Waste Management Phoenix Open Analysis & Predictions
Event: Waste Management Phoenix Open
When: January 30 - February 2, 2020
Where: TPC Scottsdale - Scottsdale, AZ
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
The big game is sure to suck a lot of the betting air out of the room this weekend but don’t forget to save a little scratch for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Rickie Fowler will defend his title against a strong field that includes John Rahm and Justin Thomas along with former champions like Hideki Matsuyama and Gary Woodland. TPC Scottsdale serves as one of wildest atmospheres on Tour and the play here has provided some memorable moments with three of the last four editions going into extra holes and 12-of-13 decided by two strokes or fewer.
TPC Scottsdale has been a fixture on Tour since the late 80’s and no other PGA stop can match what the Stadium Course can bring in terms of fan energy. The 7,260 yard, par-71 layout is desert golf at its best but the raucous crowds tend to be the signature element. The par-3, 16th hole stands out as it is one of the few spots where you will ever hear American fans boo a competitor for a poorly struck shot. Big hitters have won their fair share of titles here but this course remains a strong tee-to-green challenge so accuracy-first players still have a path to victory as well. Winning scores have trended in the 14-to-18 under par range in recent years with 28-under standing as the tournament record with Phil Mickelson and Mark Calcavecchia reaching that total.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the best values on the board. We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of popular head-to-head matches that you can find at just about every golf betting outlet. Odds to win and pairings for this week come courtesy of the board at Bovada (See our Bovada Review for many reasons to bet there). Here are our picks to win the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Xander Schauffele (18 to 1 odds to win)
Lots of people are turned off by players that are coming off of a missed cut but for me, that is just another couple of days off from the Tour grind and Xander probably needed a little downtime after a busy fall and winter. He is still riding a solid trend after two runner-up finishes just since the end of last season and he has finished T17 and T10 in his two starts at Scottsdale. You have to consider him a factor at any ball strikers course with top-3 ranks in tee-to-green and off-the-tee metrics and he putts well enough to produce top-10 birdie and scoring marks. I also like him as a polished player around the greens who knows how to save par and keep momentum during rounds. He is one of the rare players that can access some length if necessary but also dial it back effectively to find fairways when that is the better play. There are plenty of chances around this course to attack but also several spots to avoid so having that discretion is an underrated skill this week. Rahm and Thomas are less than 10 to 1 to win with Fowler at 16 to 1. I think Schauffele has just as good of a shot to win as those guys and provides a bigger potential payday. If 18-1 odds seems too risky to bet, you can also bet Xander to place in the top 5 at +350, top 10 at +160 (I’m betting this and top 20 at -135. You can find these odds at Bovada Sportsbook.
Tony Finau (28 to 1)
Finau has been hanging around the fringes of contention over his last three starts with T10, T14 and T6 finishes over that stretch, going an aggregate 34-under par. He missed the weekend here last year but has been as high as T4 at Scottsdale and has the gas in the tank to attack this course. Tony averages 309 yards per drive and turns in the 9th best overall off-the-tee mark in terms of strokes gained. He is 2nd in overall tee-to-green performance and is top-30 in birdies despite a putter that trends slightly below Tour average. He putts well on greens hit in regulation so I seldom worry about his ability to notch the raw birdie numbers to win but he does need to limit mistakes better as a 131st ranked scrambling stat shows a loss to the field when he misses greens. The good news is that he will have plenty of short iron approaches this week and should be able to effectively shrink Scottsdale to continue his recent good play.
Keegan Bradley (80 to 1)
You can’t get through a week on Tour without the TV commentators bringing up Bradley’s struggles with the putter. Few players were hurt more by the anchored-putter ban and the reason it remains news is that Keegan does everything else well enough to win. His recent play has included five top-25 finishes, including T12 and T16 finishes in his last two starts and he has made seven of his last eight cuts at Scottsdale. Statistically, he loses about a half a stroke a round to the field average with the putter so any uptick in his performance on the greens immediately shows in the form of good finishes. I like his overall experience level at this course and he is scoring well beyond what his raw birdie rate would suggest so there are signs that the putter is helping him more right now than in years past. Bradley has a really nice mix of length and accuracy to utilize and at 33-years old, he is well within a players prime. He has wins ahead of him.
Picks to win based on predicted score for the entire event. Bet these matchups at Bovada and get a 50% bonus up to $250 FREE!
Bryson DeChambeau (-115) v. Gary Woodland (-115) (pick to win: Woodland)
Woodland is the 2018 Phoenix champ and ran well (T7) last season to prove he is comfy at Scottsdale. DeChambeau will be making his first US start since October and you have to wonder if his travel schedule will leave him a little weary as he comes off two straight Middle East events. Bryson had some mixed results overseas and appeared to be thrown off his mental game by being placed on the clock for slow play last week. I’m sticking with Gary based on his Phoenix record and the fact he is top-20 in both fairways and greens. DeChambeau has been the better putter in 2019-20 but the scoring marks are close with Woodland the better ball striker. These players are 1-1 against each other this season and I think Woodland gets a second head-to-head win on a course that he has seemingly figured out.
Scottie Scheffler (-115) v. Viktor Hovland (-115) (pick to win: Scheffler)
The future of the Tour is on display in this pairing with both players starting off their PGA careers in fine fashion. Scheffler has only missed one cut in his last nine starts with two top-5 finishes, including a T3 at The American Express two weeks ago. Scottie has moved up to 53rd in the OWGR from 87th just since his promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour and riding a rocket to the top of the list of best young players. Hovland isn’t far behind but has just one top-25 finish in his last four Tour starts and looks to be plateauing ever so slightly after a fast start. Both players are very long off the tee but Scheffler hits more greens and has better birdie and scoring marks despite Hovland being a bit better with the putter. I think the margins between these players on any given day are rather thin so stick with Scheffler and his better recent trend. There will likely be a time where Hovland swings back and potentially becomes the better pick between these two but for now, Scottie has shown the higher ceiling and the more consistent results.
2020 Phoenix Open Odds to Win - These are from MyBookie. For a limited time, get a 100% REAL CASH BONUS at MyBookie on your first deposit of $100 to $300! Must use this link to sign up!
BYEONG HUN AN
J T POSTON
J B HOLMES
J J SPAUN
C T PAN
Good luck and good golf!