The Waste Management Phoenix Open returns to TPC Scottsdale for the week of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. As the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs prepare to battle for the Lombardi Trophy, Rickie Fowler is back to defend his crown in Scottsdale, AZ. He’ll be competing against a star-studded field highlighted by Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas. They enter the week ranked third and fourth, respectively, by the Official World Golf Ranking. Below, we’ll make our betting picks to win the 2020 Waste Management Open based on the outright odds and prop bets at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. He finished one shot behind winner Marc Leishman, who we mentioned here last week. Fowler, who missed the cut last week, must also fend off recent champions in Gary Woodland and two-time winner Hideki Matsuyama. As usual, Sunday’s fourth round will take us right up to kickoff of the Super Bowl. A betting win at the Waste Management can be a great start to your Super Sunday.
The course: TPC Scottsdale
The marquee attraction of the course designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish is undeniably the par-3 par 16th. The 163-yard “Coliseum” is the shortest of the four par 3s, which range from 163 to 215 yards. The three par 5s are all between 550 and 560 yards; the par 4s range from 332 to 490 yards.
All three par 5s played well below par last year, with the 558-yard 13th ranking as the easiest with a scoring average of 4.516. There were 20 eagles and 196 birdies carded there, against just 31 bogeys, two doubles and one ‘other.’ The most difficult hole was No. 14, the 490-yard par 4, with a scoring average of 4.237. It saw just 27 birdies all week against 105 bogeys, five doubles, and three ‘others.’
TPC Scottsdale features Bermuda greens, which will be a welcome relief for many of those in the field who played the Poa Annua putting surfaces of Torrey Pines last week.
Key stats to consider for the Waste Management Open
Like Torrey Pines, TPC Scottsdale tends to bring out many of the world’s best. Last year’s Waste Management Open ranked just three tournaments below the Farmers Insurance Open by Strenght of Field (427 vs. 479). All but one of the last 10 champions (Matsuyama in 2016) finished minus-15 or below. Additionally, Fowler’s two-stroke win over Branden Grace last year was the largest winning margin since Phil Mickelson‘s four-stroke win in 2013 when he tied the tournament record of 28-under par. The three previous runnings of the tournament had all gone to a playoff.
With scoring chances readily available throughout much of the course, we’re instead looking at Bogeys Avoided as one of our key stats this week. Based on historical tournament data from Fantasy National over the last three years, we’re also looking at Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, Good Drives Gained and Scrambling Gained. My model is set to the most recent 24 rounds for each member of the field on courses with Bermuda greens.
Waste Management Open betting picks: Sleepers and value bets
Outright: J.B. Holmes +11000
Holmes is a two-time winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. While those victories came in 2006 and 2008, he recorded his fifth career PGA Tour win at last year’s Genesis Open, and he’s preparing for his 2020 defense in two weeks. He endured a miserable stretch of play following last year’s victory, missing the cut or withdrawing from 10 of his next 18 events, before finishing last in the 30-man field at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The veteran Tour pro finally resurfaced last week, however, finishing in a tie for 16th. He struggled to weekend rounds of 71-73 to slip out of the top 10, but he could finally string together four good rounds at a course he once dominated. He won by seven strokes while finishing 21-under par in his 2006 victory. Holmes can also be backed at +1800 for a Top 5 if the outright bet feels a little too bold.
Outright: Viktor Hovland +5500
The 22-year-old Norwegian climbed another two spots up the OWGR with a T-23 finish in the star-studded Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour. He’ll switch from one desert to another in Scottsdale.
Hovland started his 2019-20 PGA Tour season with a T-10 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier before a T-11 at the Euro Tour’s marquee BMW PGA Championship. He surprisingly missed the cut in his most recent PGA Tour event at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. He’s ranked 11th by the stat model with his strengths in ball striking and Good Drives Gained. He still needs a victory in order to qualify for the Masters, so he’s well worth backing while under the added motivation.
Leader after Round 1: Scottie Scheffler +5000
Scheffler is +5500 to win the tournament. His lower first-round leader odds are reflective of the fact he ranks third on the PGA Tour in first-round scoring this season at 67.44 through nine measured rounds. He trails only Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau. Those two have totaled just five measured first rounds on the 2020 season.
The 53rd-ranked golfer in the world missed the cut last week for his first of the season. It followed a solo third at The American Express and T-5 at The RSM Classic. He’s worth another look with the extra rest heading into his first round.
Waste Management Open betting picks: Our winner
Byeong Hun An +9000
An ranks fourth in this field in strokes gained per round at TPC Scottsdale among those with a minimum of five rounds played, according to Data Golf. He finished sixth in 2017, T-23 in 2018 and T-20 last year. He rebounded from a missed cut at The American Express to tie for 68th last week.
Ranked 49th in the world, An leads this week’s stat model. He’s the best in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green, third in SG: Ball Striking, sixth in Bogey Avoidance and ninth in SG: Scrambling. Pairing his current form with strong course history, he’s a strong bet at 90-1 odds.
This article was originally published on Monday. Odds subject to change.