WM Phoenix Open Preview 2023

Yep, it’s greenest show on grass with even more green in the prize pool in 2023!

2023 WM Phoenix Open

TPC Scottsdale

Stadium Course

Scottsdale, Arizona

Weekly Readers:

Horses for Courses – click here

Statistically Speaking – click here – has now been rebranded to “Betting Stat Pack” but contains the same information. Change is good!

Expert Picks – click here – Just a head’s up. I erroneously left Rory McIlroy out of my published lineup. Sorry Sahith, but YOU GONE.

-NEW COLUMN- ODDS OUTLOOK will post every Monday. Read it as I won’t be repeating it.

By now pgatour.com/golfbet should be in your bookmarks or in your history so it just pops up. All of our stuff is there so if you haven’t, do it.

I always read Rob Bolton’s stuff after I post and suggest you do the same. For those of you who don’t have Twitter (which is why I’m guessing you’re here to some degree), I’ll start posting Bolton’s Twitter ONLY stuff to help you.

Here’s his latest Rookie Ranking. He can CEASE AND DESIST me whenever!

It’s the least I can do after collecting your annual fees.


TPC Scottsdale and the Stadium Course! Super Bowl Sunday, the 16th hole, the noise, the beer, the 100,000 people daily.

Oh, and there’s a golf tournament with the top 18 of the OWGR top 20 entered this week! The prize pool is DESIGNATED for their pleasure as $20 million is up for grabs with the top three taking home over $1 million each.

Every winner since Tom Weiskopf’s redesign in 2014 has either won or gone on to win a major championship, THE PLAYERS or both. This track will indentify a big name under big-time circumstances.

Host CourseStadium Course
Yards (per official scorecard):7,261
Par:71 (35-36)
Greens:Poa trivialis, Velvet Bentgrass, Ryegrass; 7,100 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter:12 feet minimum.
Rough:Perennial Rye Grass/Fine Fescue overseed at two inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards/In Play67/3/6
Architect(s):Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish (1986); Tom Weiskopf (2014).
Purse:$20 million; ($3.6 winner plus 500 FedExCup points).
Defending Champion:Scottie Scheffler (-16).
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:Hideki Matsuyama (2016, 2017).
72 Hole Tournament Record: (post redesign)265; Brooks Koepka (2021; not entered).
Course Record: (post redesign)61; Jordan Spieth (Round 3, 2021) and Wyndham Clark (Round 1, 2020).
Fact of the Week:Matsuyama and Johnny Miller are the only repeat winners since 1970.
Fact of the Week II:Only three international winners since 2000.


  • Field of 134
  • Cut to Top 60 and ties after two rounds.

No weather to worry about this week! Hands will be warm and the golf ball will fly fly fly! Handle the crowd noise and the tough pin placements!

Season Winners

2022-2023 Season Winners

Fortinet ChampionshipMax Homa
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipMackenzie Holmes
Shriners Children’s OpenTom Kim
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipSeamus Power
Mayakoba ChampionshipRussell Henley
Cadence Bank Houston OpenTony Finau
The RSM ClassicAdam Svensson (first TOUR win)
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsJon Rahm
Sony Open in HawaiiSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenMax Homa (2)
AT&T Pebble BeachJustin Rose

Recent Event Winners

Italics – not entered this week

2022Scottie SchefflerWon for the first time on TOUR as he knocked out Patrick Cantlay in a playoff.
2021Brooks Koepka (-19)Won for the second time here as he held off KH Lee and Xander Schauffele by a shot.
2020Webb Simpson (-17)Birdied the 71st, 72nd and first playoff hole to beat Tony Finau.
2019Rickie Fowler (-19)Shot 74 in the final round with a triple but his 54-hole lead was four.
2018Gary Woodland (-18)Defeated Chez Reavie in a playoff.
2017Hideki Matsuyama   (-17)Defeated Webb Simpson in a playoff to defend his title.
2015Hideki Matsuyama   (-14)Defeated Rickie Fowler in a playoff to win for the second time on TOUR.
2015Brooks Koepka (-15)Cruised to a three shot win on the first event on the redesign.

