Waste Management Phoenix Open Preview and Picks

Matt Fargo | Jan 29, 2013 | ARCHIVE

The Tour leaves California and heads to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, played at TPC Scottsdale. The event is back on Super Bowl weekend for the third straight year after a brief move to late February. This is the fourth year for sponsor Waste Management and the goal remains to be the "Greatest Show on Grass". This is the most attended event on tour and the par three 16th hole rivals some of the best parties around and it has become very popular among the players.

This event is older than the Masters and former winners include Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. And, of course, there was Tiger Woods’ famous hole-in-one in 1997, which drew an uproarious response as Tiger fist-pumped his way toward the green. This year marks the 78th anniversary and if history holds true, the course itself will turn into a small city with a population reaching 170,000 spectators on Saturday and Sunday.

Six of the top ten players on the money list are in action as well as six of the top ten in the FedEx Cup Standings. Only three players ranked in the OWGR top ten are playing, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson and Jason Dufner but there are nine past Phoenix Open winners in the field as well as 10 Major Championship winners. Other notables include Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler. All-in-all, it is a very strong gathering and one that has great potential for a big Sunday finish.

Kyle Stanley (+5,000) is the defending champion and what a story it was. After blowing a seven-shot lead the previous week at the Farmers Insurance Open, he found himself eight shots back heading into Sunday at TPC Scottsdale and was able to make it all up thanks to a 65. It helped that 54-hole leader Spencer Levin imploded with a 75 but Stanley's turnaround from the previous week was pretty special.

Rickie Fowler (+1,600) showed a lot of resiliency last week at Torrey Pines as he opened with a 77 on Thursday and fought back to go -13 the rest of the way to finish T6. That was his second T6 of the season after a similar finish as the opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He finished solo second in his debut at the Waste Management in 2010 and has had a T13 and a T26 the last two years.

The value may be thin but Phil Mickelson (+2,200) could be due for a breakout. He is the hometown favorite here and success has come with that as Mickelson has two wins here as well as a runner-up in a playoff and six additional top tens. He has not exactly started strong this year with a T37 and a T51 but playing for a third straight week could be very beneficial in getting his game in order.

We used Hunter Mahan (+2,500) last week and we will go back to him here. He was rather inconsistent at the Farmers Insurance Open but was good enough for a T15 which should provide confidence heading here. He won this event in 2010 by one shot over Fowler so he knows how to get around. He skipped last year after a T29 in 2011 which was a letdown after blowing it in Torrey Pines the previous week.

Bo Van Pelt (+3,500) had an outstanding season a year ago with 10 top tens and while this year has been average, it will get better for sure. He was -5 going into the final round at Torrey Pines but put up an 81 to finish a distant T78. He has had success at TPC Scottsdale as he finished T18 two years ago and backed it up with a T8 last year, just five off the lead. He is ready for his first win in over three years.

Josh Teater (+7,000) is not a household name and thus we are getting great odds with him here. The Tiger Woods win at the Farmers overshadowed everyone else and that included Teater who quietly tied for second place. He had a run of three straight top tens in July and August last year and closed with a T5 at Walt Disney. He opened this year with a T15 at the Sony so last week was no fluke.

Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Waste Management Phoenix Open - All for 1 Unit

Rickie Fowler (+1,600)
Phil Mickelson (+2,200)
Hunter Mahan (+2,500)
Bo Van Pelt (+3,500)
Josh Teater (+7,000)

2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 4 events: -11.5 Units

Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units