Following Justin Rose’s win at The Farmers, we head to Scottsdale, Arizona, for The 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. This event is held at TPC Scottsdale (par 71, 7,261 yards) and it has been the venue since 1987. Gary Woodland (-18) beat Chez Reavie in a playoff last season and the average winning score has been -16 over the last five years. TPC Scottsdale is mostly known for the par three 16th hole, which is known as the loudest hole in golf. This event brings in huge crowds and the best seat in the house is at the stadium like stands that surrounded hole 16. A good amount of the TV coverage and spectators will be around this par three, but the most crucial holes for success at TPC Scottsdale are the par fives. There are three of them and each of them are reachable in two shots. You need to capitalize on these holes and both Woodland and Hideki Matsuyama (2017 champ) led the fields in par five scoring during their wins.
Similar to last week at Torrey Pines, your play on the par fours is also important, specifically on par fours that land between 450-500 yards. (5/11 P4s at TPC Scottsdale are in this range) As expected, finding the green at a high rate has helped golfers climb the leaderboard in past Phoenix Opens, with all of the last four winners ranking T4 or better in GIR. Finally, strong drivers of the golf ball have fared well at this track, so I will be giving bombers a slight edge. A standard top 70 and ties cut line will take place after the second round, but a higher percentage of the field will be making it to the weekend, with only 132 players teeing it up. @Hunta512.
Hideki Matsuyama: (10,700)
Matsuyama hasn’t missed a cut since The Open Championship last summer (11 in a row) and was brilliant last week at The Farmers. His T3 was his best career finish at Torrey Pines and he ranked T8 in greens found, behind 5.2 SG APP, and 8.6 SGT2G. Now, he heads to TPC Scottsdale, which has been his favorite track throughout his career. The loud crowds haven’t bothered the quiet Matsuyama and outside of his WD last season (wrist), he has two wins (back to back in 2016-2017) and a pair of top fives in four tries at this course. (T2 in 2015 and T4 in 2014)
He and this desert style venue have been a match made in heaven, and with irons peaking right now (1st in SG APP, 1st in BS, and 2nd in SGT2G in L24 rounds), Matsuyama should contend for his third Phoenix Open titlie. This is the first time in four years that he has been priced under $11,000 for this event and Matsyuama is my favorite play on the board.
Gary Woodland: (9,900)
The defending champ has a 7/9 overall record at this track, with three top 20s. He is in pristine form to defend his title, making 17 of his last 18 cuts, with four top tens in his first seven events of the season. In his last 24 rounds, Woodland ranks 6th in SGT2G, 3rd in SG APP, 2nd in BS, 1st in SG on P5s, and 2nd in BOB%.
Last week, at The Farmers, he led the field in par five scoring (-14), and in eagles converted. (3) He should flourish on these easy par fives at TPC Scottsdale and I think Woodland could potentially post his fifth top ten of this early season.
Lucas Glover: (7,200)
Glover has looked awesome to start this season. In his first four starts, he has finished T17, T14, T7, T11, and T12, in that order. So far, he ranks 9th in SGT2G, 25th in SG APP, 3rd in GIR, 6th in BS, 38th in P5 scoring, and 6th in P4 scoring. In these last five starts, Glover has gained 6.9 total strokes per event, which ranks 6th best in this field for the season.
He has always hung his hat on his tee to green game and it’s no surprise that Glover is 9/11 at TPC Scottsdale. He hasn’t finished inside the top 30 here in five years, but I think we will see at least a top 30 from Glover this time around.
Jon Rahm: (11,500)
Rightfully so, the former Arizona Sun Devil is the heavy favorite this week (7/1 via Bovada), with him coming off three straight top tens, and a 10.7 average finish at The Phoenix Open. (3/3) This is the highest mark of all the players in this field that have competed at TPC Scottsdale at least three times. He ranks 1st in SG on P4s, 2nd in GIR, and 6th in BOB% over his last 24 rounds. He will have a huge fan base at this event and I could see this being the first of many wins for Rahm in 2019.
Tony Finau: (9,500)
Finau has missed back to back cuts here (1/3 for his career), but I still think we should give him a chance at this course that feels like a nice fit for his game. He has only missed a single cut in his last 21 starts and has eight top 20s in his last nine. In his last 24 rounds, Finau ranks 3rd in SGT2G, 7th in BS, 3rd in DD, 4th in SG on P5s, and 4th in BOB%. As one of the best DraftKings scorers in the game (4th in DK points in L24 rounds), Finau is always a great target, and I am expecting his best finish at a Phoenix Open this week.
Billy Horschel: (8,800)
Horschel is 5/6 in this event and he looked excellent at The Farmers. (T8) He has made 11 cuts in a row and has generated six finishes of T11 or better during this run. Not only is he striking it very well right now (4th in SGT2G, 7th in SG APP, 6th in GIR, and 3rd in BS in his L24 rounds), but Horschel has been outstanding on par fours between 450-500 yards. (1st in L24 rounds) He is a little overpriced compared to his odds (40/1 via Bovada), but Horschel always has serious upside.
Daniel Berger: (8,200)
Berger missed the cut at The Farmers, but he looked strong at The Desert Classic the week before (T12), and his history at TPC Scottsdale is great. (4/4 and three finishes of T11 or better) Combine this and his low expected ownership (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), make Berger one of my preferred GPP targets.
Keegan Bradley: (7,800)
Once upon a time, Bradley was one of the most frightening golfers to roster, but he has now made 14 cuts in a row, and is 26 for his last 30. He is 5/7 at this course and should make the cut, with top 30 upside.
Emillano Grillo: (7,600)
Grillo lacks upside, but he is underpriced for his consistency. He has made 12 in a row and is 3/3 at The Phoenix Open.
Talor Gooch: (7,500)
Gooch has been outstanding thus far this season. Following his T14 at The Sanderson Farms, he has finished T4 at The Desert Classic, and T3 at The Farmers last week. He ranks 4th in SG APP, 4th in SG on P4s, 3rd in SG on P5s, 3rd in BOB%, and 1st in DK points over his last 24 rounds. Gooch has never played in a Phoenix Open before, but still has solid odds. (80/1 via Bovada) He is playing fantastic golf right now and should get overlooked, with this being his first time in Scottsdale. (2-4% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Joel Dahmen: (6,800)
Dahmen has never played here before, but still has a decent chance of making the cut. He has made seven in a row and is 13 for his past 15. In his last 24 rounds, he is 8th in SG on P4s, 8th in SG on P4s between 450-500 yards, and 6th in SG on P5s.
Rory Sabbatini: (6,500)
Sabbatini has started this season off by making 5/6 cuts and has plenty of history in Scottsdale. (12/16) He is a strong par five player (10th in SG on P5s in L24 rounds), that is worth gambling on at this low of a cost.
*Please note that some of these rankings are from Fantasynational.com