Tides’ Takes – PGA Tournament Matchup Picks, Props & Outrights: 2023 Waste Management Phoenix Open
ScoresAndOdds analyst Timothy Buell gives free expert advice and betting picks for every PGA event.
For the purpose of this column, I will be focusing mostly on H2H matchups, outright tournament winners, and live bets!
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Congratulations to Justin Rose, who was able to achieve his first win since 2019. He made an equipment change before the event and it certainly paid off. Beau Hossler approached the top of the leaderboard, but unfortunately couldn’t quite get into contention for an outright winner.
Now, the Tour leaves California and heads to Arizona, where the best players in the world will take on TPC Scottsdale. This is far and away the most attended event on the circuit and the atmosphere is second to none.
There will be thousands of fans ready to cheer their favorite golfers, it is truly a spectacle. If you are a golf fan, then this is must-see TV. In terms of field strength, 22 of the top 25 players in the world will be at this elevated event, where first place will take home the $3.6 million dollar first place prize!
TPC Scottsdale is a par 71 that plays at 7,261 yards. Keep in mind, however, this course is played in the desert at an elevation, 1530 ft above sea level. In reality, the course plays significantly shorter than what it says on the scorecard. The greens are bermudagrass, but they are not true bermuda greens (overseeded bermuda), so I will not be weighing strong bermuda putters very heavily this week.
The last five winners are Scottie Scheffler (-16), Brooks Koepka (-19), Webb Simpson (-17), Rickie Fowler (-17), and Gary Woodland (-18). This list of winners makes a lot of sense to me, since this course requires strong tee-to-green play with a lean to strong drivers of the ball. The large fast greens can neutralize the putter. It won’t be a putting contest like many non-major events turn out to be.
Some of the key stats that I will be looking for this week are opportunities gained, good driving percentage and course history. Normally, I don’t look too much into course history, but there seems to be a good correlation with course history – not only at TPC Scottsdale, but with other TPC courses.
Waste Management Phoenix Open: Free Expert Picks
- Collin Morikawa (18-1 BetMGM)
This course is very much a true tee-to-green test and there might not be a better tee-to-green player than Morikawa. He absolutely choked at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but then he responded with a third-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. That is a very good response to a very embarrassing loss at his previous event.
His accuracy off the tee should be a benefit to him as well. The amount of desert that surrounds this course can be very problematic for those who lose their accuracy. I don’t think that will be an issue. The large greens will put a premium on strong iron play, which is his strong suit. If Morikawa can putt even neutral to the field, he should be in contention on Sunday.
- Hideki Matsuyama (35-1 DraftKings)
I am a little surprised I haven’t heard more talk about the possibilities of success for Hideki this week. There seems to be a consensus amongst very sharp golf bettors that course history is really going to matter this week, yet he seems to be getting forgotten about by the industry and the books.
Hideki WON this event in BOTH 2016 and 2017. You can make the argument that the strength of the field wasn’t as strong. While that is correct, it’s not like Hideki, a major champion, can’t win against the best competition. I think this number is a little too high for someone who has had such strong success at TPC Scottsdale.
- Jordan Spieth (40-1 BetMGM)
This is close to a major level field strength. At the very least, it’s equal to a WGC-level event, and there are players that have dropped too low because of it.
Spieth, sitting at or below 40-1, seems like a strong value, despite his awful play last week. I am willing to give him a pass on that, given his long-term success, especially in strong-field events. He has played this event six times and has three top-10s. I like that he has a strong course history. His price is too good to leave off the betting card this week.
Official Betting Card
- .5 units: Collin Morikawa (18-1 BetMGM)
- .5 units: Hideki Matsuyama (35-1 DraftKings)
- .5 units: Jordan Spieth (40-1 BetMGM)
- Total units in play this week: 1.5 units
- Season Total Results: -8.9 units