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  • Writer's pictureTom Ford

Waste Management Phoenix Open preview and betting tips 2023

Patrick Cantlay
Scheffler ready to defend Phoenix title

Waste Management Phoenix Open Golf Tips

Scottie Scheffler – 2pts win (18/1)

Collin Morikawa – 2pts win 22/1

Max Homa – 1.5 pts win 33/1

Sungjae Im – 1.5pts win 34/1

Sahith Theegala – 1pts each way at 70/1 (10 Places)

Keegan Bradley – 1pts each way at 120/1 (10 Places)

Justin Rose; a thorn in my back side

Continuation of my theme of backing players a week early, Justin Rose after playing him the week before in pretty much everything, goes on to win and absolutely obliterate the field and what turned out to be a Monday finish. He didn’t look like missing a putt when they came back on Monday, it was horrible to watch for me personally, congrats to any of you who followed him into the week just gone.

Excruciatingly, Brendon Todd, finished T2 for me and Kevin T7, which was just about enough to give me a high hopes leading into this week. I won’t dwell on the fact that losing to Rose when Todd shot a final round -7 hurt, but a nice ew on Todd and a nice T20 on Yu means we can attack this elevated event.

I will say, being a proud Englishman myself; It was really nice to see Justin Rose back inside the top 30 of the world, after nearly a year of back problems, to see him pull through and play really well, for that matter, it’s nice to see, although the wrong week for me. Something I spoke about in the fall season a resurgence from someone like Rose, Day, Fowler, is definitely on the cards, and we can now get some good odds on these types of players if they stay well tuned in. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another win or high finish in a major from Rose this year, he has the mentality to go along with a top 30 in the world game.

Notable shout out to the weather on the California East Coast although it was really badly managed by the tournament organisers, it was still quite fun to see the blowing wind and rain affect the players so much, especially on the pebble beach course. It was also great to see some players that haven’t really shown it yet. I liked the performance of Denny McCarthy, a player who won the Korn Ferry Champs in 2018 and hasn’t shown that form on the PGA tour until now, great to see. Peter Malnati, a stalwart now of the PGA Tour, I believe and playing well, some of his outrageous shots to get out of trouble was really showing off the experience needed around Pebble or any course for that matter.

Top’s off, beer’s thrown, I’m ready for the carnage

So onto a real highlight of the year for most of us, this really is now the start of the golf season swing where we see back-to-back top level fields, full crowds, exciting tournaments and all in the lead up to the masters, I’m ready for this week, going to be great fun.

The waste management always brings up the excitement even in a ‘lesser field’, so to see all of the big players here from Rory to Rahm to Scottie to big Tony, now that all the big hitters are all here and it’s going to be a really good week to watch. It’s not just that spectacle of the 16th Stadium hole with this field, this course with 60000 spectators, bearing down on them from all sort of angles and some great attackable holes, with some water in play too, it’s going to be a real highlight of the year.

TPC Scottsdale offers a short desert course, playing around 7200 yards but much less due to altitude. Conditions look like they are going to be flat and dry, that’s not to say they haven’t had any rain in the past few weeks, but I expect by the weekend, fairways and greens to be rock hard as they always get them and undoubtedly a close finish on Sunday.

Previous Winners: 2022; Scottie Scheffler (-16); 2021: Brooks Koepka (-19); 2020: Webb Simpson (-17); 2019: Rickie Fowler (-17); 2018: Gary Woodland (-18); 2017: Hideki Matsuyama (-17); 2016: Hideki Matsuyama (-14); 2015: Brooks Koepka (-15); 2014: Kevin Stadler (-16); 2013: Phil Mickelson (-23); 2012: Kyle Stanley (-15); 2011: Mark Wilson (-18);

Fairways here are wider than average on the PGA tour, so off the tee is not a huge factor this week in terms of what I set up with my model, but there’s definitely going to be an aspect of driving it long. There will be a collection of the shorter hitters here that I can rule out just because of that disadvantage. The only real anomaly of a player I can see who won round here with a shorter feel off the tee was Webb Simpson, and he wasn’t exactly that short that week. The main conclusion I make from this is because greens in regulation is one of the biggest factors this week, the closer you are the easier the green in regulation will be.

Greens this week are also fairly large, so finding them won’t be hard, it’s just how many shots it takes you. We see the Tifeagle Bermuda grass with POA annau overseed , so you’re going to need to be a good putter on this surface as always on the PGA Tour, but it’s slightly different from what we’ve seen with the greens in previous week’s something to watch out for.

I expect a winning score this week to be around -18, I am not expecting anybody to run away with it and expecting it to be tight. As I said I think that this week is going to come down to those 4 or 5 guys that can consistently put four rounds together, and I think that really helps us with our plays, some obvious golfers in this field continually put two or three rounds together but probably don’t have a chance of doing it over all 4 days.

This week’s model make up;

Yes, onto my model and the things that I’m looking for this week. Aside from obviously the core strokes gained data, which is obviously as always going to be important and with an emphasis on Tee to green again, this week I love greens in regulation and some recent form, driving distance and short course form. Also, putting some emphasis on the players going for the green 99% of the time and their par 4 performance, so here goes.

