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BlogWM Phoenix Open Preview and Picks

Waste Management Phoenix Open

February 4th – 7th, 2021

TPC Scottsdale

Scottsdale, AZ

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,261

Purse: $7.5 million

with $1,350,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Webb Simpson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 46 of the top-100 players and 20 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with five players in the top-ten, #2 Jon Rahm, #3 Justin Thomas, #4 Xander Schauffele, #6 Rory McIlroy and #9 Webb Simpson,. The other top 50 players are #13 Brooks Koepka, #14 Daniel Berger, #17 Sungjae Im, #18 Matthew Wolff, #19 Harris English, #23 Hideki Matsuyama, #24 Ryan Palmer, #26 Louis Oosthuizen, #34 Scottie Scheffler, #39 Billy Horschel, #40 Gary Woodland, #42 Matt Kuchar, #45 Jason Day, #47 Brendon Todd and #48 Bubba Watson.

Last year there were 18 top-50 players in the field

The field includes 13 players in the top 25 on this year’s FedEx point standings.  Those players are #3 Harris English, #6 Xander Schauffele, #7 Justin Thomas, #9 Stewart Cink, #11 Carlos Ortiz, #12 Si Woo Kim, #16 Sungjae Im, #18 Matthew Wolff, #19 Jon Rahm, #20 Martin Laird, #22 Robert Streb, #23 Hudson Swafford and #25 Brian Gay.

The field includes 9 past champions: Webb Simpson (2010),Rickie Fowler (2019), Gary Woodland (2018), Hideki Matsuyama (2017 & ’16), Brooks Koepka (2016), Kevin Stadler (2015), Kyle Stanley (2012), Hunter Mahan (2010) and J.B. Holmes (2008 & ’06).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Waste Management Phoenix Open field is our performance chart listed by the average finish. Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the WM Phoenix Open in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the WM Phoenix Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Player Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry T of C. Mayakoba DP World Championship, Dubai RSM Classic Masters Houston Open Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ.
Ryan Palmer
(189 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T41
(9)
4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
Sungjae Im
(187.33 pts)
T32
(18)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP T56
(0)
T5
(46.67)
DNP T14
(18)
CUT
(-3.33)
T2
(66.67)
T50
(0.33)
DNP T41
(3)
Rory McIlroy
(181.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
Xander Schauffele
(179.67 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
Jon Rahm
(161.67 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
Si Woo Kim
(154.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Justin Thomas
(149.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 3
(60)
T12
(12.67)
DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
Chris Kirk
(148 pts)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP T44
(2)
DNP DNP
Harris English
(146.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(18)
Win
(88)
T5
(23.33)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
Webb Simpson
(144 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(80)
T17
(22)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP T17
(11)
Carlos Ortiz
(131.33 pts)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP T14
(36)
37
(8.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP T35
(5)
Michael Thompson
(126 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP T25
(25)
T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP 77
(0)
Henrik Norlander
(118 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brendan Steele
(102.33 pts)
DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T70
(0)
Hideki Matsuyama
(102.33 pts)
T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(31)
T41
(6)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
T2
(33.33)
DNP T28
(7.33)
Daniel Berger
(101.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(55)
10
(26.67)
T23
(9)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
Matt Jones
(98.67 pts)
T48
(2)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T44
(2)
DNP 63
(0)
T4
(26.67)
DNP
Billy Horschel
(93.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(55)
T24
(17.33)
T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP 69
(0)
Corey Conners
(89.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
DNP T10
(13.33)
T10
(26.67)
T24
(8.67)
DNP T8
(16.67)
Patton Kizzire
(87.33 pts)
DNP DNP 53
(0)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP T32
(6)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP
Rory Sabbatini
(82.33 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T40
(3.33)
DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP
Padraig Harrington
(74 pts)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
T26
(8)
DNP
Max Homa
(73 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T48
(0.67)
T34
(5.33)
DNP
Brian Harman
(70 pts)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T24
(8.67)
DNP T26
(8)
Sepp Straka
(68 pts)
T32
(18)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T25
(25)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP T44
(2)
DNP T5
(23.33)
T21
(9.67)
DNP
Nick Taylor
(66.67 pts)
DNP DNP T47
(3)
DNP T11
(39)
T29
(14)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(14)
DNP DNP T63
(0)
Will Zalatoris
(66.33 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T16
(11.33)
DNP
Russell Henley
(66 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP T29
(7)
DNP T4
(26.67)
Cameron Tringale
(65.67 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
DNP T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Bo Hoag
(65 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Stewart Cink
(63.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(31)
T31
(12.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP
Kyle Stanley
(61.33 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP
Ryan Armour
(58.67 pts)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(16.67)
DNP
Wyndham Clark
(57 pts)
T32
(18)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
2
(33.33)
DNP
Dylan Frittelli
(53 pts)
T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T5
(46.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T11
(13)
John Huh
(52.33 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP
Adam Long
(49.67 pts)
DNP DNP 69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP T66
(0)
Talor Gooch
(49.33 pts)
T48
(2)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP 4
(26.67)
DNP T35
(5)
Luke List
(49 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T53
(0)
DNP
Sebastian Munoz
(48 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
T17
(22)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP T14
(12)
Brian Gay
(48 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 72
(0)
T29
(14)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP
Brendon Todd
(45.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(9)
T13
(24.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T47
(1)
Byeong Hun An
(45 pts)
T75
(0)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T35
(5)
Russell Knox
(42.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T15
(11.67)
T16
(11.33)
DNP
Scottie Scheffler
(42.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
T32
(6)
DNP T17
(11)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Player Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry T of C. Mayakoba DP World Championship, Dubai RSM Classic Masters Houston Open Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ.
Hunter Mahan
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T65
(0)
DNP
Kevin Tway
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T40
(3.33)
DNP
Bo Van Pelt
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Harrington
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T66
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Xinjun Zhang
(-26.67 pts)
T60
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T63
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Grayson Murray
(-23.33 pts)
79
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Jimmy Walker
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 60
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Danny Lee
(-23.33 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T72
(0)
Beau Hossler
(-22 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T26
(8)
DNP
Michael Kim
(-21.67 pts)
T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Back to Phoenix

