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Waste Management Open Preview
by Matt Fargo - 01/31/2014
After three straight runner ups to open the season, we look to get a first place finish this week. The Tour leaves California and heads to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, played at TPC Scottsdale. This is the fifth year for sponsor Waste Management and the goal remains to be the "Greatest Show on Grass". This is the most attended event on tour and the par three 16th hole rivals some of the best parties around and it has become very popular among the players.
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 79th anniversary and if history holds true, the course itself will turn into a small city with a population reaching 170,000 spectators on Saturday and Sunday.
Phil Mickelson (+1,200) is the favorite this week but his balky back is a major concern. The defending champion had to pull out of the Farmers last week because of the injury and while he plans on at least starting this week, who knows how far he can go and how well he can play even if he can go the distance. He matched the tournament record of 28-under 256 last year but there are much better options on the board.
Graham DeLaet (+2,000) graced this page many times last year and despite an outstanding year, he was unable to break through for his first tour win. Well, he is playing great again, coming off a T2 last week at Torrey Pines which came after a T7, T6 and T8 to close 2013. He has not made the cut here but he is a different player now.
Ryan Palmer (+3,000) was one of our picks two weeks ago at the Humana and he finished solo second. That came after a T8 at the Sony Open so he rolls into Arizona playing some outstanding golf. Last year at the Waste Management, he finished solo fifth which topped his previous best finish here, a T8 in 2010.
Billy Horschel (+3,000) is coming off a T25 last week at Torrey Pines, his second straight top 25 finish in 2014 and his fourth straight going back to the fall swing. The other three were all in the top six so he is playing very well right now. He has played in Phoenix only once but his debut last year resulted in a T11.
Matt Every (+4,000) is another player that is in solid form. He took last week off and is coming off a T13 at the Humana Challenge and a T8 at the Sony Open so we are hoping the rest strengthens him even more. He has made two starts in Phoenix and those resulted in a T9 last year and a T8 in 2010.
For a longshot, we will go with Brian Stuard (+5,000) but he is not playing like one. He finished T28 last week at the Farmers but was in the mix until Sunday. Prior to that, he had a solo fifth at the Humana Challenge, a solo sixth at the Sony Open and a solo second at Mayakoba. His first start here since 2010 but that is not a concern due to recent form.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Waste Management Phoenix Open - All for 1 Unit
Graham DeLaet (+2,000)
Ryan Palmer (+3,000)
Billy Horschel (+3,000)
Matt Every (+4,000)
Brian Stuard (+5,000)
2014 Record to date after 3 events: -15 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge -5 Units
Farmers Insurance Open -5 Units