BEST BETS FOR ONE OF THE MOST LIVELY EVENTS ON TOUR
A stunted weekend at Pebble Beach now leads into the raucous Waste Management Phoenix Open from TPC Scottsdale, Arizona. World number one, Scottie Scheffler, is seeking a hat-trick of wins at the event and is a very short +450 to do it.
Scheffler has only won once since his PLAYERS victory last season, and that was in the limited-field Hero World Challenge, however it’d take a brave bettor to go against the best ball striker on tour at an event he’s dominated on a stadium course that clearly favors elite ball striking. After a few near misses this season, we’re taking the safer route this week with three to get inside the top 10.
TOP 10: HIDEKI MATSUYAMA (+450, DraftKings)
Twice a winner here (2016, 2017) and five times inside the top 10 in the last 10 years, Matsuyama clearly enjoys playing at TPC Scottsdale. It’s perhaps no surprise either. Big reputation major winners thrive under the conditions and Matsuyama’s level headed approach keeps him posting fantastic scores year in year out in Arizona.
Whilst Matsuyama hasn’t missed a cut yet this season, he’s also not done much to suggest we’re seeing the best of the Japanese star and that’ll be why +450 is on offer. However, ahead of his 2016 victory he only had a missed cut to his name that year and ahead of 2017 he logged a T27 and T33. Some courses simply bring out the best in players.
Ultimately, Matsuyama is an excellent ball striker and if he can find some early rhythm on a track he likes, he’ll register four good rounds to put himself in the mix.
TOP 10: CHRISTIAAN BEZUIDENHOUT (+650, DraftKings)
The American Express is often a good indicator of performance at the Phoenix Open, so why not take this year’s solo second who’s also on a great run of form.
Bezuidenhout registered a T6 during the Fall Series in one of only two completed events, he then did no worse than T17 across three events in his native South Africa, and then three appearances this year in the U.S. has yielded the aforementioned 2nd and a T20 at Pebble Beach.
As such a unique experience, Bezuidenhout will have learnt a lot from his first outing at the event last season in spite of the missed cut. Expect a far better showing this time around, which will be applicable to a lot of the South African’s performances this season as he begins to solidify his place on tour.
TOP 10: AARON RAI (+900, DraftKings)
Our truly international picks for the Waste Management Phoenix Open conclude with Englishman Aaron Rai.
On his tournament debut last season, Rai finished T42 and didn’t play a round over par, finishing at -2. His season only progressed from there leading to five top 10 finishes worldwide, comfortably his best as a professional.
This selection is based upon his fantastic ball striking though. His off-the-tee and approach stats had him inside the top 40 last season on tour and his only weakness, putting, is somewhat negated by the setups at TPC Scottsdale.
All odds listed from DraftKings, as of Tuesday February 6.