Scottsdale is ready to blow the doors off, as usual, as the TOUR rolls into town after two weeks on the California coast.
Back to defend is Brooks Koepka as he leads the field of 132 at TPC Scottsdale into the party in the desert.
WM Phoenix Open 2022
|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,261|
|Greens:||TifEagle Bermuda over-seeded with Poa Trivialis; 7,000 square feet on average.|
|Rough:||Bermuda over-seeded with Fine Fescue and Ryegrass at 2.5″.|
|Bunkers/Water Hazards:||67/3 (in play on 6 holes).|
|Architect(s):||Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish (1986); Weiskopf redesign (2014).|
|Purse:||$8.2 million ($1.476 winner) plus 500 FedExCup points.|
|Defending Champion:||Brooks Koepka (-19).|
|Multiple Champion(s) Entered:||Brooks Koepka (2021, 2015); Hideki Matsuyama (2017, 2016).|
|72 Hole Tournament Record:||256; Phil Mickelson (2013; not entered).|
|Course Record (property): Course Record (redesign):||60; Mickelson (last to do it, 2013). 61; Jordan Spieth (2021); Wyndham Clark (2020).|
|Youngest Winners:||23; Hideki Matsuyama (2016); JB Holmes (2006, not entered).|
|Oldest Winner:||48; Kenny Perry (2009, not entered).|
|Fact of the Week:||Only 3 international winners and no Euros.|
|Fact of the Week II:||Matsuyama and Johnny Miller (1975-76) are the last two to defend the title.|
|Fact of the Week III:||Brooks Koepka is one of only three first-time TOUR winners this century.|
- Field of 132.
- Top 65 and ties play the final two rounds.
- 2015 was the first edition after redesign.
- 86th edition and has been played consecutively at TPC Scottsdale since 1987.
2021-2022 Season Winners
|Fortinet Championship||Max Homa|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Sam Burns|
|Shriners Children’s Open||Sungjae Im|
|CJ CUP @ SUMMIT||Rory McIlroy|
|ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP||Hideki Matsuyama|
|Bermuda Championship||Lucas Herbert (first TOUR win)|
|Mayakoba Championship||Viktor Hovland|
|Hewlett Packard Houston Open||Jason Kokrak|
|The RSM Classic||Talor Gooch (first TOUR win)|
|Sentry Tournament of Champions||Cameron Smith|
|Sony Open in Hawaii||Hideki Matsuyama (2)|
|The American Express||Hudson Swafford|
|Farmers Insurance Open||Luke List (first TOUR win)|
|AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am||Tom Hoge (first TOUR win)|
Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details on those who play well here.
|Year/Player/Score * – Playoff||Notes|
|2021 Brooks Koepka (-19)||Sat five off the lead after 54 holes, shot 65 to win the event for the second time.|
|2020 Webb Simpson (-17)*||Birdied the final two holes to force a playoff. Birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Tony Finau.|
|2019 Rickie Fowler (-17)||First winner since 2013 to close the 54 hole lead; posted a double and a triple in the final round and still won!|
|2018 Gary Woodland (-18)*||Knocked out Chez Reavie on the first playoff hole.|
|2017 Hideki Matsuyama (-17)*||Successfully defended his title as he beat Webb Simpson in a playoff.|
|2016 Hideki Matsuyama (-14)*||Took down Rickie Fowler in a playoff.|
|2015 Brooks Koepka (-15)||First time at the event held off Matsuyama by a shot.|
Last Time – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Thoughts on Chalk (My plays will be obvious)
Patrick Cantlay (+700): Same number as Rahm last week in a much shallower field is interesting. Winning golf tournaments is difficult but he hasn’t had much problem doing that recently. Tied the Pebble course record last year finishing T3. T4 after beginning the final round one back. Betting favorites is NOT for the weak of heart.
Daniel Berger (+1200): Hit it great off the tee last week and has previously defended a title. Since his win last year he’s racked up 12 T20 or better paydays. In form. Pre tourney WD.