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has always been golf’s biggest party. But this year with COVID-19 protocols, attendance is limited to 5,000 people a day, about 200,000 less than the 200,000 that typically attend Friday and Saturday rounds.  In past years this created a challenge for players as many holes were surrounded by massive stands and pavilions.  That won’t happen this year and in a way, PGA Tour players have grown accustomed to either no fans or limited fans.  For most players, they are loving the absence of thousands of thunderous fans lining the fairways, but for Rory McIlroy, he admits is struggling for “intensity” due to the lack of fans at golf courses and has been “going through the motions”.  McIlroy has been struggling with his game since golf returned in June.  An example of that has been the last two weeks, in Abu Dhabi he entered the final round 2 back of the lead and shot 72 to finish 3rd, his best finish since the return to golf in June.  Last week at the Farmers Insurance, he entered the final round just 3 shots back but shot 73 to finish T-16th, 8 shots back of winner Patrick Reed.  For over a year now McIlroy has had troubles in the final round, something that betters are now thinking hard over.

Is this the week for Jon Rahm?

Last year at this time we thought it was a perfect time for Jon Rahm to win in Phoenix.  He was runner-up at the Farmers and coming to Phoenix we thought he could possibly win since he always plays well in this event.  Things didn’t work out and Rahm finished T-9th, six shots back of the playoff.  Rahm finished T-3rd at the WGC-Mexico which for him was his last event before the break for COVID-19.  On his return in June, he didn’t play very well but they were on courses he has struggled with.  He won at Memorial and then at the PGA Championship, things started to gel.  Since he finished T-13th at the PGA, he hasn’t been out of the top-25 in ten events.  He won again at the BMW Championship, beating Dustin Johnson in a playoff, and came close at the Zozo Championship finishing a shot back of winner Patrick Cantlay.  After finishing T-7th at the Masters, Sentry Tournament of Champions and Farmers he comes into the Phoenix Open with the same questions, is he ready to win again.  In looking at his stats for 2020, we see one glaring problem and that is putting.  Last year Rahm finished 22nd in Strokes Gained Putting, but this year after playing in six events he is 118th. In looking more in-depth, Rahm is 95th in putting inside ten feet and 165th in putting from ten to fifteen feet. One thing that I wonder about, Rahm is a great player and is just a fraction of right now.  But once he finds it and I don’t think it will be this week, he will be hard to beat.

Sub-60 watch

Even though to the average player that knows the TPC Scottsdale is a tight layout, for those on the PGA Tour with great weather and no wind the course could be nothing but a birdie and eagle feast.  With great weather predicted for all four days and hardly a breath of wind, the chances are high that a 59 or even a 58 can be shot.  Over the course of 72 holes, the PGA Tour low has come close to be broken with Mark Calcavecchia shooting 256 in 2001 and Phil Mickelson shooting the same in 2013.  In both cases, Calcavecchia and Mickelson shot 60 (There has been four 60s shot) with Mickelson coming the nearest as a birdie putt lipped out for 59 on his final hole.  So I will say this, don’t be surprised to see the sub-60 barrier broken again, a matter of fact I can think of about a dozen other courses during the year in which this will pop up.  In a way, people love to see it happen, but if it becomes the norm, the PGA Tour may have to do something or ask the courses to do something to prevent this from being more the norm.

WM Phoenix Open history: 

It began in 1932 as the Arizona Open and has been played at the TPC of Scottsdale, since 1987.  After the first two years, the event took the name, Phoenix Open in 1935. The only older tournaments on the PGA Tour are; the British Open (1860), U.S. Open (1895), Western Open (1899), Canadian Open (1904), PGA Championship (1916), Texas Open (1922) and the Nissan Open (1926).

