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Waste Management Phoenix Open Preview

What: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Where: TPC Scottsdale – Stadium Course, Scottsdale, Arizona – Par 71
When: February 1st-4th
Defending Champion: Hideki Matsuyama
FedEx Cup Points and Purse: 550 Points and $6,900,000

For the third straight week, we were treated to some playoff golf! This time it was Jason Day and Alex Noren battling it out, where Day came out on top in the sixth playoff hole after Noren found the water going for the green on the 18th hole. It was Day’s first win since 2016, and it comes as a shocking development, as he almost didn’t play in this event due to some back issues.

Popular pick Jon Rahm was in a prime position to make a run on Saturday, but he closed out his weekend with a 75-77 that dropped him far out of contention.

Last week’s picks and results:

Top Picks

Rahm: T29
Rose: T8
Leishman: T8

Second Tier

Fowler: CUT
Day: WIN
Matsuyama: T12

Third Tier

Finau: T6
Woodland: T12
Harman: CUT


Molinari: T45
Cantlay: T51
Howell III: T6

This week we have the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where we head to TPC Scottsdale. In last year’s event, Hideki Matsuyama took the crown in a fourth playoff hole over Webb Simpson. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas get back into the field this week, too. TPC Scottsdale favors big ball-strikers, and strokes gained: tee to green will be a big factor this week.

Top Picks

Hideki Matsuyama: A two-time winner here, Matsuyama is looking for the three-peat this week at Phoenix. He also holds another two top-4s to go along with those wins. This course was built for him.

Jon Rahm: As mentioned, Rahm had a big drop-off last weekend, but the fiery youngster (who is also an Arizona State Sun Devils Alum) is still one of the hottest golfers in the world right now, with two victories and a second-place finish in his last four appearances. He posted a T5 here in 2015 when he was still an amateur.

Jordan Spieth: Ranking sixth place currently in strokes gained: tee to green, Spieth also leads the TOUR in greens in regulation. He had a T9 here last year, among two top-10s. Spieth is still arguably the best golfer in the world, and he looks to use this event to get back into the swing of things heading into late-winter.

Second Tier

Rickie Fowler: TPC Scottsdale really plays well into Fowler’s game. A missed cut last week was definitely a fluke; he placed second here in 2010 and 2016, while recording a T4 last year. In five additional appearances here, Fowler has missed the cut three times and placed T46, T13, and T26 in the others. Fowler ranks 2nd in scrambling and 17th in putting average.

Webb Simpson: Simpson has four all-time top-10 finishes here in Arizona, with a second place finish last year in his playoff loss to Hideki. He hasn’t finished worse than outside of the top 40 since he finished T75 last September at the Dell Technologies Championship. He’s 5-for-5 in cuts so far this season, with three top-25s and a top-10.

Justin Thomas: Thomas’ worst finish this season is a T22, but he has also missed back-to-back cuts at this tournament. You can technically fill your lineup with enough studs to leave Thomas out, but if you can find him at a discount anywhere, definitely throw him in.

Third Tier

Zach Johnson: Johnson has six straight top-25s this season already, where he has placed no worse than T14 since the 2015 season. He ranks 20th in strokes gained: tee to green, 11th in strokes gained: approach the green, 20th in scrambling, 9th in putting average, and a very nice 3rd in scoring average.

Phil Mickelson: Mickelson has three wins and seven top-10s here, including no worse than T16 since 2015. Phil has a great chance to complete his game even more this week with improved driver play. He’s essentially a lock for a top-15 finish if you want to add a security blanket.

Marc Leishman: Still a trendy pick on TOUR lately, Leishman has garnered the trust of fantasy players everywhere, proving his strong play last year was no fluke. Around the world, he has top-8 finishes six times in nine starts. Last year at TPC Scottsdale, he finished T24.


Robert Garrigus: A very long hitter, Garrigus recorded a 66 here in his opening round, but he ultimately finished T36. He’s coming off an under-the-radar T8 at the Farmer’s last week, where he was second in scrambling. He also finished T11 in greens in regulation last week, a category he usually thrives in.

Byeong Hun An: His last appearance in Dubai saw him finish T6, and he actually has three top-8s at this course. Finished T6 last year.

Alex Noren: Maybe not exactly a sleeper after that playoff performance against Jason Day, but Noren’s price should still be reasonable. Noren ranks a fantastic second place on TOUR in strokes gained: tee to green.

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