Best Bets: Waste Management Phoenix Open

WM Phoenix Open Preview

This is the first PGA TOUR Event of the season that matters in my opinion. The famous hole 16 symbolizes the union between Arizona State frat boy and a not-so traditional take on golf that has moved the game forward more than a knock-off tour funded by international powers. It is also worth noting that this is the first tournament that us office-goers can watch when we clock in! The tournament kicks off at 7:15 AM MT/9:15 AM ET. For someone that is getting tired of watching Get Up! (no shade to fellow blogger Connor) this is a huge deal for my morning routine. A staple in the TPC family of courses, let’s see what skillsets TPC Scottsdale favors.

Where else can you get this excitement?

One With the Course

The easiest way to analyze course layout is to approach the process through the lens of strokes gained. Driving distance and approach are two skills that are indicative of success on the PGA Tour, no matter what course you play on. However, TPC Sawgrass tends to favor players that excel in putting, driving distance, and driving accuracy. Players that struggle with chipping and iron play can still see some success at this track. Lastly, a player's history at TPC Sawgrass is indicative of their future performance. This can’t be said for every course on the PGA Tour, so we will take a look at what players are a course fit, and what players have played well here in the past.

The Favorites

Let’s take a look at the players that have +2000 or shorter odds to win the tournament. Collin Morikawa fits well at this course given his amazing accuracy off the tee, but his putting has been average to this point of the year. Xander Schauffele is another favorite, and a player I like to win this tournament. His driving accuracy is his worst trait, but he is still better than the Tour average for the given trait. I briefly discussed the importance of course history at this track, and Schauffele has not finished outside of the top 20 in the last 5 years he has played this event. Scottie Scheffler is one guy that I will be looking to fade this week, solely due his lack of putting ability. The reigning winner has plenty of reasons to perform well this week, but I will bet on his putting to fail him.

A look-ahead to Sunday evening

Official plays on Favorites:

Scheffler to miss cut: +475 (.5u)

Schauffele to win: +1600 (.5u)

The Rest of the Field

There are quite a few golfers I like to make a run this week in Phoenix. Billy Horschel has been undergoing a swing change, which will make his odds longer ot perform well here. On the contrary, Horschel has been on target with his driver and has putted extremely well on bermuda grass in his time on tour. Last year he finished in 6th at this tournament, and important piece to consider for Billy. I am pulling for this last guy, since he was my faovrite golfer throughout my high school and college years. I am betting on Rickie Fowler to have a breakthrough week that hopefully gets him back on track before the majors start. Fowler’s stats profile is pretty uniform compared to other pros, but +6500 is too good to pass on for a former champion. This may be a heart play, but I am ok with that!

Official Plays on the Rest of the Field (Winners):

Theegala +3500 (.1u)

Rickie Fowler +6500 (.2u)

Billy Horschel +8000 (.3u)

Adam Hadwin +13000 (.1u)

Higgo +25000 (1u)

I have many more matchup/finishing position plays and they are all available on my profile at the Award Winning Action Network App. Be sure to follow me for all of my PGA/Euro Tour picks as well as my Super Bowl props and NBA/NCAAB picks (tail at your own risk)!