Due to a lack of local support, the tournament was discontinued after 1935. The competition was revived thanks to the energy and vision of one man, Bob Goldwater, Sr. who was an avid golfer.  So in 1939, Goldwater’s new fledgling golf tournament was the official rebirth of the Phoenix Open. Goldwater was left with most of the work, he printed the tickets, sold sponsorships, and obtained the use of Phoenix Country Club. He even invited a few of his friends to tee it up at the tournament. Those friends just happened to be Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and a golfer by the name of Ben Hogan. “I loved those early years,” said Goldwater. “I look back on those days with a sense of pride mixed with wonderment.” And, yes, after a few more persuasive talks and the success of the 1939 Phoenix Open, The Thunderbirds came around and lent their full support. During that 1939 tournament, a 27-year-old up-and-comer named Byron Nelson won the $700 first prize. Hogan finished second, 12 strokes back, and collected $450. Since then, The Thunderbirds had been a part of the event every year except 1943, when wartime travel restrictions forced a one-year hiatus. The list of professional golfers who have won in Phoenix reads like the golf Hall of Fame: Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret, Billy Casper, Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Miller Barber, Johnny Miller, Ben Crenshaw, and more recently Lee Janzen, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Tom Lehman, Mark Calcavecchia, and Kenny Perry just to name a few. Over the tournament’s 81 year history, the Open has been known by many names, including the Western Open, the Arizona Open, the Ben Hogan Invitational, the Phoenix Open, the FBR Open, and now the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The tournament has been played at Phoenix Country Club, Arizona Country Club, and the TPC Scottsdale, which has been the home course of the competition since 1987.  2018 will mark the 32nd consecutive year the tournament has been played at the Stadium Course at the TPC Scottsdale, and it has had a renovation to spruce it up and make it more challenging for the players. Thanks to the most fan-friendly tournament venue on Tour, it attracts the largest galleries of any golf tournament in the world. In fact, compared to the days when the tournament was held at Phoenix Country Club, and the top attendance mark was 186,000 (1986), the event has grown by leaps and bounds. At the 2008 FBR Open, a PGA Tour record 538,356 fans attended the tournament, including 170,802 during Saturday’s third round alone. 2008′s Saturday attendance used to be a single-day PGA Tour record until 2013 when 179,022 fans came out for the third round. The 2016 event set a new attendance record when 618,365 fans came out. But in 2018 719,179 went through the turnstiles setting the record for the biggest attendance in the tournament history.  All told four attendance records were broken in 2018 — the weekly attendance mark, plus record crowds on Wednesday (84,034), Friday (191,400), and Saturday (216,818).  In 2019 poor weather made it impossible for these records to be broken and the Thunderbirds decided to stop reporting attendance figures, at least for 2019 and we know that no attendance records will be broken in 2021..

Course information:
  • Played at TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Az.
  • Par:  71 / Yardage: 7,261
  • In 2020, the course was the 18th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 70.32 average.
  • The TPC of Scottsdale was designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, with Howard Twitty and Jim Colbert serving as player consultants.  The course opened in 1986 and had some exciting features like desert between the holes and fairways with many plants from the surrounding area. The layout also features mounding for spectators. The course can comfortably accommodate over 100,000 spectators, in 2018, 216,818 showed up for Saturday’s third round.  The average green size is 6,770 square feet, which is a little over the average on the PGA Tour. The course has 72 bunkers and six water hazards.
  • Surrounded by spectacular mountain views, the course was designed specifically to host the Phoenix Open, and the aforementioned mounding promises an excellent look to all of the 500,000+ in the galleries. Hole No. 16 will always be remembered as the site of Tiger Woods’ hole in one in 1998. Hole No. 17 will be recognized for the first and only hole in one on a par four during a PGA Tour event, which was recorded by Andrew Magee in 2001.
  • Major renovations were done before the 2016 event with four greens completely rebuilt while the other 14 resurfaced and reshaped.  45 yards was added, but three holes will play slightly shorter.  Every bunker was redone, in most cases bringing them more into play.  Also, 250 trees were added, so the combination of trees and bunkers coming into play off the tee will make the course slightly tighter.  Despite the change, average scores may be a bit higher but look for the winning score, which has averaged 17 under par for the last 20 years to stay the same.

Let’s take a look at key stats that are important for those playing on the TPC Scottdale:

This is based on the most important stats for TPC Scottsdale, based on data from last year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, and using data from all the players in the field for with stats from 2021.

The scoring average of the field on TPC Scottsdale last year was 70.32, so with par being 71, that means the average score was a bit more than a quarter of a stroke under par, making TPC Scottsdale the 18th hardest course to score on in 2020.

