom Weiskopf redesign (Torrey North).

Notes:

  • Field of 132.
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
  • TPC Scottsdale has hosted since 1987

2020-2021  Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEKJason Kokrak*
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPPatrick Cantlay
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.

Previous Winners: *Playoff

YearWinner Comment
2020Webb Simpson*-17Played in the final group and birdied the last two for force a playoff. Won on first playoff hole (Finau).
2019Rickie Fowler-17Not even a final round double AND triple could stop him this week.
2018Gary Woodland*-18Posted 64 in the final round to force a playoff with Chez Reavie. Won on the first playoff hole.
2017Hideki Matsuyama*-17Began the final round four back before defeating Webb Simpson in a playoff.
2016Hideki Matsuyama*-14Trailed by three after 54 holes but posted 67 on Sunday to force and win a playoff (Fowler).
2015Brooks Koepka-15Won by a shot over Matsuyama on his debut.

Facts and Figures:

Lowest Rounds – Last Year61; Wyndham Clark (Round 1). 62; Tony Finau (Round 3; not entered this year). 63; Billy Horschel (Round 1), Webb Simpson (Round 2).
Defending Champion(s) Event:Hideki Matsuyama (2016-17) & Johnny Miller (1974-75).
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:Matsuyama, JB Holmes (2006, 2008).
Oldest  Winner:48; Kenny Perry (2009).
Youngest Winner:23; Hideki Matsuyama (2016).
First Time – TOUR:Jay Don Blake (1991), Jon Rahm.
First Time – EventArnold Palmer (1957), Jon Rahm.
Odd Fact:The only Par-4 ace in TOUR history was at this event by Andrew Magee in 2001 (Hole No. 17).
Odd Fact II:There will not be more than 5,000 fans daily for an event which usually accommodates upwards of 800,000 during the week.

Quick Thoughts

The greenest show on grass.

The People’s Open.

The biggest party on TOUR.

We’ll miss all of that this week but we’re happy that the 2021 portion keeps rolling on and we will see around 5,000 fans daily.

It’s not perfect but we’re way past perfect in the last 11 months.

So, just like the fans would usually do, pop off work around noon, wander over to your laptop, and crack a cold one and enjoy the coverage Thursday and Friday afternoon.

TPC Scottsdale has given up 17-under in three of the last four years and the exception was Woodland’s 18-under in 2018.

Bermuda greens replace a week of Bent and Poa but remind us of the Stadium Course at AMEX or TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Last year Clark and Finau went lower than anyone had since the 2014 renovation. Not exactly “bunters” in the lineup…

The winners listed above were up-and-coming studs or grizzled vets so that opens the door to the top players again this week.

Nobody faking it around here and no lead is safe.

Phil Mickelson is the last player to hold the 54 hole lead and win.

Webb Simpson was 10 back after 18 holes last year.

Chalk – Betting favorites and my opinions on them

Jon Rahm (+650):Favorite for the second week in a row and for the second week in a row at this price. I told you last week there’s no value and the only surprise would be him NOT finishing inside the top five. He didn’t. He was T7. This is his home game and I like him more this week than last.

Justin Thomas (+800): Took a big plane ride to the Middle East to MC at Abu Dhabi after Sony. Still dealing with the blow back from his anti-gay slur. Record here is great, not sure where his head is at.

Rory McIlroy (+1000): Another Sunday, another round over par last week at Torrey. It’s going to burst at some point and maybe the change of scenery helps. His record when he shows up on brand new courses is ridiculous so 10-1 doesn’t chase me completely away. Brooks Koepka won on debut here as a kid so it’s not impossible by any means.

Xander Schauffele (+1100): Momentum since his “win” at The TOUR Championship has been ridiculous and it shouldn’t stop this week.  Didn’t play here last year but I doubt that will matter.

Webb Simpson (+1600): Defending champions are rare here but another top 10 shouldn’t be out of the question. Start there.

Daniel Berger (+2000): Another who has put together an 11 month run of form. With three top 10s from five weekends here, I don’t think that run is cooling off. Especially not after solo 10th and T7 on the Hawaii swing. Get in.

Harris English (+2800): Didn’t see that coming last week! Back on Bermuda should help tremendously as he’s T16 or better in four of nine here.  Top 20.