Jordan Spieth (+2200): Co-third choice after 70-78 MC last week tells you what you need to know about the depth this week. Fantastic record here and AT&T brand guy so it’s comfortable for him. Solo second as Tom Hoge ripped the trophy out of his hands. LIGHT THAT FIRE, TOM!!
Jason Day (+2200): Hasn’t won since Quail Hollow in 2018 but his worst finish here in five years is T7 last year. He was tied for the lead on the back nine last week so that shouldn’t hurt his confidence either. Top 10 ticket and enjoy the show. Began Sunday T8 and finished T24. Crashed, burned. LOSS.
Maverick McNealy (+2500): Not bad for a guy who’s never won before! Can’t ignore the local after second and T5 the last two years. His other big finish is in Napa Valley and Harbour Town, another place with very small greens. Top 10 again for home court advantage and a light win ticket. Never fired and limped in T33. LOSS and LOSS.
Cameron Tringale (+2800): Another looking for the breakthrough victory! T7 last year was his first top 10 in 10 tries here. Podium last week will have folks interested but the recent trend suggests otherwise. Read my OAD column for more details. I had more insight on who NOT to pick this week, sadly. MC.
Justin Rose (+2800): Very steady T6 last week highlights a very steady run of cuts made. T6 was the best of the bunch in the last six. Remember T9 at Hero is nice but only 20 guys played…Sat T21 after 54 and closed with 78 for 62nd.
Seamus Power (+2800): Kicked off 2022 T14-T3-T15. Oh and he closed 2021 T4. Maybe the fifth time is the charm here… Top 10 and Top 20. Set the 36 hole scoring record and cashed T9. WIN. WIN.
33-1 or Worse Select Opinions
Matt Fitzpatrick (+3500): I get it. No English. No Europeans. Right. Short courses for an annoyingly straight hitter and great putter who finished 12th at the 2019 US Open? I’ll bite. 3 way action. Four rounds in the 60s for T6 and TWO WINNERS, ONE LOSS.
Kevin Kisner (+5000): Short tracks get his attention. Shame these greens aren’t Bermuda. 1 top 25 (T10 2017) in eight visits. Remember, Bermuda is the preferred surface. MC.
Kevin Streelman (+5500): All you can get. T17 or better in six straight as he plays with former NFL stud Larry Fitzgerald. 3 way action! CRASHED BURNED LOSS LOSS LOSS MC.
Mito Pereira (+6000): If you buy ONE stat this week, it’s GIR. He hits plenty of them. Top 20. MC. LOSS.
Michael Thompson (+6000): I’m riding the beard. Top 20. MC. Please kill me.
Aaron Rai (+8000): Links win under his belt and had a very solid week on Poa last week (T6). T65
Russell Knox (+8000): Falls into that Ted Potter-Vaughn Taylor angle. T33
Andrew Putnam (+9000): T27 Sony, T14 AMEX… Top 10, Top 20. RECOUPING LOSSES T6 WIN WIN.
Chez Reavie (+10000): You could do MUCH worse. MC
Matthew NeSmith (+11000): Make a putt already. T65
Sahith Theegala (+11000): More Poa… T65
Joseph Bramlett (+15000): Top 20. MC. LOSS.
JJ Spaun (+17500): I’ll hit one of these weeks haha! T16
Kevin Chappell (+27500): Top 20. MC LOSS.
This Week – WM Phoenix Open
Lotsa people, lotsa Par-Breakers, lotsa party!
Desert golf usually means target golf but accuracy here has rarely mattered. Big greens can receive shots from the overseeded rough or desert and pars can be salvaged. Length never hurts and neither does racking up GIR and converting opportunities.
Weather isn’t going to be an issue this week so find guys who won’t be afraid to push 20-under to pick up the trophy.
The cut the last three seasons has been under-par and with the forecast I’d expect that again.
Rickie Fowler is the only winner since 2013 to close the 54-hole lead so closing the deal isn’t easy especially with scoring holes down the stretch.
