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Waste Management Golf Tourney Preview

   by Matt Fargo - 02/02/2011

Some changes have been made to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, played at TPC Scottsdale. The event used to be played the week of the Super Bowl but last year it moved out to the end of February however it is back in its normal spot this year. This is the second year for sponsor Waste Management and the goal remains to be “Greatest Show on Grass”. This is the most attended even on tour and the par three 16th hole rivals some of the best parties around.



Last year the field was littered with big names and the same can be said for the event this year. The top seven players on the money list are in action along with Dustin Johnson, who is 10th in earnings in 2011. Phil Mickelson is the lone player in the top ten of the OWGR but there are nine past Phoenix Open winners in the field as well as 18 Major Championship winners so all-in-all, it is a very strong gathering and one that has great potential for a big Sunday finish.



You might think this tournament is just another filler on the tour schedule but it is far from that. 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 76th anniversary and if history holds true, the course itself will turn into a small city with a population reaching 170,000 on Saturday and Sunday.



Hunter Mahan (+2000) brought home the trophy last year as he closed with a 65-65 weekend to win by one shot over Rickie Fowler. He comes into this week with good form, sort of. He finished T6 at Torrey Pines last week and was in contention until a Sunday 73 took him out of the race. I expect to see him to play like the first three rounds and not that final round hiccup.



Phil Mickelson (+800) is always the fan favorite here but he could not get it going last year enroute to a T24 finish. He has won here twice and lost in a playoff in 2008 so he has had success at TPC Scottsdale throughout the years. In his 2011 opening last week at the Farmers, he finished solo second so there is clearly no rust as Phil enters the new season. No value here though.



Dustin Johnson (+1200) is coming off a T3 at the Farmers last week which followed a T9 at the opening Hyundai. This is just his second appearance in Scottsdale as he missed the cut here in 2009 but he is clearly a different player now than he was then. He is going for three straight at the AT&T Pebble Beach next week so hopefully there is no lookahead. I expect full focus however.



Lost in the Farmers Insurance Open last weekend was the 63 carded in the final round by Nick Watney (+2000). It was the lowest round on Sunday by three shots as well as the low round of the tournament and it vaulted Watney into a T6 finish following three rounds in the 70’s. He has made the cut in five of six appearances at TPC Scottsdale including a T24 last year and a T12 in 2009.



As for a longshot, we will take a look at Brandt Snedeker (+4000). He missed the final day cut at the Hope two weeks ago but he looks to be back fully healthy and is coming off a T9 last week at Torrey Pines. He finished a disappointing T43 in Scottsdale last year and it was disappointing because he entered Sunday with the lead but a final round 78 cost him. #1 in putting last week.





Some changes have been made to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, played at TPC Scottsdale. The event used to be played the week of the Super Bowl but last year it moved out to the end of February however it is back in its normal spot this year. This is the second year for sponsor Waste Management and the goal remains to be “Greatest Show on Grass”. This is the most attended even on tour and the par three 16th hole rivals some of the best parties around.



Last year the field was littered with big names and the same can be said for the event this year. The top seven players on the money list are in action along with Dustin Johnson, who is 10th in earnings in 2011. Phil Mickelson is the lone player in the top ten of the OWGR but there are nine past Phoenix Open winners in the field as well as 18 Major Championship winners so all-in-all, it is a very strong gathering and one that has great potential for a big Sunday finish.



You might think this tournament is just another filler on the tour schedule but it is far from that. 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 76th anniversary and if history holds true, the course itself will turn into a small city with a population reaching 170,000 on Saturday and Sunday.



Hunter Mahan (+2000) brought home the trophy last year as he closed with a 65-65 weekend to win by one shot over Rickie Fowler. He comes into this week with good form, sort of. He finished T6 at Torrey Pines last week and was in contention until a Sunday 73 took him out of the race. I expect to see him to play like the first three rounds and not that final round hiccup.



Phil Mickelson (+800) is always the fan favorite here but he could not get it going last year enroute to a T24 finish. He has won here twice and lost in a playoff in 2008 so he has had success at TPC Scottsdale throughout the years. In his 2011 opening last week at the Farmers, he finished solo second so there is clearly no rust as Phil enters the new season. No value here though.



Dustin Johnson (+1200) is coming off a T3 at the Farmers last week which followed a T9 at the opening Hyundai. This is just his second appearance in Scottsdale as he missed the cut here in 2009 but he is clearly a different player now than he was then. He is going for three straight at the AT&T Pebble Beach next week so hopefully there is no lookahead. I expect full focus however.



Lost in the Farmers Insurance Open last weekend was the 63 carded in the final round by Nick Watney (+2000). It was the lowest round on Sunday by three shots as well as the low round of the tournament and it vaulted Watney into a T6 finish following three rounds in the 70’s. He has made the cut in five of six appearances at TPC Scottsdale including a T24 last year and a T12 in 2009.



As for a longshot, we will take a look at Brandt Snedeker (+4000). He missed the final day cut at the Hope two weeks ago but he looks to be back fully healthy and is coming off a T9 last week at Torrey Pines. He finished a disappointing T43 in Scottsdale last year and it was disappointing because he entered Sunday with the lead but a final round 78 cost him. #1 in putting last week.



Waste Management Phoenix Open Matchup Bets (All from sportsbook.com) – All for 2 Units



Charles Howell III -115 over Bubba Watson


Kevin Na -115 over Brian Gay


Chris Couch +115 over Jimmy Walker


Jeff Overton -120 over Lucas Glover


Hunter Mahan -115 over Anthony Kim



Tournament Win Bets



Dustin Johnson (+1200) 1 Unit


Hunter Mahan (+2000) 1 Unit


Nick Watney (+2000) 1 Unit


Brandt Snedeker (+4000) 1 Unit

Matchup Bets (All from sportsbook.com) – All for 2 Units




Charles Howell III -115 over Bubba Watson


Kevin Na -115 over Brian Gay


Chris Couch +115 over Jimmy Walker


Jeff Overton -120 over Lucas Glover


Hunter Mahan -115 over Anthony Kim



Tournament Win Bets



Dustin Johnson (+1200) 1 Unit


Hunter Mahan (+2000) 1 Unit


Nick Watney (+2000) 1 Unit


Brandt Snedeker (+4000) 1 Unit

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