In looking at the stats for TPC Scottsdale from last year, driving and greens hit are essential. With fast fairways, the course ranked 34th in driving distance (out of 38 courses, so that means that four courses saw drives further) and 17th in driving accuracy. Going a step further of the eight TPC courses used on the PGA Tour in 2020, the only TPC course harder to get into the fairway was TPC Harding Park. In our ranking, we consider hitting greens our most important stat, last year, the course ranked 19th in greens in regulation. Still, over the course of the previous 12 years, all of the winners have been in the top-13 in greens hit, taking it a step further of those same champions nine of them finished in the top-four, so you can see the importance of hitting greens in winning this championship. Last year’s winner Webb Simpson hit 56 of 72 greens and ranked T-6th. Now the previous year, 2019, Rickie Fowler won the event hitting 52 greens and ranked T-13th. We can give Fowler a pass when you consider the poor weather in the final round with heavy rain during most of his round, which drove the final-round scoring average to 71.58 and led Fowler to shot 74, the highest final round by a winner on the PGA Tour since Steven Bowditch’s 74 in winning the 2014 Valero Texas Open. In Phoenix’s final round, Fowler hit 11 greens, which was the reason for his high ranking. Fowler ranked 19th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green with the bad weather and all the highest of the last couple of winners. Going back a year to Gary Woodland in 2018, he was 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. In 2017 winner Hideki was 18th in driving distance, T-6th in driving accuracy, and T-2nd in greens in regulation, finishing 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. The year before 2016, Matsuyama also won and was 35th in driving distance, T-44th in driving accuracy, and 1st in greens hit. This added up to 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, so you can see the importance in this stat since the last three of the four winners have been either 1st or 2nd. Last year Webb Simpson was 44th in driving distance, T-3rd in driving accuracy, and T-6th in greens in regulation, finish 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green.
So our first category is Strokes Gained tee-to-green, which is crucial for not only keeping the ball in the fairways but hitting greens and getting it close to the hole. Again the stats for most of the last 12 players make this stat work, except for 2019 when Fowler struggled in poor weather.
Our second category is proximity to the hole, which is the distance to the hole from shots hit from the fairway. Last year’s winner Webb Simpson was T-9th in this category, hitting it 35 feet, 1 inch away. Again forget the fact that Rickie Fowler in 2019 won and was 46th in this stat. In 2018 the champion Gary Woodland was 13th. In 2017 the winner Matsuyama was 2nd, his average shot finishing 31 feet, 1 inch away. When he won in 2016, he was 8th, his average shot finishing 35 feet, 10 inches away. For TPC Scottsdale, it ranked 5th in proximity to hole.
After that, our third important category is Par Breakers because making eagles and birdies are important. Last year Webb Simpson was 2nd best in the field, making 21. TPC Scottsdale had 1,473 birdies and was T-17th in birdie average. In 2019 Rickie Fowler was the best in the field, making an eagle and 23 birdies, in 2018, Gary Woodland was the best in the field as he made one eagle, and his 26 birdies were the best of the week. The previous year Matsuyama was 12th in this stat as he had 19 birdies and an eagle.
Our last category is scrambling, and you can see why. Since the course is a shot-makers delight, you can see that if you miss a lot of greens, you better get it up and down to play well. Last year TPC Scottsdale ranked 17th out of 34 courses, while Webb Simpson ranked 14th. In 2019 winner Rickie Fowler was T-8th, 2018 winner Gary Woodland was 25th. The previous year Matsuyama was 17th in scrambling.
So you can see that this isn’t a bomber’s course since accuracy is such a key. Another important thing is that the weather is good, and the only problems stem from freezing mornings in which frost creates delays. This year things will be different, the forecast is as close to perfect as you can get. Temperatures in the mid to low 70s with minimal winds each day will create excellent scoring for the week.

So here are our four choices for the most critical stats from players to do well at TPC Scottsdale:

*Strokes gained tee-to-Greens: Important because it shows how TPC Scottsdale ranked T-12tht in this stat, meaning that a combination of driving distance, driving accuracy and greens hit is important

*Proximity to hole: Hitting greens is important, last year TPC Scottsdale ranked 19th, but in proximity to hole, which tells how close players get to the hole, TPC Scottsdale ranked 5th as the players averaged getting it 39 feet and 10 inches.

*Par Breakers: Desert courses always seem to give up a lot of birdies and eagles, last year TPC Scottsdale ranked 19th in that stat. Making birdies and eagles at TPC Scottsdale is hard.

*Scrambling: Of the 41 courses on tour in 2020, TPC Scottsdale got it up and down 57.11 of the time, meaning that it ranked 17th. So it’s important for players to make sure to get it up and down on those holes that they miss the greens.

