Stadium Course, TPC Scottsdale, Arizona
Par 71, 7,266 Yards
It’s been a superb couple of weeks with a35/1 winner on Jason Dufner at The Career Builder Challenge followed by an 18/1 win on Snedeker and a 30/1 place on Jimmy Walker in Torrey Pines. Let’s keep it going this week in Phoenix!
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 past 2 years it’s worth looking at players who are in good current form and have played well here in the past.
Bubba Watson 11/1
Bubba has been playing great golf over the last couple of months and comes here feeling fresh after taking the last couple of weeks off. He had a good finish to the season finishing T5 at The Tour Championship, T10 at The BMW, solo third at The Barclays and back to back seconds at The WGC Bridgestone and Canadian Open. He had a great win at The Hero World Challenge just before Christmas shooting 67,67,63,66 to finish an impressive 25 under for the week. He started 2016 off with a T10 at Hyundai Tournament of Champions which included three rounds in the 60’s.
He has a great record here on The Stadium Course finishing second last year, second again in 2014, T15 in 2013 and fifth in 2012. He ticks a lot of boxes here ranking third in driving distance averaging 320 yards off the tee, fifth in GIR, sixth in strokes gained tee to green and 15th in par 5 scoring. With solid current form and a great record here Bubba looks a good shout here this week.
Brandt Snedeker 14/1
After a superb final round 69 in practically unplayable conditions in Torrey Pines last Sunday, Sneds ended up winning The Farmers Insurance Open by one strokes over KJ Choi. He started the season off with a respectable T17 at The Frys and followed that with a win at The Franklin Templeton Shootout with playing partner Jason Dufner, who had a great win at The CareerBuilder Challenge a couple of weeks ago.
Sneds followed the win with a T3 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions and took that momentum into the Sony Open where he played very solid all week shooting a 63 in round one and shot 65,66,66 to finish 20 under for the tournament. He got into a playoff Fabien Gomez, but was just pipped at the post on the second playoff hole.
He has a great record here at the Stadium Course finishing T10 last year, T2 in 2013, T8 in 2011 and T9 in 2008. Statswise he is averaging just under 300 yards off the tee and ranks 17th in strokes gained putting, 28th in par 3 scoring and 13th in par 4 scoring. With such great current form and a good record here Snedeker could make it two wins in a row.
Kevin Kisner 28/1
With a win and three top 10’s in his last four starts, Kevin Kisner is playing some super golf at the moment. He finished solo second at The WGC HSBC in Shanghai, which included an opening round 64 and followed that with a win at The RSM Classic shooting 64, 64 over the weekend to seal the victory. Kisner then started 2016 off with a solo ninth at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a T5 at The Sony, which included an opening round 63.
The American is hitting it an average of 296 off the tee and ranks fifth in driving accuracy. He also ranks 18th in strokes gained tee to green and 18th in strokes gained putting. With a solid start to the year there’s no reason why he can’t continue that fine form here in Phoenix.
Jason Dufner 30/1
Dufner arrives in Phoenix after an excellent win at The CareerBuilder Challenge after beating Swede David Lingmerth in a playoff and played solid all week shooting 64,65,64,70 on his way to a 25 under total. He has been playing well over the last couple of months and won The Franklin Templeton Shootout with partner Brandt Snedeker, where his iron play and putting looked superb all week. He also had a great week at The RSM Classic finishing T9 and followed that with a T9 at The Sony Open on 13 under for the tournament, which included a third round 65.
He has played well here in the past finishing T8 in 2012 and T2 in 2011. He ranks 31st in driving accuracy, 20th in GIR, 13th in strokes gained tee to green and third in par 5 scoring. After a mediocre 2015 season, Dufner looks back to his best over the last few weeks and could be a huge contender here.
Ryan Palmer 35/1
Palmer is playing pretty consistent golf over the last few weeks with three top 20’s in four starts. He finished T16 at The Shriners and followed that with a T13 at The Sony and a T17 at The CareerBuilder Challenge in California. He started well shooting 67,66,66 in the first three rounds and should have finished a bit better after shooting a disappointing 73 in round 4.
He has played well here in the past finishing T2 last year, T5 in 2013 and T14 in 2010. Statswise he is averaging a massive 315 yards off the tee ranking fifth in driving distance, 31st in strokes gained tee to green and second in par 5 scoring.
Final Selections –
Bubba Watson 11/1 2pts EW
Brandt Snedeker 14/1 2pts EW
Kevin Kisner 28/1 1pt EW
Jason Dufner 30/1 1pt EW
Ryan Palmer 35/1 1pt EW
Total staked = 14 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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