Preview – PGA Tour – Waste Management Phoenix Open – TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) – Scottsdale, Arizona –
This week’s PGA Tour stop is buzzing with anticipation as local and fan-favorite Phil Mickelson tees it up at TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Oh yes, it’s also the National Football League’s Super Bowl week.
Since 1932, the PGA Tour has been hosting tournaments in the Phoenix area.
This week more than 500,000 people are expected on site during the week. A number of fans will pack TPC Scottsdale’s par-3 16th hole, which is now completely
surrounded by stadium seating.
Mickelson, a three-time champion, is playing this week and will certainly draw fans. He is making his 27th start here. He last won in 2013 when he flirted with a 59 –
lipped out on the final hole. He contended two weeks ago in Palm Springs (T-3) before missing the cut last week in San Diego.
The field also features former Masters champion Bubba Watson, last week’s winner Brandt Snedeker and a host of young stars like Rickie Fowler (a winner on the European Tour two weeks ago) and Justin Thomas.
Certain international stars are expected to make a run at the championship this week like England’s Ian Poulter, Hideki Matsuyama and David Lingmerth.
- Brooks Koepka (15-under) shot 66 in the final round to secure the victory. The edged Bubba, Ryan Palmer and Matsuyama by a single stroke. Then, 24 years old, Koepka was hot off a victory the previous fall at the Turkish Airlines Open. Amateur Jon Rahm was a solo 5th Graham DeLaet, Jordan Spieth and Freddie Jacobson logged Top 10s.
Golf Channel and NBC Sports shares the television coverage.
FANTASY: Mickelson attended nearby Arizona State and won here just a few seasons ago nearly shooting 59. He was T-3 a few weeks ago in Palm Springs. Look for Watson to play well here. He has runner-up finishes in Phoenix the last two years. Consider Martin Laird, who is trending well the last few weeks on tour and logged a Top 10 here a season ago. Expect Snedeker to continue his hot streak (now second in the FedEx Cup standings). He was runner-up here in 2013, carded a 64 here in 2014 and logged a Top 10 last time out.
BETTORS: This week provides unique cross-sports betting opportunities with the Super Bowl and PGA Tour Sunday proposition wagers. Bubba is the betting favorite at 8-to-1 odds, according to Station Casinos in Las Vegas. For our money, consider Matsuyama (18-1) and J.B. Holmes (20-1). Both are trending heading into TPC Scottsdale and Mats is coming off a T-2 here last year and T-4 in 2014. For longer shot payouts, take Gary Woodland (35-1), who has the power to win here and lead last week before the high winds. Also take former FedEx Cup champ Billy Horschel. He is streaky and was in the mix last week into the weekend. He pays off at 50-1.
Other Golf News:
- The last seven of eight editions of the Waste Management Phoenix Open have been decided in playoffs or by just one stroke.
- Rory McIlroy and host of high-profile players including Henrik Stenson and Louis Oosthuizen are teeing it up at the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic this week. Rory made this tournament his first victory in 2009. He has six Top 10s in his last six appearances at this event. Rory is a big favorite – 9-to-4 odds.
- The LPGA Tour heads to Florida for its first state-side event of 2016 at the Coates Golf Championship. N.Y. Choi is the defending champion.