Hideki Matsuyama (+2200): He was +2500 last week in an event where he’s had one top 10 career. Never finishing worse than T16 in six weekends and being a two time winner provides some clues. His last two appearances were his worst two, T15 and T16.

Long Shots and Others 33-1 or worse

(If you don’t see your player on here, you’ve answered the question you were going to ask me)

Sungjae Im (+3300): Same as last week. Same odds. Same conundrum. His T32 last week after T12 wasn’t terribly surprising. Now, do we get DESERT SUNGJAE this week? I think so. Top 10 and Top 20.

Will Zalatoris (+4000): I’m not going to be any later to this party than I already have been. Wasn’t bothered by 7,765 yards and a big field last week so I’m throwing him in.

Brooks Koepka (+4000): He was +3500 last week on a track where he’s never done anything. Former winner here is begging for action. Not me.

Rickie Fowler (+4000): Not enough for anything but a curiosity dabble on a top 10.

Ryan Palmer (+4500): Surely he can’t keep it up? Playing fantastically and had plenty of success here before the last five visits. Nibbles up the ladder but another top 20 should be on the way.

Bubba Watson (+5000): Too much course form to leave him out of the top 10.

Billy Horschel (+5500): One bad round keeps popping up. The other three are usually very solid. I’m patient.

Corey Conners (+6600): Cashed in eight straight and six of those are T25 or better.

Max Homa (+8000): Price slashed this week after T18 but I’m still interested,  just like I was last week. Riding three straight of T26 or better.

Carlos Ortiz (+9000): 54-hole leader last week flamed out Sunday. I remember Kyle Stanley doing this at Torrey and coming back and smoking the field a week later at TPC Scottsdale. Nip in.

Sebastian Munoz (+10000): Metric play of the week. Sprinkle across.

Henrik Norlander (+10000): Closed 68-69 at Torrey. Can’t fake that. T12 at AMEX before suggests it’s all coming together. Move him up.

Adam Hadwin (+11000): Trending and five straight on the property.

Sepp Straka (+125000): How can you ignore anyone who closes with a bogey-free 65 on Torrey Pines South on Sunday?

Michael Thompson (+14000):  Played great in the last desert (T5 AMEX) and is rolling in on four straight T25 or better. Value here.

Russell Knox (+14000): All or nothing TOUR and event. LET’S GAMBLE.

JT Poston (+15000): Loves Bermuda greens yet was T18 last week with three of four under par at Torrey.

Padraig Harrington (+20000): Played great in the Middle East last week with T6. Make a cut, sneak in the top 20.

Bo Hoag (+20000): Of his last four, three are T23 or better. Chuck a buck on a top 20.

Michael Kim (+75000): Top 20. Dare to dream but he’s made two of three cuts for the first time in forever. Or just nibble him to make the cut!

Last Week

Chalk – Betting favorites and my opinions on them

It’s obvious I’m not playing all of these. The ones I’ve noted should be though.

Jon Rahm (+650):Picking winners aint easy folks. I used this illustration last week with Cantlay who was +1200. There’s no value, especially with the names challenging him. His form justifies the price as he’s on fire. The surprise would be him not in the top five. T7 did surprise.

Rory McIlroy (+800): Here we go again. Led after 54 in the Middle East last week and couldn’t close the door, again, on Sunday. Name the last time he won. Go on. 2019 WGC HSBC Champions. He’s here again after T5 and T3 and a week half a world away. I doubt he’s forgotten how to win. T16

Xander Schauffele (+1200): Red hot form meets ice cold course history. Something is going to give. I usually lean course history because MC in 4 of 5 and T25 in the other is plenty of evidence this price is overblown. We went through this with Rickie Fowler for five or six years also. It’s a home town even for both of them so of course they’re going to play. T2, stud.

Tony Finau (+1800): He keeps the books rich. Stick him in the top 10, again, and go collect. It should be the place where he breaks thru so stick a nibble on that but don’t be surprised when he doesn’t! Nothing worse than T13 his last four appearances and nothing worse than T24 career in six. T2 – cha ching.

Harris English (+2200): Shit hot fire and lost in 4-man playoff to Day here in 2015 will catch the eye. Not mine but he should hit the top 20. Wrongo.

