Who to back at the Phoenix Open
Waste Management Phoenix Open betting: Steve’s top tips
You don’t see too many three-timers on the PGA.
Steve Stricker memorably did it at the John Deere Classic and Tiger Woods managed four wins in a row at Torrey Pines. That’s the carrot for Hideki Matsuyama (10/1) as he returns to his favourite stamping ground.
The Japanese was tied 12th last week, 4th at the Tournament of Champions and 5th at the Hero World Challenge.
So, although he’s joint favourite, I was surprised to see him at those odds given his absolute love of TPC Scottsdale.
Matsuyama has played here four times and finished 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st.
People who follow me will know I’m very keen on horses for courses and, on that basis, Hideki has to be on the list.
For similar reasons, it would be foolish not to cast your gaze towards Rickie Fowler (14/1). I still have my concerns that he doesn’t win more but Phoenix form figures of 4th and 2nd in the last two years, he is hard to ignore.
I’m not too concerned about his missed cut at Torrey Pines and would prefer to focus on his Hero win and T4 at the Tournament of Champions.
Daniel Berger (40/1) has the potential to be a huge star on the PGA Tour. With two victories already to his credit, the American has played well at Phoenix in his limited appearances – finishing 7th, 58th and 10th.
He hasn’t been seen since the Sony Open but was T14 there. He could defy his odds this week.
Waste Management Phoenix Open betting: Steve’s each-way bets
Ryan Palmer (70/1) had a fantastic week at Torrey Pines – just missing out in the play-off.
Given that his health issues and his wife’s battle with cancer have obviously preoccupied him, that result seemed significant.
The price on him this week really stands out, particularly since Palmer has put together a consistent body of work here. He missed the cut last year but has also finished 2nd, 5th and 14th over the past decade.
I was impressed with his grit at Torrey Pines and think he could have another strong week in Arizona.
Harris English (66/1) finished 3rd in Phoenix in 2016 and posted another top 10 in 2014.
He seems to put in a good show every other year – if that isn’t a simple coincidence – and, you’ve guessed it, this is his year to do well.
But seriously, English has put together some relatively decent recent form. Tied 8th last week, he was also just outside the top 10 at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
On a course where he has performed nicely in the past, it’s not that much of a stretch to think he’s better value than 66s.
Webb Simpson (45/1) is also worth a second look. He lost out in the play-off to Matsuyama 12 months ago but that performance was by no means a Phoenix fluke.
He’s also finished 14th, 10th, 8th and 8th and was tied 4th at the Sony Open earlier this month.
Brendan Steele (66/1) defended his Safeway Open title as the PGA Tour’s wrap-around season got underway. Phoenix Open finishes of 16th, 17th, 26th, 6th, 6th and 5th may also grab your attention.