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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waste Management Phoenix Open - Final Thoughts

The research for the Waste Management Phoenix Open is complete. Now it's time to sit back and hopefully reap the rewards of a steady week. Before I get to the one-and-done and two-and-done picks this week, I have a quick housekeeping note.

My original Yahoo! starting linuep of Dufner, Watney, Mahan and Fowler will remain for the first round. Of those, only Watney has an afternoon tee time. I mentioned earlier that I didn't see the morning wave as having quite as big of an advantage this week due to chilly temps in the morning. If the first round proves otherwise, we are in position to still adjust for the second.

This week's two-and-done pick was an easy one for me. I'm taking Rickie Fowler. You may remember he was our one-and-done last week, and after finishing the first round in dead last he rebounded to finish tied for sixth. That's back-to-back T6's to start the year ahead of a venue where he owns a runner-up finish. You don't have to look too far back to see a streaky-good string of tournaments last year where he went T10, win, T2 and T5 in a four-week span. This week could be the peak of a nice run.

For my one-and done, I basically labored over Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner, Scott Piercy and Nick Watney.

I eliminated Dufner because there are too many other great options for him this year. He will contend for my attention at Colonial, HP Byron Nelson, New Orleans and the U.S. Open at Merion. I doubt he'll still be available for the PGA Championship, but that would be a thought as well. I love him this week, but I love him more in some of those.

Mahan's record in WGC's is great. I realize that he's a past champ at TPC Scottsdale, but ultimately I see myself burning him in a WGC....maybe Bridgestone.

Piercy missed the cut at the Farmers last week, but that really doesn't scare me given he had top 15s at the HTOC and Sony. It actually reminds me of 2009, when he had two top 20s ahead of this tournament and tied for sixth, with a missed cut at Torrey Pines the week following. (The tournament had a different spot in the lineup that year.) I almost pulled the trigger on him, but settled on Watney.

I almost held out Watney in favor of Piercy for some of the same reasons as Mahan. Watney is excellent at Doral (WGC-Cadillac Championship), but so are others including Matt Kuchar. He is also very good at Congressional. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he was my two-and-done both of those weeks. I just can't pass on a guy that's first two starts of the year were a T13 and a T4 on a course where he tied for fifth the last time he played (2011) the week after a T6 at the Farmers. I have to believe that he's got a real shot to win it this week.

I should also mention that I'm saving Snedeker for a likely major. Probably the Masters or U.S. Open.

There are still a few spots left in our BuzzDraft game, so hop in if you're feeling lucky.

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