This Week – WM Phoenix Open

The stroll along Monterey Bay will be replaced with the amped up energy of STADIUM GOLFFFFFFFFFFF this week in Scottsdale.

The field is amped as 18 of the top 20 are in.

The crowd is amped as around 200,000 will show up on Friday to pack the desert.

The prize funded is amped to the tune of $20 million for the first full field designated event of the season.

Don’t worry, there’s another designated event NEXT WEEK at Riviera as well!

The list of winners above doesn’t leave much mystery as to who figures it out around here.

Only Webb Simpson jumps off the page as a guy who doesn’t kill it off the tee but his precision was the key in his winning week.

Keeping it out of the desert and the water is always a plus. Smoking driver and having wedges also creates scoring chances. TPC Scottsdale annually rates in the top 10 of courses where big drives are recorded. Reward is found playing around and over the risks.

Perfect greens are protected by tucked pins so don’t be a sucker. Score where you can score but keep the balls out of bunkers. It’s another week where scoring is prevalent as the winning score since the redesign has hovered around 17-under.

Chalk (via BetMGM)

Jon Rahm (+750): Here we go again! His best finish is T5 when he was playing at ASU.  

Rory McIlroy (+800): Only played here once before, T13 in 2021.

Scottie Scheffler (+1200): First time defending as he picked up his maiden TOUR win here last year.

Xander Schauffele (+1600): Feels he’s owed something here after back to back podium finishes the last two seasons.

Collin Morikawa (+1800): Done everything but win this year in two events. Putting is NOT the key this week so he stands out even more as well as he hits it tee to green.

Justin Thomas (+2000): Quiet start so far but annually contends here.

Patrick Cantlay (+2000): Loves the desert. Check his numbers at TPC Summerlin!

Tony Finau (+2000): Only one big finish here with FIVE MC.

Max Homa (+2200): This field and atmosphere aren’t going to bother him one bit. The days of him in the +2000s aren’t going to be here forever.

Cameron Young (+2800): If Par Breakers are required, not sure who’s been making more of them recently! Second last week in the Middle East.

Sungjae Im (+2800): Doesn’t pop it but he knows where it’s going. DNS here in 2022.

Hideki Matsuyama (+2800): T9 at Torrey Pines suggests he should be in play on a course he loves this week.

Top 10/Top 20/Top 40

Tom Kim – Sounds right up his alley.

Jason Day – Top 20 as six of his last seven are T21 or better.

Keegan Bradley – Top 10 as he won’t have the Patriots to distract him. Solo second to Homa last time out at FIO.

Keith Mitchell – T10 or Top 20 or both as he’s trending into town.

Brian Harman – Rattled of seven straight here with the best T14 last year.

Adam Hadwin – Also seven straight but never into the top 10.

JT Poston – Let’s make it five in a row.


I’m back for another year of punishment, longing and second guessing.

Oh, and I’m in Spotter’s One and Done league again!

Each week I’ll throw five names in here who should or SHOULD NOT be looked upon when making your weekly suggestion.

With only 30-odd events in 2023 it will streamline our decision making quite a bit. Not going to want to roll into the final week with 3 or 4 premium players sitting on the bench!


Gotta win a few of these matter! It’s more than TWICE what Rose won last week so time to unleash!

MY CHOICE: Xander Schauffele

After his WD with a back deal in Maui he’s bounced for T3 and T13 so I’m down to clown. He has no problem in big fields and it’s obvious he’s more than comfortable here.  Save him for a major? Sure. Doesn’t this pay close enough?

Rahm and McIlroy: My stance is simple: They’re more than good enough to win more than a few times annually. I’ll try an pick their locks on tracks where they have dominated, not played well, in the past. I’m not exactly dominating OAD either…

Hideki Matsuyama: I mean, if you’re stuck, here’s the answer. Epic course horse in wins and top 10s.

Patrick Cantlay: I’m pushing him up because he didn’t need any time to acclimate last season and should have won. His best finish recently was T2 in the desert in Las Vegas. He crushes at Memorial so I gotta remember that as well.

