Waste Management Phoenix Open
This is a favourite on the PGA tour and is known for super-low scoring, with some big-hitting winners on the roll of honour. Bubba Watson is an overwhelming favourite, and as such doesn’t offer enough value to back for the win, but we have tied him up into a sneaky double with Rory McIlroy which you’ll see. We also like the form of last week’s winner (who we backed) Brandt Snedeker, but have tried to steer clear of those who got an absolute battering by the elements in San Diego. It’s never easy coming back from playing in brutal wind, as the swing takes an awful assault, so if Snedeker were to pull off the win, then visors off to him!
From The Favourites:
Rickie Fowler 16/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £212
Having backed Fowler to win in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks back, we are going to dismiss last week’s aberration at Torrey Pines and put it down to fatigue. We actually think that having not had to endure the brutal conditions on Sunday and Monday will benefit him. Given that he has been playing well, and has previously come off the back of a missed cut to win twice, we feel that good course experience and a heightened desire will see him pushing for another title and a step closer to the “Big 3.”
The Likely Lads:
Hideki Matsuyama 25/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £320
Another man who we think will benefit from a missed cut at Torrey Pines, Matsuyama has 2 top 5’s in his two starts at Phoenix and we reckon he’ll continue the trend. He’s a class act and with 16 top 20 finishes in his last 23 starts, we’re confident that he’ll give us another good run.
Ryan Palmer 40/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential returns £250
Good record at Scottsdale, gives it a rip and is in a reasonable run of form
David Lingmerth 50/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £310
He’s been in fine form this season and he proved a couple of weeks ago that he likes going deep, albeit in narrowly missing out to an off-the-rocks-recovering Jason Dufner. For a very small man (5ft 7”) he gives it a surprisingly hefty pump off the tee, which will come in handy here.
Kevin Streelman 70/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential returns £447.50
One man who fared well in the carnage of Sunday and Monday, and one we have actually backed. Given how much of a confidence player he is, we think he’ll really come out strong off the back off a really impressive final round last week.
Fabian Gomez 125/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential returns £760
Changes to the setup in recent years, means there is more of a premium on greens in regulation than in years gone by. That’s why we are taken aback by the odds placed on the Sony Open winner and a man who has won 3 times in 18 starts. It may be his first visit to Scottsdale, but course knowledge hasn’t proven to be essential in recent winners. He’s second over the past 3 months in GIR and that’s why we fancy giving him a go.
Padraig Harrington 200/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential returns £1210
The second of our long punts is 3 time major winner Harrington. He appears to have recovered some of his poise in the last 12 months having gone through a torrid time after his major winning days. Making a few cuts will boost his self-esteem. Obviously it’s a longshot, but the nature of the atmosphere and the low scoring may benefit the Irishman – and of course our last couple of weeks have given us breathing room to chance our arm a little!
The Extra Flutter
McIlroy & Watson to win 39/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential returns £445
With two pretty heavy favourites heading into each of this week’s big events, we fancy a sneaky double on them both backing up their favourites status. It all but a given that Rory will finish in the top 5, and if he putts well he’ll win. Bubba is a hot favourite too, and given that backing them on their own outright has little value, why not go for the old double-dangler?