TPC Scottsdale, Arizona
Par 71, 7,216 Yards
The Phoenix Open has a reputation as being a rowdy week on the PGA Tour. Over the years it has shown that players who like it, lap it up and enjoy the general madness of the beer soaked fans shouting “Get in the hole!!!!” and then there’s the players who don’t and can’t really cope with it.
It is a desert course with a lot of bunkers and offers birdie opportunities by the bucketful, so expect the score to be around the 20 under mark. The course features three par 5’s and four par 3’s. One of the par 3’s is the 16th which is more of a mini stadium, than a par 3 on a golf course. It is an arena that can erupt at the sight of a good tee shot and give any player who is in the hunt a good ego boost going into the final few holes on Sunday.
This course will require solid play on the par 4’s. The eighth, ninth and 18th are the tricky par 4’s and will require a lot of length and accuracy off the tee. Good par 4 stats, GIR, proximity to the hole, birdie average and good driving stats will be key here this week.
Ryan Moore 25/1
Ryan Moore is a player who likes playing in the desert. He had a great performance here last year finishing in fourth, opening with a pair of 66’s and finishing with a pair of 65’s and finished on 22 under par in total.
He has had a good season so far with a win already under his belt beating Gary Woodland in a playoff in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. He also has two top 10’s which came at The Shriners Open in Las Vegas which he finished T9th and, most recently, a 10th place finish at Hyundai Tournament of Champions the week before last.
Statswise Moore ranks fourth in driving accuracy, third in GIR, 10th in birdie average, second in par 3 birdie or better leaders, ninth in par 4 birdie or better leaders and second in proximity to the hole. He definitely has the game to go very low here this week and is clearly playing well at the moment coming off a good week at The HTOC.
Graham DeLaet 30/1
He’s a player that is in great form at the moment and looked full of confidence last week in Torrey Pines finishing in T2nd. He has had five top 10’s in his last six starts and has seven top 10’s in his last 14 tournaments.
DeLaet started the season with a MC at The Shriners Open in Vegas and followed that with a T7th at The CIMB Classic, T6th at The WGC-HSBC in Shanghai and T8th at The Franklin Templeton Shootout playing with partner and fellow Canadian Mike Weir.
Statswise he ranks 29th in total driving, 14th in GIR, 17TH in strokes gained and 12th in scoring average. He is playing with a lot of confidence at the moment and has the quality to go very well here in Arizona. Decent price for a real contender in my opinion.
Billy Horchel 28/1
Despite missing the cut in the opening event of the season, the Frys.com Open, Billy had an encouraging start which included a T11th finish at the CIMB Classic, a T4th finish at The Franklin Templeton Shootout with partner Chris DiMarco and a T6th finish at The Hyundai TOC a couple of weeks ago. He also shot a 65 the third round of the Humana and finished with a final round of 64 so there are signs of great golf from Horchel. There is just some consistency required.
Billy had a superb finish to his round on Sunday holing his third shot into the 18th for an eagle and finished T23rd for the tournament. He started well shooting a 67, 70 in the first two rounds and had a poor third round shooting a disappointing 77. It could have been a much better tournament for Billy and I think he could put that right here this week. He had a good performance here last year finishing in T11th.
Horchel is very accurate off the tee ranking 20th in driving accuracy hitting the fairway just short of 70% of the time. He also ranks eighth in birdie average, 18th in strokes gained, eighth in birdie or better conversion percentage and third in par 5 performance. Stats combined with a good previous performance make Horchel a big threat here this week.
Charley Hoffman 35/1
I have been keeping my beady eye on Charley Hoffman over the last couple of tournaments and I have to say he looks super at the moment. His game looks sharp which he has proven over the last two tournaments with two top 10’s safely under his belt. He opened with a 64 at The Humana Challenge and followed that with two 66’s in round two and three. In the final round he finished with a respectable 71 to finish in T9th.
If it wasn’t for a poor third round 75 at The Farmers last week, it could have been an entirely different story for Hoffman. He also had a good start to the new season finishing in solo fourth at The Shriners in Vegas back at the end of October. It’s fair to say Charley is playing well at the moment. He has played well here in the past with a great performance in 2009 finishing in solo 2nd.
He ranks 10th in total driving, 21st in birdie average, 39th in proximity and is inside the top 20 in par 3,par 4 and par 5 performance. If you’re looking for a guy that’s in good form, good value and playing well, Charley has to be your man here.
Gary Woodland 35/1
Gary Woodland put on a fabulous putting and unbelievable scrambling display last week in Torrey Pines. If you were watching, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor chap when he hit his tee shot on 16 out of bounds. But despite that, he did play very well last week it has to be said.
Woodland had a great performance at The CIMB Classic in Malaysia finishing runner up in a playoff to Ryan Moore back in October. He followed that with a T13th finish at The Hyundai TOC and finished on 15 under at The Humana in T38th. After nearly tucking the Farmers Insurance Open trophy into his cabinet last week, I think he could come to TPC Scottsdale ready for battle on a course that he has played well on in the past. He finished in a respectable T16th here last year, T26th in 2012 and T5th in 2011.
Woodland ranks second in total driving, 12th in GIR, seventh in birdie average and 15th in par 5 performance. Not to mention good GIR percentage stats. He is another player that looks very well suited to this course and could improve on his previous good record here this week.
Ryan Moore 1.5pts/3 pts total EW
Graham DeLaet 1.5pts/3 pts total EW
Billy Horchel 1 pt/2 pts total EW
Charley Hoffman 1 pt/2 pts total EW
Gary Woodland 1 pt/2 pts EW total
Total staked = 12 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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