Patrick Reed (+2500): Wait, what? The harder the event, the more I like Reed. His last eight here are in the red. His last 11 of 12 are par or better. He’s trending as well. MC last week does nothing to dissuade. Only player double digits under par qualifies as hard event.

Hideki Matsuyama (+2500): Great ball-striking and short game (chipping) will always catch our attention. I always prefer him when par is a decent score but this isn’t the place. His best result here (T3) was posted in the easiest conditions in almost 20 years. It’s his only top 10 in seven trips. Pass. T53 and the beat goes on here.

Viktor Hovland (+3000): First time in the event. First event in three weeks. He’ll be fine but Top 20 fine. T2 and probably isn’t thrilled with that. Super player and cashed.

My Long Shots and Others 33-1 or worse

(If you don’t see your player on here, you’ve answered the question you were going to ask me)

Sungjae Im (+3300): Just when I start getting comfortable with him…BLAMMO MC. USUALLY doesn’t follow up week to week with big ones, minus Honda-API last year so don’t be surprised if he doesn’t fire this week. T32.

Adam Scott (+3300): It’s obvious why he’s back. It’s also obvious he likes Southern California as he’ll defend in few weeks at Riviera. The rust should be off and I expect him to fire this week. T10

Marc Leishman (+3500): Defending doesn’t happen every day but he has the tools in the kit to make it happen. I thought, based on his recent run of form, he’d be in the Harris English neighborhood. Jump. T18 was my floor, not ceiling!

Jason Day (+3500): I’m not REGRETTING my decision to list him as my winner in expert picks but the more I think about new swing thoughts, I get nervous. Putting pen to paper at Torrey will help him for two reasons: No water and his past history here. Swing it and get up and down from everywhere, like usual. My regrets were realized. Bad job by me.

Brooks Koepka (+3500): Maybe in June when it “counts”.  MC

Si Woo Kim (+4000): Not even Rahm has done the AMEX-FIO double. MC

Bubba Watson (+4500): Started his season here last year with T6 in his first visit since 2014. Starting his season again here. When Bubba is comfy, I get comfy.  Swung. Missed. MC.

Ryan Palmer (+5000): He’ll feel like he’s owed one here. I don’t think he’s wrong per se but that a hefty group in front of him I like more. Top 20 money and cash. T2 for the machine!

Billy Horschel (+5000): Shoulda at Kapalua. Woulda at Sony. It’s not far. Maybe this week or next. Opened with 76 but closed 69. One round. MC

Gary Woodland (+5500): Another who maybe should have already picked up a win here, streak of 10 straight busted last year. Streak of four straight in the top 20 busted as well. Nibble on ew and easy top 20 money. Loss both ways haha. 66 to open and then 75-77 killed any chances.

Cameron Smith (+5500): Of the three Cameron choices in this range, take the one with the full bag. Easy. Might sneak Cam Tringale in at +14000 for a top 20. Too bad Cam Cameron isn’t a TOUR pro or this would be BONKERS. USA Cameron > Aussie Cameron.  Nice recovery with Tringale’s T18.

Jason Kokrak (+6000): Loved him at Winged Foot, love him here. Move him up and in. Loss, T29.

Francesco Molinari (+7500): Almost a home game now since he moved the fam to LA. Flashed form in the last few months. Stick him in. T10 as he continues to heat up.

Charles Howell (+9000): Never MC in 17 tries. Top 20. The King is Dead. Long Live the King. Loss.

Max Homa (+11000): LA, last group last week, 67 on Sunday last year. Line up. Top 10/20. Quail dawg. Nice T18 cashes one, loses one.

John Huh (+125000): Top 20 and enjoy any bonus on top. T65, Loss.

Harry Higgs (+17500): Plenty of goods. Send it. T65

Patrick Rodgers (+17500): My annual play here. Top 10 twice in five. Quail connect. Make it two from six, MC.

Kyoung-Hun Lee (+22500): Excellent run of form should cash a top 20 ticket.  Loss, MC.

Sung Kang (+40000): Yeah, top 20. He’s done that the last two years. DNS

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter (@mikeglasscott) or email me: mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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