Written by: Ian Robins
Review of Last Week:
Last weekend we saw the ups and downs of a golf tournament. What could have been a huge day for The Line Movers, turned into a minus tournament. Jordan Spieth had a 2 shot lead with 3 holes to play and struggled to finish, eventually giving way to Tom Hoge, who has been in tremendous form recently to claim his first ever PGA Tour title. Greyson Sigg, who was also in the mix for win, had a triple bogey 7 on his first hole, leaving him outside of the top 30, paired with a bad Sunday from Jason Day, and what could have been a multiple unit weekend, turned into a negative. We continue to see a trend of trong ball strikers in great form finding the putter and putting themselves in position to close and win. We move on to Phoenix this weekend to a very strong and competitive field.
No. 16 in the WM Phoenix Open (USA TODAY Sports)
As the tour moves to TPC Scottsdale, we finally find ourselves playing 4 rounds on the same course. This course is a desert course, Par 71, playing 7200 yards with a heavy emphasis on approach play and tee to green. We are looking for players with good history at the course, players who are excellent ball strikers, but a little less emphasis on putters and around the green play. These are very big bermuda greens, which allows for some easier work around the green. There will be an emphasis on hitting the fairway off the tee
The top tier is absolutely loaded for this tournament. Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Justin Thomas, and company all tee it off here. Rahm has never finished outside the top 20 at this tournament and has been absolutely playing elite. Hovland has won 3 of his last 5 tournaments worldwide, and Thomas comes in as one of the top ranked golfers in course history and fits in this field. I will look at these players as potential live players, however I will be backing Hideki MAtsuyama pre-tourney. Hideki won 2 tournaments recently, has been on fire on his form, and returns to a course he has won twice. Hard to overlook his recent greatness and I will jump on him here.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Three players stick out to me in the mid range here, Bubba Watson, Seamus Power, and Corey Conners. Watson is the wildcard of the group as he has not played much recently, but did have a second place finish after a stellar final round in Saudi Arabia last week. This is also one of Bubba’s favorite golf courses. When Bubba plays at a course he likes, he tends to do well. Power is one of the hottest players on tour and gets a price discount based on the field strength. He has been solid in every tournament in 2022, and we have seen how players who are in good form find their way to the top. His ability to make birdies will also show well on this course. Corey Conners is a little more risk reward play. His form has been up and down, but this course does fit his skill set. Conners is an elite T2G and Approach player and should benefit from the easier around the green play. If he can find his putter, he will be in good shape to close.
Two longshots stick out here. Aaron Wise and KH Lee. Wise has been tremendous since the new season has started and it has come from his ball striking. He has been in the mix and is capable of winning here. His price is right and we will hope he continues his rise to the next level of golfer. KH Lee is also a very improved player that saw his season progress here at the Waste Management last year finishing in 2nd. Lee excels on TPC courses and is also someone who has been playing well this season. Lee is someone I will be backing and playing in DFS.