- Full preview of the Phoenix Open with The Golf Insider
- Four value picks between $41 and $251
The Phoenix Open is always a well-attended and fiercely competitive event, and the fact that it falls on Super Bowl weekend in the States just adds to the atmosphere surrounding this fan-friendly golf tournament.
Phoenix Open: The Tournament
This event dates right back to the early days of the PGA – it was first held in 1932 – and is one of the most hotly contested early-season tournaments on the schedule, nicknamed “The Greatest Show on Grass”! It currently goes by not the most attractive of names, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, for sponsorship purposes. But it’s a firm favourite with the fans with over half a million spectators turning up each year to watch the action! The players love it too, and there’s another quality field assembled in the desert for this year’s renewal.
Phoenix Open: The Course
We’re on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. It’s a 7,266-yard Par 71 created in the Arizona desert by designers Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, which subsequently received an upgrade in 2015 – mainly to add extra yardage to several holes. The most famous hole s the Par 3 16th, a spectacular fully-enclosed short hole that can make or break a player’s round. Scoring is generally good, given the conditions, with the winner needing around 15-under-par or better to lift the trophy.
256: Phil Mickelson (2013)
61: Ernie Els (1994)
Phoenix Open: Past Winners
2019: Rickie Fowler
2018: Gary Woodland
2017: Hideki Matsuyama
2016: Hideki Matsuyama
2015: Brooks Koepka
Phoenix Open: The Field
A regulation PGA Tour line-up with 156 golfers in action this week. Jon Rahm is the $7.50 favourite with BetEasy.
Phoenix Open: The Weather
It’ll be dry all week with a minimal chance of any rainfall. Temperatures will be low to mid 20s, rising slightly over the weekend. Wind speeds are negligible, barely reaching 5mph on all four days. So good conditions for the players.
Phoenix Open: Outright Value Bets
Bryson DeChambeau (currently $29 with BetEasy)
DeChambeau will be annoyed at himself for not successfully defending his Dubai Desert Classic title last week, after putting himself in a great position thanks to superb iron play, huge driving and deadly putting. However, the high winds seriously derailed the American wand led to a final round 76. But DeChambeau has faced adversity in the past and has come out smiling more often that not… in 2018 he had the European Open at his mercy, before a final round 78 saw him miss out to English journeyman and rank outsider Richard McEvoy. This meltdown would have scarred some of the best out there, but Bryson proceeded to win three of his next six starts,which was quite astonishing. So we shouldn’t be disheartened by last week, and instead embrace the disappointment as DeChambeau has the ability to thrive in this situation. He’s added 30 yards on his drive after bulking up in the off-season, which will benefit him, and his iron play and short game looked immense last week. He finished fifth here in 2018 and looks set to go close again this week.
Bubba Watson (currently $34 with BetEasy)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bubba is a player who thrives at courses he loves and struggles on those he doesn’t. TPC Scottsdale is definitely a favourite of his and a course where he’s overdue for a win. He’s registered five Top 10s here, which include two runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015. Last year when he was totally out of form his finished fourth here, further underlining his liking for the venue. Last week in California at the Farmers Insurance Open, Watson finished sixth and ranked first in the field for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, so his long game couldn’t be in better shape coming in this week. Gerry Lester (aka “Bubba”) ticks all the boxes this week and is a must bet at over 30/1.
Corey Conners (currently $67 with BetEasy)
As you know, Conners is a favorite of mine and he still doesn’t seem to be getting enough respect from the layers, especially on a ball-strikers course like this. Conners hasn’t finished worse than 20th from his last six starts, and will be raring to go on a course that should suit his ball-striking game. Since his win in April last year he’s turned into a super-consistent “cash machine” and always ranks highly in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. He’ll be fresh after two weeks off and I think he should be around the 50/1 mark… so this price looks juicy to me.
Chesson Hadley (currently $201 with BetEasy)
Hadley got off to flyer last week at Torrey Pines but ended up missing the cut. His current form is solid (if unspectacular) but he did finish 29th at The American Express, and shot a second round 67 after an opening 77 in Hawaii. However, the thing that’s caught my eye is the fact that he ranks seventh in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green for all players this week over the last four rounds. He also ranks 24th in this category for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green here at TPC Scottsdale. Hadley finished 20th here last year, and fifth the year before, so he clearly likes the layout. At around 200/1 (he’s 3/1 to make the Top 40) I think Hadley’s worth a small interest especially with the way he’s playing from tee-to-green right now, which is definitely going under the radar.
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