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Monday, January 27, 2014

Waste Management Phoenix Open - Power Rankings

With the Farmers Insurance Open mercifully behind us, let's dive into the Waste Management Phoenix Open power rankings.

As I mentioned last week in the Wednesday one-and-done post, several of the posts this week will be written ahead of time and set to post in their normal time slot due to travel. This post is actually being written Saturday night. If there are any big changes, I will post an update at the bottom of this post.

The usual metrics of course history, form and statistical significance have been weighed. 

Before the power rankings, I want to point out three players in the field at the time I'm writing this. Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker and J.B. Holmes. 
  • Mickelson is the defending champion and a three-time winner of this event, but his back injury and subsequent withdrawl after making the cut at Torrey Pines is a reason to be concerned. In terms of fantasy value this week, he has much less than normal.
  • Snedeker raised plenty of eyebrows with his 77 on Torrey Pines North last week, but bounced back with a 72 on the South course, still missing the cut by a mile. That 77 has me spooked. There are too many places gamers can plug him in going forward to where sitting him out this week to monitor his form seems like a good idea. Essentially, hitting the pause button for a week.
  • J.B. Holmes is a two-time winner here and sits T27 in the Farmers Insurance Open headed into the final round. The Farmers was his first action in quite some time.

Now for the rankings:
  1. Ryan Palmer - Finished eight at the Sony Open and second at the Humana Challenge Add to that, he's five for seven at the WMPO including a pair of top-five finishes.
  2. Gary Woodland - As I write this, he's leading the Farmers Insurance Open by a stroke through 54 holes. A recent trend suggests that runner-up finishers at the Farmers fare well at the WMPO. He's 4/4 here with a T5 in 2011. He certainly has the power to take advantage of the par 5s at TPC Scottsdale. 
  3. Webb Simpson - As mentioned in the preview, class is rewarded a little better here than it was in the Humana Challenge. All systems are still a go with Simpson.
  4. Matt Every - A dangerous player, he's finished inside the top 15 in his last two starts, while also owning top 10s in both of his starts in this event.
  5. Bill Haas - A T6 at the Humana Challenge and a decent week (through 54 holes) at the Farmers Insurance Open, coupled with a couple of top 10s and a T6 at TPC Scottsdale last year make him too good to pass up.
  6. Kevin Na - It scares me to rank him this high, but I can't avoid it. He's finished inside the top five here on four occasions, and his T8 at the Sony Open suggests his form is fine.
  7. Billy Horschel - I was loving him before his third-round 77 at the Farmers, but the U.S. Open conditions that prevailed that day won't be anything like TPC Scottsdale. Let's just hope he isn't too scarred. Tied for 11th here last year.
  8. Ryan Moore - A good desert player and a guy with sold form (10th at HTOC) and course history (4th last year) really designate him as a great value here.
  9. Harris English - Everyone knows he's a hot commodity right now. His two starts in this event yielded a T15 in '12 and a T57 last year.
  10. Chris Kirk - Much like English, Kirk is streaking in here off a runner-up at Sony. He's 2/3 here, with a T24 last year serving as the best.
  11. Brian Stuard - I've held him out of here long enough, I just hope I'm not jumping on the bandwagon too late. He was T13 through 54 at the Farmers, which was much better than I ever envisioned. His only start here resulted in a T70, but that was in 2010 when he was a totally different player.
  12. Charley Hoffman - A streaky player, this is the right type of course for him when he gets hot as evident by his runner-up in 2009. He's also had some misses here.
Next 5: Keegan Bradley, Nicolas Colsaerts, Charles Howell III, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson

I'll return tomorrow with a real-time update for the Yahoo! format. My Golf Channel picks will be in the weekly Rotoworld article. 

Best of luck to all!


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