125 of the 132 Players from this year’s field with stats from this year and last:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

For a link to all 125 players and their stats

Look at some vital stats from the WM Phoenix Open

Of the 132 in the field, 117 have played at least once in the W.M. Phoenix Open.  Here are the players with the most under par totals in Phoenix since 2015:

  • Rickie Fowler is 68 under, in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 66 under, in 21 rounds playing 6 years
  • Jon Rahm is 55 under, in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Matt Kuchar is 53 under, in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Bubba Watson is 51 under, in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Martin Laird is 48 under, in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Webb Simpson is 48 under, in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Justin Thomas is 45 under, in 20 rounds playing 6 years
  • Daniel Berger is 44 under, in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Byeong Hun An is 42 under, in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • Billy Horschel is 39 under, in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Gary Woodland is 35 under, in 20 rounds playing 6 years
  • Brendan Steele is 34 under, in 20 rounds playing 6 years
  • Zach Johnson is 34 under, in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Charley Hoffman is 33 under, in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • J.B. Holmes is 33 under, in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Xander Schauffele is 31 under, in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Harris English is 26 under, in 20 rounds playing 6 years
  • Russell Knox is 26 under, in 16 rounds playing 5 years
  • Chez Reavie is 25 under, in 16 rounds playing 6 years
  • Adam Hadwin is 24 under, in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • James Hahn is 24 under, in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Brooks Koepka is 23 under, in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • John Huh is 22 under, in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Jordan Spieth is 22 under, in 12 rounds playing 4 years
*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)
  • Rickie Fowler is 68 under, playing 6 years (-11.3)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 66 under, playing 6 years (-11.0)
  • Jon Rahm is 55 under, playing 5 years (-11.0)
  • Matt Kuchar is 53 under, playing 5 years (-10.6)
  • Byeong Hun An is 42 under, playing 4 years (-10.5)
  • Xander Schauffele is 31 under, playing 3 years (-10.3)
  • Max Homa is 20 under, playing 2 years (-10.0)
  • Webb Simpson is 48 under, playing 5 years (-9.6)
  • Sungjae Im is 19 under, playing 2 years (-9.5)
  • Bubba Watson is 51 under, playing 6 years (-8.5)
  • Martin Laird is 48 under, playing 6 years (-8.0)
  • Brooks Koepka is 23 under, playing 3 years (-7.7)
  • Justin Thomas is 45 under, playing 6 years (-7.5)
  • Daniel Berger is 44 under, playing 6 years (-7.3)
  • J.T. Poston is 14 under, playing 2 years (-7.0)
  • Billy Horschel is 39 under, playing 6 years (-6.5)
  • Gary Woodland is 35 under, playing 6 years (-5.8)
  • Brendan Steele is 34 under, playing 6 years (-5.7)
  • Zach Johnson is 34 under, playing 6 years (-5.7)
  • Charley Hoffman is 33 under, playing 6 years (-5.5)
  • J.B. Holmes is 33 under, playing 6 years (-5.5)
  • Jordan Spieth is 22 under, playing 4 years (-5.5)
  • Russell Knox is 26 under, playing 5 years (-5.2)
  • Mark Hubbard is 14 under, playing 3 years (-4.7)
  • William McGirt is 18 under, playing 4 years (-4.5)
  • Harris English is 26 under, playing 6 years (-4.3)
  • Chez Reavie is 25 under, playing 6 years (-4.2)
  • Chris Kirk is 21 under, playing 5 years (-4.2)
  • Adam Hadwin is 24 under, playing 6 years (-4.0)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

DraftKings Tips

*Here are the guys that are very costly:

  • Jon Rahm – $11,200
  • Xander Schauffele – $11,000
  • Justin Thomas – $10,800
  • Rory McIlroy – $10,600
  • Webb Simpson – $10,100
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $9,800
  • Daniel Berger – $9,600
  • Sungjae Im – $9,400
  • Harris English – $9,300
  • Ryan Palmer – $9,200
  • Scottie Scheffler – $9,100
  • Will Zalatoris – $9,000

Have to say it’s not the best field that they have had but there are a lot of great players in the field.  Jon Rahm leads off as the top price player at $11,200, in five starts worst finish was T-16th, has three top-ten with his best coming in 2015, T-5th.  His new clubs should now be the norm, since winning the Memorial back in July, he has played in 12 events and been out of the top-25 just once, in his last four starts was T-2nd at Zozo, T-7th at the Masters, Sentry Tournament of Champions and Farmers.  Should do well but yes his price is high.  Xander Schauffele at $11,000 is another good player and my favorite, has played three times in Phoenix and his best finish was T-10th in 2019.  Like that he was runner-up last week in San Diego after a rough start.  Justin Thomas at $10,800 is not ready to play, he is still going through some personal pain from his slur at Kapalua and it showed in Abu Dhabi.  I just don’t know what to say about Rory McIlroy who is $10,600 and seems to play well for three rounds but always stumbles on Sunday.  He has never played in Phoenix and you think the course will be good for him, just wish that someone would tell him that the final round is not played on Sunday maybe he would come through.  Webb Simpson at $10,100 seems like a logical choice, yes I know he is the defending champion and is way too good on this course not to do well.  Hideki Matsuyama at $9,800 is another person that we scratch our heads over, one of the best from tee to green he dominated this event for four years finishing T-4th in 2014, runner-up in 2015, and then the winner in 2016 and ’17.  But got injured the next year and then had some awkward finishings of T-15th and T-16th.  Can he win yes, but he won’t as he is struggling with his old-time enemy the putter.  Daniel Berger is $9,600 is a person that many will discount this week, he has had mixed results including three top-11 finishes in the last four years.  But his game is prime for a win, he was 10th at Sentry T of C and T-7th at Sony.  Sungjae Im is $9,400 and again another good choice, gosh can’t remember the last time I said yes to so many front runners.  Im was T-7th in 2019, but what I like is that he has been close all year except for that one bad round.  Could change this week.  Now we come to a player I am saying no to and that’s Harris English at $9,300.  Yes, he was 3rd in 2016 but has struggled since and last week shot 79-71 in San Diego to have the week off.  Now on the other end of the spectrum, Ryan Palmer at $9,200 is a good pick.  Yes, he has struggled in this event but did finish T-2nd in 2015.  What I like is that he was 4th at Kapalua and T-2nd last week in San Diego.  Scottie Scheffler at $9,100 is also a no for me, he not only missed the cut last year in Phoenix but missed the cut at the American Express and Farmers.  Now Will Zalatoris at $9,000 could be the best pick of the lot, yes he has never played in this event before but like how consistent he has played on the PGA Tour in the last six months.  He isn’t getting any FedExCup points due to not being a member of the tour, but that’s going to change soon as he will win soon.  Last week he was T-7th in San Diego.

