UG Tips: Waste Management Phoenix Open
The Waste Management Phoenix Open at Scottsdale is always a raucous affair and certainly requires a level of composure from players to block out the boozed-up crowds. With an impressive line-up including Matsuyama, Spieth, Thomas, Fowler and John Rahm, this should be a cracking tournament. Aside from these tips, our best advise would be to press mute on your Sky remote and put on some good music.
The scoring at Scottsdale is usually eye-wateringly low and, needless to say, it favours the bigger hitters! There are a few form horses here including recent 2-time defending champion Matsuyama, who will be tough to beat – his record in the last 4 years reads 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st. It would be no surprise to see him go close again and perhaps fight it out with John Rahm who will get a huge local following having studied at Arizona state.
Notably Phil Mickelson is playing in his 29th Phoenix Open! I’m looking for value further down the list in players who have done well here in the past.
Rickie Fowler 14/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £195
Fair enough, he didn’t go well last week at Torrey Pines, but he has come close at TPC Scottsdale these past 2 years. The extra couple of days rest will undoubtedly help him. His game is so good now, that you expect him to contend every week and he loves the atmosphere here. He appears to be super-motivated and loves putting on these greens. He’ll be in among it.
Justin Thomas 16/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £220
I can’t work out why JT is priced at these odds. He’s won 6 of his last 29 events, including his first major. True, he hasn’t done well here these past 2 years, but he did contend on debut. When players are as good as he is, I don’t believe that a particular type of course can eliminate them from contention. He does everything well, hits it miles and will be very comfortable at the top of the leaderboard. It would be wrong not to back him at these odds!
Webb Simpson 40/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £370
Anchoring ban and redesign be damned, he’s been a machine at TPC Scottsdale since 2011. He’s made 5 from 5 cuts, including T2nd last year and has finished no worse than 14th in that time with a scoring average just a shade over 68. The Lord have mercy on anyone who backs against him.
Tony Finau 40/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £520
The big man has been on fire recently, not literally of course – that would be hideous. Four top 10’s in his last 8 events, hits it miles and makes more birdies than most. His game fits the bill for this week.
Brendan Steele 60/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £385
Having made every cut this season he finds himself 6th on the FEDEX cup standings. He’s looked impressive since winning last year and aside from a lacklustre final round in Phoenix last year was very much in the mix. He has matured into a really consistent PGA Tour player and with his tee-to-green game is able to contend every week.
Keagan Bradley 66/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £422.50
I really can’t stand the guy. Everything about him makes me dislike him. That said, he’s playing some nice golf and I don’t like emotions to get in the way of making a few quid! He looked good last week at Torrey Pines and has been working really hard on his game in the last year or so. He looks to have finally got used to the standard-length putter too. He’s the sort of character that really won’t be phased by the noisy crowds and will do his own thing. His beloved New England Patriots are expected to claim yet another Superbowl on Sunday night. No doubt he’ll be desperate to make it an extra-special party.
Something else worth considering:
Keagan Bradley to win (e/w) and New England Patriots to win the Superbowl 84/1