Par 71, 7,266 Yards
The Waste Management Phoenix Open has long been the best attended event on the schedule and this year should be no different. TPC Scottsdale has undergone some serious renovations over the last couple of years with over $12 million dollars spent on upgrades.
Strategic changes have touched all 18 holes including new green locations on four holes and major changes at the par-5 13th. Some of the fairways have been realigned and bunkers have been reshaped making them more punishing. The large Bermuda greens were also resurfaced and could run quite fast depending on the weather conditions. The fairways are quite wide and forgiving, but if a tee shot goes a little wayward, it could end up in the desert or a deep bunker.
The signature 16th hole is an enclosed arena that holds some 20,000 spectators and tends to offer a football stadium feel to it with a great atmosphere. 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.
The course features three par 5’s that all measure between 550 and 560 yards and should be reachable in two by some of the bigger hitters in the field. The course also has four par 3’s and 11 par 4’s. The par 4 17th can be reached off the tee by some of the longer players and should offer some excitement on Sunday.
This course will require solid ball striking and will favour guys that can bomb the ball. With the changes made over the last couple of years it’s worth looking at players who are in good current form at the moment that have played well here in the past.
The American comes to Phoenix after taking a break over the last couple of weeks and comes here in decent form with four top 25’s in his last four starts. He started the season with a respectable T17 at The CIMB Classic in Malaysia and followed that with a T23 at the WGC HSBC Champions in China. Moore then tee’d it up at The Shriners Open in Vegas shooting four rounds in the 60’s to finish T15 on 13 under par for the tournament. He began the New Year with a great performance at the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii finishing T3 on 16 under in total which included two opening 67’s.
Moore has played well here in the past finishing sixth in 2009, 14th in 2010, fourth in 2013, sixth in 2014, 17th in 2015 and 11th last year. Statistically he ranks 11th in SG Approaches to the green, 10th in SGP, 34th in driving accuracy and 26th in par 4 scoring. After a good start to the season and a decent record here Moore could be a big danger man this week.
After winning the Safeway Open at the start of the season Brendan Steele hasn’t let up and has continued his good run of form and hasn’t finished worse than T31st in his last six tournaments. He went to Malaysia and finished T23 at the CIMB Classic and followed that with a T31 at the Shriners Open in Vegas. He started the new year with a T6 at the SBS Tournament of Champions and followed that with a T6 at the CareerBuilder Challenge which included a second round 64. He had another good week in Torrey Pines finishing T20 at The Farmers Insurance Open after an impressive final round 69.
Steele is another player with a good record here finishing fifth in 2012, sixth in 2013 and 2014, 26th in 2015 and 17th in 2016. He ticks a lot of boxes here ranking 30th in SG off the tee, 20th in SG approaches to the green, 16th in SGTTG, 11th in GIR and seventh in par 5 scoring. Steele looks good value here to have another good week.
Pat is in the form of his life at the moment so ive decided to stick with him in Phoenix this week. He has been playing super golf recently with a win and three top 10’s in his last five starts
He had yet another good performance last week in Torrey Pines where he finished T4 and nine under par for the tournament. He played well throughout the week from tee to green and that will stand him in good stead coming to Phoenix this week. He started the season with a T7 at The Shriners Open and followed that with a win at the OHL Classic which included a third round 62. He started 2017 off with an impressive T3 in Kapalua at the SBS Tournament of Champions and finished with an impressive final round 67.
Perez has a decent record here over the last few years finishing 24th in 2010, 22nd in 2011, 19th in 2012, 11th in 2013 and 26th in 2014. Statswise he seems to fit this course ranking 25th in SG around the green, 36th in both driving distance and GIR, third in three putt avoidance and fourth in par 5 scoring. If Pat can keep the momentum going into this week he could have another great week.
Scotsman Russell Knox has been in great shape so far this season and hasn’t finished worse than T19 in his last eight starts. He played well at The CIMB Classic finishing T10 and followed that with a T9 at the WGC HSBC Champions, solo third at the OHL Classic, T19 at the World Cup of Golf and a 16th place finish at the Hero World Challenge. He started 2017 with a T17 at the SBS Tournament of Champions in Kapalua and followed that with a T11 at The Sony where he opened with an impressive 64 in round one.
Knox has only played here once before which was back in 2015 finishing a respectable T15 on nine under for the tournament. The Scot ranks 37th in SGP, 12th in driving accuracy, 11th in GIR, fourth in par 3 scoring and eighth in par 5 scoring. After taking the last couple of weeks off Knox will be fresh and could have a good shout here.
Final selections –
Ryan Moore 1pt EW 28/1
Brendan Steele 0.5pts EW 40/1
Pat Perez 0.5pts EW 45/1
Russell Knox 0.5pts EW 50/1
Total staked = 5 pts
*Paddypower paying seven places
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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