Keith Mitchell: I’m not sure if you have to dig that deep but he’s hitting it great and banged a T10 here last year. Get this one right and it saves you a big hitter. Miss on him and well…

Just missed:  Cameron Young, Sahith Theegala

Long Shots

Use ’em wherever you see fit! All players listed are +10000 or worse

Brendan Steele

Taylor Pendrith

Christiaan Bezuidenhout

Davis Thompson

Mark Hubbard

James Hahn

Last Week – AT&T Pebble Beach

Justin Rose won for the first time in four years anywhere on TOUR. If you continue reading, you’ll notice I had a pretty good week picking the long shot pieces on Pebble Beach!

Chalk (via BetMGM)

Matt Fitzpatrick (+900): T6 last year in his third visit.  No European has ever won this event so I’ll remind everyone he’s from the UK. T12 here in the 2019 US Open. MC. Of course!

Jordan Spieth (+1000): 2017 winner went second last year and T3 the year before that. Never missed in 10 tries. Putting together four rounds has been the recent challenge. I’ll point out his last win was on the second smallest greens on TOUR, Harbour Town last spring. Never got into rhythm as he made the cut on the number. T63

Viktor Hovland (+1000): Doesn’t appear much bothers him! Won the US Amateur here and broke Jack Nicklaus’ amateur US Open scoring record here the following summer. Four rounds of par or better for T13.

Maverick McNealy (+2000): Trying to join Tom Hoge and three others since 1994 to win for the first time on TOUR at this event. Grew up on the peninsula and has plenty of reps here and on Poa annua. WD with a shoulder injury after two rounds.

Seamus Power (+2000): Blistering close to 2022 with three consecutive top 10s. Added T20 in the Middle East after opening T25 at Kapalua. Former winner at Bermuda on small greens and blustery conditions. T9 last year after leading by FIVE after 36 holes. T15 included at 64 in Round 2.

Tom Hoge (+2000): Defending for the first time comes with responsibilities unlike normal tournament weeks. Only Dustin Johnson (2009-10) and Mark O’Meara (1989-90) have repeated here since 1980. T12 in 2021 suggests he’s getting more comfortable each time. T48. We’ll see if Scheffler goes thru this at TPC Scottsdale this week! (Probably not).

Andrew Putnam (+2500): Streak is nine worldwide including T2 on the tiny greens at ZOZO. Already with another top five (T4, Sony) in the New Year and was off last week. One of three 54-hole leaders here last year (T6). Streak is over. MC.

Top 10


Joel Dahmen – T41

Nick Taylor – T20

SH Kim – T41

Russell Knox – T41

Kevin Streelman – T63

Mark Hubbard – T20


I’m back for another year of punishment, longing and second guessing.

Oh, and I’m in Spotter’s One and Done league again!

Each week I’ll throw five names in here who should or SHOULD NOT be looked upon when making your weekly suggestion.

With only 30-odd events in 2023 it will streamline our decision making quite a bit. Not going to want to roll into the final week with 3 or 4 premium players sitting on the bench!

Jordan Spieth: The track record isn’t the issue. MC last time out 64-75 suggests perhaps the cake isn’t ready to come out of the oven just yet. Gamers who are impatient will point out that waiting for Max Homa last week didn’t work out for me. That’s true until he doesn’t. I can’t go with Spieth this week and then bring him back for the Masters or Colonial. That’s not how it works.

Matt Fitzpatrick: Only win in the States is the US Open. Ha. Save him for a bigger purse at Bay Hill where he’s on a streak of four straight top 10s.

Viktor Hovland: Yep. Watching him limp around late Sunday and Monday was disappointing. Not sharp and not a stud leaderboard he had to chase down either. T13 it is!

Maverick McNealy: Too much event history against for winning but plenty of course knowledge for a top finish.

Kevin Streelman: If he gets hot with Larry Fitz…Not sure we need to dig that deep with only 30-odd events left.

Just missed: Nick Taylor, Joel Dahmen, Justin Suh, Nate Lashley, Troy Merritt

Long Shots

Aaron Baddeley – T37

Peter Malnati – T4

Andrew Novak – T20

Brandon Wu – T2

Scott Brown – MC


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s