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PGA Tour preview: Waste Management Phoenix Open

Preview – PGA Tour – Waste Management Phoenix Open – TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) – Scottsdale, Arizona –

This week could be a look at the future of the PGA Tour as young stars – four of them in the Top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings – square off at TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Since 1932, the PGA Tour has been hosting tournaments in the Phoenix area. At 7,266 yards and a par 71, players will need to go low at the Stadium Course to contend in a week of 70-degree temps and light winds.

Justin Thomas 
(Photo by Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR)

More than 500,000 people are expected on site during the week, which coincides with the National Football League’s Super Bowl. The week-long party at TPC Scottsdale features fans packing par-3 16th hole, which is surrounded by stadium seating.

Young stars under 30 years of age are featured this week including former World No. 1 Jordan Spieth, 5th-ranked and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed and Justin Thomas, who won both tournaments in the Aloha Swing in January and now ranks No. 8.

Fan favorite and Arizona State grad Phil Mickelson, a three-time champion at this event, is also playing. He last won in 2013 and holds the course-record 60. He is one of several past major champs over 30 in the field along with Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson.

2016 Results:

  • Matsuyama (14-under) edged Rickie Fowler in a playoff. He opened with 65 to tee off the week and led the field in Greens in Regulation. Harris English was T-3 along with Danny Lee. Players logging Top 10s included J.B. Holmes, Shane Lowry and John Huh.

Golf Channel and CBS Sports shares the television coverage.

FANTASY: Mickelson attended nearby ASU and won here just a few seasons ago nearly shooting 59. He started 2017 with some solid showings. Expect the same here. Take Matsuyama with this history here including T-4, T-2 and playoff win during his last three tries. He also dominated fall season worldwide. Thomas leads the FedEx Cup standings and is the hottest player in the game. Play his confidence. Under the radar picks: Gary Woodland and Keegan Bradley.

BETTORS: This week provides unique cross-sports betting opportunities with the Super Bowl and PGA Tour Sunday proposition
wagers. Spieth is the favorite at 8-to-1 odds at Skybet.com. For our money, consider Matsuyama to defend at 10-1. But for a bigger payout, take Brendan Steele at 33-1. He has three Top 6s here, won in the fall and logged a Top 10 two weeks ago. C.T. Pan (100-1) is worth a wager coming off a T-2 at Torrey Pines last week.

Other Golf News:

  • Eight of last nine editions of the Waste Management Phoenix Open have been decided in playoffs or by just one stroke. Look for final-round drama again this year.
  • Henrik Stenson (6 ½-1 favorite) headlines the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic this week. He is the best ranked player in the field at No. 4. Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell are competing.
  • Woods is listed at 40-1 odds to win this week. A tall task for a player who missed the cut last week on the PGA Tour. But, consider World No. 23 Tyrrell Hatton (20-1) and Tommy Fleetwood (33-1) who won Abu Dhabi two weeks ago.

Rahm’s Torrey Pines triumph boosts him to 46th in world

Jon Rahm’s final-round 65 including an eagle at the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines secured the 22-year-old his maiden PGA Tour title and moved him up the Official World Golf Rankings.

Rahm, who finished 13-under for a three-shot win at the Farmers Insurance Open, moved tom 137th to 46th in the latest rankings. He beat out a crowded leader board Sunday in San Diego as C.T. Pan and Charles Howell III shared second at 10-under followed by Justin Rose, Pat Perez, Keegan Bradley and Tony Finau logging T-4 efforts at 9-under.

For Rose, he moved up two spots to 11th in the rankings. He was runner-up in Hawaii just a few weeks ago and is peaking early in 2017. The Top 10 remained mostly unchanged headlined by Jason Day, who missed the cut at Torrey Pines. Hideki Matsuyama moved up to No. 5 switching places with former World No. 1 Jordan Spieth.

Other Golf News:

  • Locking up his third European Tour title in last than a year, Jeunghun Wang moved up 21 spots to 39th in the rankings after capturing the CommercialBank Qatar Masters. He broke free from a 9-way tie at the top through 36 holes.
  • The European Tour hosts the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this week in the United Arab Emirates, while the PGA Tour heads to Scottsdale, Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  • Brittany Lincicome edged Lexi Thompson in a playoff to win the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic to tee of the 2017 LPGA Tour schedule. Both finished 26-under with American Stacy Lewis ending up a shot back.
  • U.S.-born players won just two LPGA Tour titles in all of 2016 — the lowest tally since the tour’s inception. The tour moves to Australia for the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in mid-February.

Sneds eyes PGA Tour title defense at Torrey Pines

Brandt Snedeker current official PGA TOUR headshot
(Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR) *** Local Caption *** Brandt Snedeker

PGA TOUR — FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN – TORREY PINES – SAN DIEGO, CA — 

Defending champion Brandt Snedeker sleeps on the co-lead through 54 holes at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open with 24-year-old Patrick Rodgers. Both are 9-under but with plenty of company nearby with 18 holes to play.

Rodgers carded a third-round 67 to reach 9-under alongside Snedeker, who won this tournament a year ago at 6-under.