The field is strong this week and that makes things challenging but that’s why we play the game.
Thoughts on Chalk (My plays will be obvious)
Jon Rahm (+750):Not getting fooled again! Rode him as the favorite on his favorite course on TOUR and that didn’t work. He’s never finished better than T5 here but he should be in contention weekly. No value here, as usual!
Justin Thomas (+1200): Ran out with Rahm after 36 holes at Torrey last time out before fading to T20. All the tools, just like Rahm, and has never cashed worse than T17 in five weekends.
Patrick Cantlay (+1400): I’m losing track of how many consecutive top 10s he’s accumulated and I probably can’t count that high. Desert dawg at TPC Summerlin shouldn’t hurt either as he makes his debut.
Hideki Matsuyama (+1600): All systems go. Winning is the expectation and ZOZO and Sony show there’s no hangover. Unlike Torrey Pines, he eats and eats well here. 3 way action.
Viktor Hovland (+1600): His last five starts worldwide have cashed three wins, T4 and T30. The optimist says no-brainer as the last two in the Middle East were WIN-T4. The pessimist says T30 on big Bermuda greens at Kapalua is odd. This week no elevation changes and the greens aren’t as tricky.
Jordan Spieth (+2000): Ice broke here last year as he led the field in SG: Approach and posted 61 in Round 3. Couldn’t close the deal on Sunday (T4) but he’s back for the third consecutive season. He’s cashed in three of five, all for top 10s. We all know how close he went last week! Top 10 again.
Xander Schauffele (+2200): I like his course form more than his recent results. Last top 10 might have been a gold medal last summer. No need to force it.
Daniel Berger (+2500): WD as defending champion last week caught my attention. No news is good news but I’m going to let him settle back in.
Scottie Scheffler (+2500): First time winners the last two weeks and he’s not in that conversation! Sat 15-under thru 54 last year (T7) so he’s acclimated quickly. Fits the profile of long and strong. Top 10.
33-1 or Worse Select Opinions
Brooks Koepka (+3300): Here we are again EXCEPT that he’s the defending champion and one of two multiple winners in the field. He won last year rolling in MC-MC-MC. He got his attention with the blonde hair at Torrey but also picked up MC. Is that the kick start he needed? Should see plenty of action at this number including a skinny win ticket from me!
Sam Burns (+3300): Opened with 64 last year before T22 in his third visit. I’d think he would have the game plan in mind by now. Top 10.
Bubba Watson (+4000): Could have gotten an even TASTIER price if he wouldn’t have almost won in Saudi Arabia last week! Definite course horse.
Louis Oosthuizen (+4000): He should be healthy. SHOULD be.
Russell Henley (+4000): Either he’s overrated here or they’re hoping to lose him in the jet wash of the bigger names. He misses the cut every other year here and this the year for MC! Watch out!
Webb Simpson (+4000): Complete reflection of his recent results. Only two top 10s since May. Careful.
Matt Fitzpatrick (+4000): Yes, please, top 10, top 20.
Luke List (+5000): I don’t like guys after their first win but you gotta do you. He was BOILING hot before but the letdown after the life changing moment is quite natural.
Adam Scott (+5000): Just ripped off a nice pair in the Middle East. Maybe Riviera next week.
Keith Mitchell (+6600): T12-MC-T7-T12 last four. Back to Bermuda as well.
Si Woo Kim (+8000): Loves the Cali desert and T11/T11 last two on TOUR.
Denny McCarthy (+10000): Big targets and a fantastic putter playing great.
Brian Harman (+12500): 6 straight none in the top 20 but he’s back for more and so am I!
Carlos Ortiz (+15000): Led the field in Par-Breakers last year and closed with 65. If he’s healthy, you gotta price here.
Branden Grace (+15000): Two trips, solo second and T9. Get in!
Doug Ghim (+20000): Cashed 7 straight on TOUR.
Adam Schenk (+35000): Top 20.
Wesley Bryan (+40000): Top 40.
Chesson Hadley (+50000): Top 40.
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