This week, the Tour heads to the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. This event usually provides plenty of dramatics and oftentimes a playoff. The way the back nine is set up, we tend to see a lot of leaderboard shifting on Sunday (kind of similar to Augusta). The best predictors of success at this event are driving distance and approach game with mid to short irons. Bombers can attack the reachable par fives and have short wedges into some of the par fours. The other way to succeed here is to dominate with mid to short irons (think Hideki Matsuyama). This allows a player to have a lot of makeable birdie putts on greens that are not overly difficult to putt on. Let’s dig into some players this week for DraftKings and One-and-Done leagues:
This week’s pricing on DraftKings is very good as there are not many obvious value plays. That should lead to ownership being spread out as opposed to most weeks where we see a few players highly owned. Here are two players to consider this week:
Bubba Watson $8,900
This is one of the courses on Tour that Bubba has had a lot of success at. From 2012 to 2016, he never finished worse than 15th and recorded three top-5 finishes. Now that Bubba is back and healthy and has the correct golf ball in play, I expect Bubba to return back to form at this event. Bubba has struggled in his two starts this year primarily due to bad putting (he lost 13 strokes putting combined in 6 rounds at Sentry and Sony). If he putts just average this week, he should contend.
Martin Laird $7,600
Laird has shown glimpses of really good play in his last two events. He now heads home to Arizona, where he has a stellar record. In the last four years, he has recorded three top-10 finishes. He is a good alternate option if you are looking to pivot off of Grillo or Gooch, who are similarly priced and most likely higher-owned.
Matsuyama is the clear choice this week. Prior to last year’s WD, he finished 1st, 1st, 2nd and 4th in his four appearances. Matsuyama played great last week at Torrey Pines, finishing 3rd.
Mickelson loves playing in Arizona and will have the crowd behind him after playing collegiately at ASU. Mickelson started the year off great, finishing 2nd at the Desert Classic. In the last 6 years, he has four top-16 finishes here, including a win in 2013. Phil took last week off for rest before the grueling compact schedule, so he should be rested and ready to contend this week.