SG Tee to green

SG Approach

Greens in Regulation

Going for the green %

Par 4 Performance

Driving Distance

Putting Bermuda/Poa


Recent Form

Short Course form

Altitude Positive

Event average

Top 20 players based on that model;

1 Jon Rahm 8/1

2 Patrick Cantlay 20/1

3 Rory McIlroy 8/1

4 Xander Schauffele 16/1

5 Scottie Scheffler 14/1

6 Sungjae Im 28/1

7 Justin Thomas 22/1

8 Max Homa 22/1

9 Collin Morikawa 20/1

10 Tony Finau 20/1

11 Gary Woodland 125/1

12 Hideki Matsuyama 33/1

13 Sahith Theegala 45/1

14 SiWoo Kim 66/1

15 Brendan Steele 125/1

16 Jason Day 55/1

17 Matthew Fitzpatrick 35/1

18 Cameron Young 30/1

19 Tyrrell Hatton 55/1

20 Keith Mitchell 80/1

21 Tom Hoge 80/1

22 Jhonattan Vegas 200/1

23 Keegan Bradley 66/1

24 Corey Conners 70/1

25 Rickie Fowler 66/1

As you can see, we’ve lost all those big prices we’ve had so far this season, tells the story really about strength in depth. I am going in with 4 solid win picks on top quality golfers, mixed with 2 e/w plays. As always every week I will have some extra’s on my card so look out for that on my twitter.

There were some golfers this week that I really like but just didn’t quite make the outright picks because they don’t seem to put all 4 rounds together. I’ll mention two of those really quickly, which from my research are worth talking about. Lucas Herbert, a guy who is fast becoming someone who who is great to back for a top 10, popping up on leaderboards when nobody is talking about him. A 3rd place in Saudi last week in a very good field and seems to be playing his best golf ever. Also, I really like the chances of Johnathan Vegas, he is a golfer who has played really well round TPC Scottsdale and these types of short courses at altitude are perfect courses for him to get us a close finish.

If you want to play my new weekly fantasy competition, look out for my updates on my twitter @tomford9931 and my site .

Scottie Scheffler – 2pts win (18/1)

I’ve taken Scotty here to go back to back for some obvious reasons. 18/1 is the first reason, due to the recent form of Rory and Rahm, this price on Scotty has just drifted to a lovely number and it’s just a great price, something I couldn’t ignore. Scotty is just a top 10 monster and he finished second at the Hero before Christmas, T7 at the Sentry after Christmas, and even when he wasn’t putting well at the AMEX a couple of weeks ago, he still finished T11.

Collin Morikawa – 2pts win 22/1

Well, this bet makes me really excited. A guy who, as we know has one of the best approach games in the world, struggled with his putter over recent years, something he has to change, in fact tried to change throughout his career has suddenly really got it going. Whatever he has changed it’s working and for him to come back and be pulling out the best putting data I have ever seen for a guy who was so off it before, it’s a complete transformation. Morikawa from a nearly season last season to surely a winning season this season, recent form, event form, numbers that look so good, this is an auto bet for me this week.

Max Homa – 1.5 pts win 33/1

I was surprised with Max’s form here at TPC Scottsdale, for some reason I was expecting him to just be overawed with talent in the past but his form round here is really good. He’s made the cut in every year he’s played and had a T7 in 2020. Top 10 in strokes gained putting this year mixed with a Top 5 in strokes gained Tee to green, a recipe I love at 33/1. Max at boiling point, let’s go.

Sungjae Im – 1.5pts win 34/1

I’ll be honest, this one was a tossup between Sungjae and Hideki. Although Matsuyama has won this tournament, I feel like it was at a time when he was injury free and free of all the pressure he has put on him. Im actually has better form round here consistently putting up the right data for this shorter course. In whichever predictor model I swapped or changed around this week, he was in the top six in every single one. The biggest factor for me was his greens in regulation percentage, he’s never dropped below 70% and was 9th best in the world in that category last season, not had a win for 16 months, he is due one I feel this may have Sungjae’s name written all over it.

Sahith Theegala – 1pts each way at 70/1 (10 Places)

This pick is purely what I seen from him last year at Scottsdale. If it wasn’t for his inexperience when coming to the Waste management as a rookie last year, he would’ve won it. Two bad drives and Scottie bearing down his neck, just a bit of mental stability and we would’ve seen Theegala win more than just this event on tour last year. Let’s hope he gets revenge and goes really close here again this year.

Keegan Bradley – 1pts each way at 120/1 (10 Places)

Another form pick for me, something I tend to only sometimes lead with on my each ways but Keegan Bradley has surprised me the most, not just with his form. We all know he’s a great iron player, especially when he’s putting the ball on the fairway but if you mix that in with his putter being as hot as it is right now, you really have a solid each way chance every week he plays. Third in the FedEx cup so far this year, hits the ball as long as anyone, nearly won at the farmers two weeks ago and what I’m loving the most is he never seems to bogey or put himself in trouble anymore, not least mentioning the fact he is 120/1 here.

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