PGA golf tips at $46 and $176: The Phoenix Open preview

Phoenix Open
Phoenix Open

The PHOENIX OPEN is always a great spectacle – made even more of an event Stateside by the fact that it coincides with SuperBowl weekend.

But as far as we’re concerned this week, it’s yards on the fairways and not the football field which matter!

Phoenix Open: The Tournament

This event dates right back to the early days of the PGA (first held in 1932) and is one of the most hotly contested early season tournaments on the schedule, nicknamed “The Greatest Show on Grass”. Originally known as the Phoenix Open – being played in Scottsdale, just outside Phoenix, in Arizona – it currently goes by not the most attractive of names, the Waste Management Phoenix Open or WM Phoenix Open. But it’s a firm favourite with the fans… with over half a million spectators turning up each year to watch the action! The players love it too, and there’s another quality field assembled in the desert for this year’s renewal.

Prize money $8.2m ($1.3m to the winner)

Field 132

72-Hole Record
256: Mark Calcavecchia (2001), Phil Mickelson (2013)

18-Hole Record
60, Grant Waite (1996), Mark Calcavecchia (2001), Phil Mickelson (2005 & 2013).

Course winners taking part Kyle Stanley, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson.

Highest-ranked OWGR players in field: Jon Rahm (1), Viktor Hovland (3), Patrick Cantlay (4), Justin Thomas (7), Xander Schauffele (8), Hideki Matsuyama (10).

2021 result
-23 Brooks Koepka ($41)
-22 Kyoung-Hoon Lee ($301)
-22 Xander Schauffele ($12)
-21 Carlos Ortiz ($81)
-21 Steve Stricker ($301)
-21 Jordan Spieth ($101)

Phoenix Open: The Course

It’s the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. It’s a 7,266 yard course, a par 71, created out in the Arizona desert by designers Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish (it has subsequently received an upgrade in 2015 – mainly to add extra yardage to several holes). The most famous of which is the par 3 16th, a spectacular fully-enclosed short hole that can make or break a player’s round. Scoring is generally good, given the conditions, with the winner needing around 15-under-par, or better, to lift the trophy.

Phoenix Open: The Weather

A clear, dry week is forecast with a daily precipitation forecast of 0%-0%-0%-0% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will be in the high-70s, with no cloud cover during the week. Maximum wind speeds will be highest at the weekend, reaching 10-12mph.

Phoenix Open: Value Bets

These are two value bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.

Russell Henley $46 with TopSport

Henley is a player one level down from the tour elite, but he’s still a very capable and gifted player. He has three PGA Tour titles to his name, and is three times a runner-up, from just 231 starts (34 Tops 10s as well). Henley has a great tee-to-green game, ideal for this week’s course set-up, and very much like Burns, just needs a good week on the greens to compete. Already 2nd in the Sony Open this year, his game is clearly in good shape, and Henley for me is a decent price to record another high finish.

Matt Wallace $176 with TopSport

Wallace is one of the growing number of European Tour players trying to cement their place on the PGA Tour, but so far a career defining first win in the States has eluded him. But what we know from his time in Europe, Wallace is a fine player, a proven winner, and with a college background in the US, has no problem at all with conditions on the other side of the water. In fact, his super-confident personality is tailor-made for the type of test he faces this week. So despite no wins in 51 starts on the tour, Wallace has 6 Top 10’s and three times has made the Top 3 – it’s only a matter of time. An interesting bet for me at a big price.

The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020…

Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, John Catlin $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21