Here is our new feature in which we help you decide which guys make the cut the most in a tournament.  The importance of picking six players that play 72 holes is vital in playing well in Draftkings, and this list will help.  It’s a look going back to the 2010 WM Phoenix Open on who has made the most cuts.  Of course, those who make a lot of cuts and are priced low are very helpful.  To get on this list, you have to make at least three Phoenix starts.  One last thing, in all these years, each participant had to play three different golf courses, with four different amateurs, so the task was a lot harder:

  • Matt Kuchar made 7 cuts in 7 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,700.
  • Jon Rahm made 5 cuts in 5 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 11,200.
  • Byeong Hun An made 4 cuts in 4 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,300.
  • Grayson Murray made 4 cuts in 4 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,100.
  • Beau Hossler made 3 cuts in 3 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,300.
  • Brooks Koepka made 3 cuts in 3 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,800.
  • Mark Hubbard made 3 cuts in 3 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,600.
  • Xander Schauffele made 3 cuts in 3 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 11,000.
  • Bubba Watson made 10 cuts in 11 starts for a 90.9%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,500.
  • Billy Horschel made 7 cuts in 8 starts for a 87.5%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,400.
  • Brian Harman made 6 cuts in 7 starts for a 85.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,000.
  • Brian Stuard made 6 cuts in 7 starts for a 85.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,400.
  • Hideki Matsuyama made 6 cuts in 7 starts for a 85.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 9,800.
  • William McGirt made 6 cuts in 7 starts for a 85.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,000.
  • Zach Johnson made 6 cuts in 7 starts for a 85.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,400.
  • Adam Hadwin made 5 cuts in 6 starts for a 83.3%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,300.
  • Daniel Berger made 5 cuts in 6 starts for a 83.3%.  His DraftKings cost is 9,600.
  • Jimmy Walker made 5 cuts in 6 starts for a 83.3%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,100.
  • Charley Hoffman made 9 cuts in 11 starts for a 81.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,000.
  • J.B. Holmes made 9 cuts in 11 starts for a 81.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,400.
  • Martin Laird made 9 cuts in 11 starts for a 81.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,000.
  • Rickie Fowler made 9 cuts in 11 starts for a 81.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,600.
  • Brendan Steele made 8 cuts in 10 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,400.
  • Brian Gay made 8 cuts in 10 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,100.
  • Gary Woodland made 8 cuts in 10 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,300.
  • Emiliano Grillo made 4 cuts in 5 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,300.
  • Patton Kizzire made 4 cuts in 5 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,000.
  • Chris Kirk made 7 cuts in 9 starts for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,500.
  • Harris English made 7 cuts in 9 starts for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 9,300.
  • Hunter Mahan made 7 cuts in 9 starts for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,000.
  • Keegan Bradley made 7 cuts in 9 starts for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,900.
  • Webb Simpson made 7 cuts in 9 starts for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 10,100.
  • James Hahn made 6 cuts in 8 starts for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,800.
  • C.T. Pan made 3 cuts in 4 starts for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,500.
  • Carlos Ortiz made 3 cuts in 4 starts for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,800.

