WM Phoenix Open preview, posted Tue 29th Jan - (Twitter: @Nicspicks)
Moving across to the other side of the pond this week where a decent field has assembled for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Big Phil stands out at the top of the market and I don't often put him forward due to pricing but he's prominent on the radar for me around the TPC Scottsdale track
TPC Scottsdale plays to a par of 71, circa 7,200 yards and is famous for the par three stadium 16th hole where fans tend to get drunk and bet on the proximity of every shot! It is one of the more boisterous events on tour and the aforementioned Phil Mickelson is hugely popular here. A couple of things to note this week at the TPC of Scottsdale are the advantages of a right-to-left shot shape off the tee coupled with experience on / ability to read what - from my notes - can be tricky green complexes.
Waste Management Phoenix Open picks (Some prices from mailing list)
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Pick #1: 1.5u ew Phil Mickelson @ 28/1 (Sportingbet) is no stranger to TPC Scottsdale having grown up going to Arizona State and the multiple Phoenix Open winner knows the course better than most. He said his game wasn't quite there last week but it was just a matter of scraping off some rust and a final round -2 in tough conditions at Torrey Pines says he may have done just that. Phil knows the subtleties of the greens and his right to left shot shape (left hander) stands him in good stead around this track
Pick #2: 0.75u ew Jason Day @ 50/1 (general) Disgusted I missed the shockingly generous early 80/1 with PP after watching Day's scoring closely last week: A final round 66 after a poor start saw Day record a top 10 and although we don't have much course form to go on, the Waste Management Phoenix Open should be an event to suit the Aussie's shot shape. Posted a top 20 and m/c in his two recent starts here.
Pick #3: 0.75u ew Aaron Baddeley @ 66/1 (general) Badds is back - or so it seems - on the back of some recent good form culminating in a top six last week. The former Phoenix Open winner obviously has a liking for the venue and his putting stats as well as his price catch the eye. Baddeley was 6th in strokes gained putting last season and already in at no. 2 this year.
Pick #4: 0.75u ew Jimmy Walker @ 66/1 (general) It's progressive form of T26, T23, T4 for Walker who comes into the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the same price as he was last week in arguably a lesser field. Again, a combination of his driving ability and his putting should give Walker an added advantage around TPC Scottsdale.
Pick #5: 0.5u ew JB Holmes @ 80/1 (Skybet) JB makes his way onto the staking plan despite not being back to his old self after health issues. Holmes is a multiple Phoenix Open winner on this track and again, horses for courses. The American has over powered the TPC Scottsdale with his ability off the tee in the past and maybe a visit here can re fuel the fire.
Pick #6: 0.5u ew Kevin Na @ 80/1(general) It's three top fives for Na here in the last six visits to the Phoenix Open and despite a mediocre opening to the season, Na still sits 4th in strokes gained putting. 8th in this stat back in 2011, Na often gets out of the blocks fast here and may also be worth following in the first round leader market
Waste Management Phoenix Open First round leader: 0.5u ew Brendan Steele @ 110/1 Stanjames A huge error on SJ's part. If you refer to my in play post last week you will see the reasoning behind Steele's credentials and add a top five here last year to that.
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