Waste Management Phoenix Open
Dates: February 3rd-6th, 2011
Course: TPC Scottsdale Scottsdale, AZ
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com
The Superbowl is the clear champ when it comes to sports betting with over ten billion dollars of action, but save a little this week for the PGA and the Waste Management Phoenix Open as there are some good bets on this weekend’s card! The Tour season is fully up and running now that Tiger and Phil have made their 2011 debuts and it looks like we are in forsome great golf this year based on what weve seen so far. The Stadium Course at the TPC Scottsdale is one of the better venues in all of golf and the Phoenix Open boasts the largest galleries on Tour so we should see great play and an exciting finish. The Golf Channel has the early round coverage with CBS finishing off the weekend, just in time to switch over to the big game.
Hunter Mahan returns to defend his 2010 title against a strong field that includes Phil Mickelson and last weeks winner, Bubba Watson. The Stadium Course provides some of the best views from any non-ocean course and the spectators provide the most energetic atmosphere anywhere on Tour. The 7,216 yard, par-71 course will provide a fair test for the players but will also give up some great scores like the course record 60 that Mickelson put up in 2005. Mahan needed consecutive rounds of 65 on the weekend to seal a one stroke win last year so look for a relatively large group of players to be in contention heading into the back-nine on Sunday.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight a few players that we think can win it all. Well give you a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any golf sportsbook as well. Here are our picks for the 2011 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Short Favorite: Dustin Johnson (11 to 1 odds to win)
DJ is off to a great start this year with T9 and T3 finishes in his two starts and the game looks extra sharp. Johnson is averaging over 300 yards off the tee and is currently 11th in greens hit, making for a lethal tee to green game. His 26th ranked putting average has been good for the 3rd best birdie average and multiple wins are just a few breaks away.
Middle of the Road: Anthony Kim (22 to 1 odds to win)
Kim looks 100% back from his 2010 injury with three top-20 finishes this year, including a T6 at last weeks Farmers. The undisputed belt buckle king is scoring well (17th) despite not finding the fairways as much as hed like but a strong putter and recovery game has led to the 11th most birdies in 2011 play. Kim was in the thick of it last year until a third round 76 derailed him, but he still managed a T24 after a strong finish.
Longshot: Jerry Kelly (80 to 1 odds to win)
The veteran is off to a nice start this year with T9 and T13 finishes and all nine of his rounds to date have been 69 or better. Kelly is a grinder with no apparent holes in his game but his putter has been especially hot so far and he comes into the week at 22nd in average and 6th in putts per round. Hes a perennial top-25 player in fairways hit and is a strong scrambler (currently 4th) when he does miss the surface.
Head to Head Matches *matches are for entire event. Check with your favorite online bookie for single round matches and prop bets.
Bill Haas (-115) v. Bubba Watson (-115) (Watson)
This match has the two hottest players of 2011 squaring off but while both have had success, Watson looks to be the better play this week. Bubba has been hitting fairways along with leading the Tour in driving distance and he showed what happens when his putter is in form. Haas is solid all around and the more consistent player overall, but ride Watsons hot streak until he shows a marked cool down.
Camilo Villegas (-115) v. Ryan Palmer (-115) (Palmer)
Villegas has the name game won in this match, but the stat sheet points to Palmer this week. Villegas has struggled in 2011, ranking outside the top-150 in fairways and greens hit along with putting average and scoring while Palmer is in the top-60 across the board and has two top-15 finishes against none for Camilo.