(The ones in bold are what I think is a great bargain)

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Bubba Watson at $8,500 is a good choice.  Yes, he missed the cut last week in San Diego because he got the worst part of the Friday weather, but I like how he plays well in this event, was runner-up in 2014 & ’15, T-4th in 2019, and T-3rd in 2020.  Also, he has a knack for coming out of the blue to win tournaments when people least expect him to.  Like Max Homa at $7,900 he was T-6th last year in Phoenix and has played consistently in 2021 was T-18th last week in San Diego.  Carlos Ortiz at $7,800 is also ago, he was T-25th last year in Phoenix and has played well since his win in Houston.  Last week he finished T-29th, he was in the final group but shot 78.  Matt Kuchar at $7,700 is a bit of a gamble.  He hasn’t played well in almost a year, but he has a great record in Phoenix, his last four starts he was T-9th in 2017, T-5th in 2018, T-4th in 2019, and T-16th last year.  Henrik Norlander at $7,500 is a smart pick yes he is playing for the first time in Phoenix, but his game has gotten better last couple of weeks, was T-12th at American Express and T-2nd at Farmers

What are the “Bargains” out there?

Our first bargain is Byeong Hun An at $7,300, has been very consistent in this event, was 6th in 2017 and T-9th in 2020.  In January was T-8th at the American Express and T-75th at Farmers.  Adam Long at $7,100 is someone to watch, he was T-8th last year in Phoenix and played ok in his only start in January at the American Express finishing 69th.  Have to like Martin Laird’s consistency in Phoenix as he is $7,000, in his last 11 starts only missed one cut, last year was T-55th but was T-9th in 2018 and T-7th in 2017.  Chez Reavie at $7,000 is a good buy, he may have missed the cut last year in Phoenix, but before that was T-4th in 2019 and runner-up in 2018.  Stewart Cink is now always a good pick and this week he is $6,800.  He makes a lot of cuts and has been steady in Phoenix and in 2021.  Usually, Padraig Harrington wouldn’t be one of our picks, but at $6,200 he comes from Dubai where he finished T-6th and has made the cut in his last seven starts, so he is a good low-price pick.  One last cheap pick for a person to make the cut is Jerry Kelly at $6,000.  He plays full time on the Champions Tour but switches over to the regular tour and does make a lot of cuts, he made the cut at the Sony, (the next week was 3rd at the Mitsubishi Hualaial), last year’s Workday, and Sony Open.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Waste Management Phoenix Open:

The key stat for the winner:
  • It used to be the player with the hot putter who dominated this tournament as between 1997 and 2007 all the champions except for one (2003 Vijay Singh) were in the top-nine in putting.  On the reverse, between 1997 and 2008 of the 12 champions only three were in the top-ten of greens hit.  Since 2008 of the 13 winners, Rickie Fowler broke the poor streak in 2019 when he ranked T-5th in putting, last year Webb Simpson was T-14th. Before that, the best was two players ranked 10th in putting as the winners ranked between 10th and 71st in putting.  But in that same period, all the champions were in the top-6 of greens hit (the worst was Kevin Stadler, who ranked 10th and Fowler who ranked T-13th) while five of the winners in those eight years led the stat (Matsuyama led in 2016 and was T-2nd in 2017).  A major change came about to the course in 2004 and then in 2005, so it just took a bit before hitting lot’s of greens took over.  Overall the TPC Scottsdale ranked 22nd of all the courses in 2019 in greens in regulation, so it’s essential to hit all of the greens.
  • Another key is to follow each one of our vital stats.  Each week brings on a different course with different conditions and different ways for players to embrace the course.  Probably because the WM Phoenix Open always gets excellent weather, you will see each of our key stats materialize over the course of a week’s play at this course and the event is becoming easier to judge who will play good and who will not.
Here are some more key stats to look for this week:
  • One useless stat:  The course is in the desert and in past years had the longest driving average.  In 2014 the average drive was 301.4, but in 2015 it went down to 288.5 probably because of the changes made to the course before the 2015 tournament.  Last year the course averaged 303.6 as it ranked 40th on the PGA Tour (only 6 other courses had higher driving average)  So common sense would be that the winners are big hitters, that isn’t the case.  Since 1997, only six of the last 23 champions have been in the top-ten of the weekly driving distance stat with eight of them out of the top-25.  In 2019 Rickie Fowler was 11th in driving distance while last year Webb Simpson was 44th  Still hitting it long really doesn’t help in winning this tournament.
  • 13 of the last 24 champions had had a Top-10 finish within three weeks before they won the championship, so look for someone that is playing well to win.  In 2009 Kenny Perry finished T6th at Kapalua just three weeks before the Phoenix Open, but Hunter Mahan was not playing well leading up to the 2010 event.  In 2011 Mark Wilson won just two weeks before the event at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and in 2012 Kyle Stanley lost a playoff the week before winning at Phoenix.  Unfortunately, that trend ended as the last three winners didn’t play well before winning.  In 2015 Brooks Koepka was playing his first event in six weeks, taking some time off, so the time off was perfect for him.  In 2016 Hideki Matsuyama finished 2nd in the SBS Tournament of Champions along with his four wins in the last three months.  In 2017 Matsuyama finished T-4th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions so look for a player that has done well.  In 2018 Gary Woodland was T-7th at the Sony Open in Hawaii and T-12th at the Farmers the week before Phoenix.  In 2019 Fowler didn’t play that much, but five weeks before he did finish T-5th at the Hero Challenge.  Last year Webb Simpson was 2nd in the RSM Classic and 3rd at the Sony Open his last starts before winning in Phoenix.
  • Players must hit lots of greens and make lots of birdies. In the last 24 years, the winners have averaged hitting 74.9% of the greens and averaged 22.35 birdies for the week.  Last year Webb Simpson hit 56 of 72 greens and made one eagle and 21 birdies.
  • One last important fact is that birdies have to be made on par 4s.  This is one of those events in which scoring is lower on the par 4s than the par 5s.  Since 1997, 15  of the 24 champions have done better, in 2015 Brooks Koepka played the par 5s in just 2 under par while he was 11 under on the par 4s.  In 2016 Hideki Matsuyama played the par 5s in 6 under while he was 9 under on the par 4s.  In 2018 Woodland was 8 under on the par 4s and 10 under on the par 5s.  In 2019 Rickie Fowler was 7 under on the par 5s but 9 under on the par 4s.  Last year Webb Simpson was 14 under on the par 4s and 3 under on the par 5s.
  • This week will see great weather as conditions couldn’t be any better in Scottsdale with every day being in the low-70s, no rain, and very little wind. 

