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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Waste Management Phoenix Open - Preview

Tiger Woods returns to action on the PGA TOUR at this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open, and here is a preview to get you off and running with your research.

It would be a mistake to go any further in this preview without mentioning that TPC Scottsdale went through a renovation following last year's edition. While that doesn't throw course history completely out the window, it would allow for pause if you were considering someone solely off past results. To read the details of the renovation, I encourage you to go to http://www.tpc.com/scottsdale-stadium-course-renovation.

TPC Scottsdale is a par-71 layout, stretching out to 7,266 yards on the scorecard. In addition to three par 5s, all measuring between 550 and 560 yards, there is also the par-4 17th that can be reached off the tee by the longest players. The par 3s are all of moderate length by PGA TOUR standards.

We can't completely ignore course history.The lessons learned from the winners and runners-up still carry enormous value, so here they are dating back to 2005.

  • 2005 - Winner: Phil Mickelson (17-under 267) over Scott McCarron and Kevin Na (272)
  • 2006 - Winner: J.B. Holmes (263) over J.J. Henry,Steve Lowery, Ryan Palmer,Scott Verplank andCamilo Villegas (270) 
  • 2007 - Winner: Aaron Baddeley (263) over John Rollins (264)
  • 2008 - Winner: J.B. Holmes (270) over Phil Mickelson in a playoff
  • 2009 - Winner: Kenny Perry (270) over Charley Hoffman in a playoff
  • 2010 - Winner: Hunter Mahan (268) over Rickie Fowler (269)
  • 2011 - Winner: Mark Wilson (266) over Jason Dufner in a playoff
  • 2012 - Winner: Kyle Stanley (269) over Ben Crane (270)
  • 2013 - Winner: Phil Mickelson (256) over Brandt Snedeker (260)
  • 2014 - Winner: Kevin Stadler (268) over Graham DeLaet and Bubba Watson (269)
So what stands out from that cast of characters? The first thing that jumps off the page is that Kevin Stadler and Kyle Stanley won two out of the last three. It can't be overstated that they are two of the worst putters on the PGA TOUR. That points to the fact that this course can be overpowered and solid ball-striking can trump great putting. J.B. Holmes, Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry, Charley Hoffman, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Graham DeLaet and Bubba Watson are all guys that can bomb the ball. 

With numbers typically going pretty deep, Par Breakers should matter. It also feels like current form will come into play this week. Justin Thomas just tweeted that he received a sponsor exemption into the event, and he sounds like a pretty good fit based on form / length / birdies.

We will put together our weekly power ranking and additional fantasy info and have it posted no later than Tuesday. 

Until then, happy research!


  1. Congrats on the Haas pick last week and Thomas was a solid backup play as well.

    I went with Haas in one OAD and Simpson in another so I made out alright.