Sneds, who was listed at 25-to-1 odds to win the title to start the week at www.golfodds.com, logged six Top 5s worldwide last season including a recent win at the Fiji International. At 28th in the Official World Golf Rankings, Sneds is the favorite to close the deal Sunday at Torrey Pines, but a host of challenges (10 total) are within two shots of the leaders.

Tony Finau and C.T. Pan are 8-under and T-3, while eight player sit at T-5 and 7-under including pre-tournament co-favorite Justin Rose, who was runner-up at the Sony Open.

Also at T-5 is Stewart Cink, Harris English, Jonas Blixt Pat Perez and Marc Leishman. All former PGA Tour winners.

Several high-profile players missed the cut this week including World No. 1 Jason Day (73-74), Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker. The week’s biggest headliner — Tiger Woods — failed to make the weekend after opening with 76.

Other Golf News:

  • Former Rolex Ranking World No. 1 Stacy Lewis fired a 63 Saturday in round three of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. She is tied at the top with Lexi Thompson, who backed up her 61 Friday with a 66. Both are 23-under while Americans Gerina Pillar and Brittany Lincicome are one and two shots back respectively.
  • Jeunghun Wang (7-under) leads the European Tour’s CommercialBank Qatar Masters by three shots with one round to play. Andy Sullivan and Alexander Noren are both in the Top 5.
  • Snedeker, who co-leads at the Farmers Open, has eight career PGA Tour victories and seven runner-ups. For Rodgers, he is 165th in the world rankings and eyeing his maiden tour title.

Favorites rising into mix around globe

Dustin Johnson current official PGA TOUR headshot (Photo by Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR) ***Local Caption*** Dustin Johnson

High-profile golfers and betting favorites have positioned themselves heading into the final rounds around the globe.

Dustin Johnson, No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings, rallied with a 8-under-64 in the third round of the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Champonship in the United Arab Emirates.

DJ is T-2 alongside former World No. 1 Martin Kaymer, Tommy Fleetwood, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Pablo Larrazabal at 12-under and one back of overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton, who is suddenly 23rd in the world rankings.

DJ, last year’s US Open champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year, opened the week as a 6-to-1 betting favorite at Golfodds.com, while Kaymer and Hatton were both listed at 25-1.

Other Golf News:

  • Phil Mickelson’s second-round 66 moved up closer to the lead at the PGA Tour’s CareerBuilder Challenge in the Palm Springs desert. Phil is T-6 at 10-under chasing Hudson Swafford, who sits at 14-under after opening up 65-65. Phil was a 25-1 pick — third best option on the board. Swafford was a 50-1 longer shot. PGA Tour winners Danny Lee (T-2 at 13-under) and Brendan Steele (T-3 at 12-under) are in the mix.
  • Adam Scott (8-under with holes to play in round three) is part of a four-way tie at the top of the leader board at the Asian Tour’s SMBC Singapore Open. Darkness has delayed the close of the round three. Scott opened the week as a 3 1/2-to-1 betting favorite.
  • Bernhard Langer (15-under) leads Fred Couples by a shot with 18 holes to play at the Mitsubishi Electric tournament on the PGA Tour Champions in Hawaii.

Matsuyama tracking PGA Tour win, Thomas in Hawaii

Final Round — PGA TOUR — SBS Tournament of Champions – Kapalua Resort Plantation Course – Hawaii — 

Justin Thomas (18-under) holds a two-shot advantage against Hideki Matsuyama through 54 holes at the PGA Tour’s SBS Tournament of Champions.

With rounds of 67-67-67, Thomas enters the final round in great position and confidence with a win last fall at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. The problem? His closest challenge is Matsuyama, who is the hottest player in the world, coming with four victories in his last six worldwide starts and now sits at No. 6 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Matsuyama was the betting favorite coming into Hawaii at just 5-to-1, according to Golfodds.com. The site listed Thomas at 15-1. Mats carded a 66 Saturday in round three and has improved his score each day in Hawaii. The rising star from Japan was also T-3 here in Hawaii in 2015 finishing just a shot back.

While the focus will be Matsuyama and Thomas (22nd in the world rankings), look for Jimmy Walker and Ryan Moore to have a chance to impact the day. Walker, who led after round one, has Top 10s here in his appearances, while Moore made a late run in the fall season. Both were 25-1 picks on the betting circuit to start the week.

Hideki Matsuyama current official PGA TOUR headshot
(Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR) *** Local Caption *** Hideki Matsuyama

Look for Matsuyama’s swagger to edge out a victory and perhaps displace Jordan Spieth in the Top 5 of the world rankings.

Other Golf News:

  • Dustin Johnson, 3rd in the world rankings, is T-8 in Hawaii through three rounds. He won at Kapalua in 2013.
  • Strong showings through three rounds in Hawaii for Americans Patrick Reed and Jason Dufner. Both are in the Top 10 with 18 holes to play. Reed, 8th in the world rankings, won the title in 2015 and was second last season to Spieth.
  • The biggest payout available on the betting side might be William McGirt. At T-3 and 14-under, he is four back but crazier things have happened in golf. He opened the week at 80-1.
  • The PGA Tour hosts its first full-field event of 2017 next week at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Hawaii.