Who to watch for at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Best Bets:

Xander Schauffele

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T16 T10 T17

Has played three times in Phoenix and his best finish was T-10th in 2019. Like that he was runner-up last week in San Diego after a rough start.

Jon Rahm

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T9 T10 T11 T16 T5

He should be used to his new club, in five Phoenix starts worst finish was T-16th, has three top-ten with his best coming in 2015, T-5th.

Will Zalatoris

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

Only a matter of time before he breaks through, playing for the first time but like how he has played of late, including a T-7th in San Diego.

Best of the rest:

Daniel Berger

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T9 CUT T11 T7 T58 T10

Don’t discount him this week, he has had mixed results including three top-11 finishes in the last four years. But his game is prime for a win, he was 10th at Sentry T of C and T-7th at Sony.

Webb Simpson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
Win T20 CUT 2 T14 10 T8 T8 CUT 65

Defending champion and is way too good on this course not to do well.

Ryan Palmer

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T60 CUT CUT T24 T2 T48 5 T55 CUT T14 T60

Yes he has struggled in this event but did finish T-2nd in 2015. What I like is that he was 4th at Kapalua and T-2nd last week in San Diego.

Sungjae Im

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T34 T7

Always seems to play well, was T-7th at Phoenix in 2019.

Bubba Watson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T3 T4 T40 CUT T14 T2 T2 15 T5 T29 T36 T25

He missed the cut last week in San Diego because he got the worst part of the Friday weather, but I like how he plays well in this event, was runner-up in 2014 & ’15, T-4th in 2019, and T-3rd in 2020. Also, he has a knack for coming out of the blue to win tournaments when people least expect him to.

Carlos Ortiz

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T25 T60 CUT T53

He was T-25th last year in Phoenix and has played well since his win in Houston. Last week he finished T-29th, he was in the final group but shot 78

Solid contenders

Rory McIlroy

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

If they could only rename Sunday Rory could have a few wins. Playing in his first Phoenix Open.

Hideki Matsuyama

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T16 T15 WD Win Win T2 T4

One of the best from tee to green he dominated this event for four years finishing T-4th in 2014, runner-up in 2015, and then the winner in 2016 and ’17. Got injured the next year and then had some awkward finishings of T-15th and T-16th. Can he win yes, but he won’t as he is struggling with his old-time enemy the putter.

Byeong Hun An

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T9 T20 T23 6

Very consistent in this event was 6th in 2017 and T-9th in 2020. In January was T-8th at the American Express and T-75th at Farmers.

Matt Kuchar

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T16 T4 T5 T9 T30 T33 T43 T6

He hasn’t played well in almost a year, but he has a great record in Phoenix, his last four starts he was T-9th in 2017, T-5th in 2018, T-4th in 2019, and T-16th last year.

 

Long shots that could come through:

Henrik Norlander

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

Playing for the first time in Phoenix, his game has gotten better last couple of weeks, was T-12th at American Express and T-2nd at Farmers.

Max Homa

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T6 T26

Was T-6th last year in Phoenix and has played consistently in 2021 was T-18th last week in San Diego.

Chez Reavie

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T4 2 CUT CUT CUT T45 T41 CUT CUT

He may have missed the cut last year in Phoenix, but before that was T-4th in 2019 and runner-up in 2018.

Just don’t think they are ready to play well yet:

Justin Thomas

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T3 3 T17 CUT CUT T17

Still not ready to play as he gets over what happened in Kapalua which cost him his Ralph Lauren sponsorship. Said to the media on Tuesday that his game is not perfect right now.

Brooks Koepka

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T42 T41 Win

Still working on a lot of things has missed the cut in his last three starts.

Rickie Fowler

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T37 Win T11 T4 2 T46 CUT CUT T26 T13 2 T58

Comes to the site of his last PGA Tour win, he is still searching for a game.

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