Fantasy Golf Picks: 2017 Waste Management Open Sleepers, Starts & Preview
Waste Management Open
Defending Champ: Hideki Matsuyama
FNTSY Sports Network's Pat Mayo & Cam Stewart debate their Waste Management Open picks and the week in betting at this week's PGA Tour stop at TPC Scottsdale. Then, Dennis Esser hops on the line to discuss the projected most popular One and Done Picks of the week.
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Waste Management Open Field
132 Players | Top 70 & Ties Make the Cut
Yelling. Antics. Excessive boozing. The Waste Management Open embodies everything. This is what happens when you gather 200,000+ people in a dry (not in that way), hot space and give them the autotomy to scream as loud as they want. The PGA stop in Phoenix is the most attended event of the year, (618,365 people in 2016), with the showcase being the stadium-seating Par 3 16th hole; home of the, now-banned, , , , and the . Expect more booing this year too. I’ll be in attendance, and do I love to !!!!!!!!!! I’m also prone to starting the Atlanta Braves Chop (or whatever iteration you subscribe) wherever I go. So, if you hear THE CHOP at any point on Saturday, just know, that was all me, likely in a drunken haze.
You’d think traditional golf fans would have a massive problem with this, and they probably do, but the players don’t seem to give a shit. Every year, more and more of the world’s top players decide to make the Wasted Management one of their season stops. I’m guessing it’s because the average age on TOUR has gone way down. Somehow, giant STIFF Phil Mickelson figured this out decades ago. Apparently Enbrel Justin Thomas (8), Patrick Reed (9), Bubba Watson (12), Rickie Fowler (14), Russell Knox (18), Brooks Koepka (19), Matt Kuchar (21), Emiliano Grillo (27), Ryan Moore (28), and Louis Oosthuizen (29). That’s strong. And the second tier is pretty padded too. Add in JB Holmes , Zach Johnson, Byeong-Hun An, Gary Woodland, William McGirt, Daniel Berger, Scott Piercy, Shane Lowry, Kevin Na, Brendan Steele, Si WOO Kim, and Kevin Chappell to the mix, and you’re half way to a WGC event. And that doesn’t even include some of the hottest players of 2017. Tony Finau, Ollie Schniederjans and Adam Hadwin are all looking to keep the cash coming in on the West Coast Swing.. I’d like to give Phil credit for unearthing the best party in golf, but as an ASU guy, he just makes Phoenix one of his claimed 55 “home town” events. Normally, Phil would be one of the major draws at TPC Scottsdale, and while there will most certainly be a Phil contingent, the three-time Phoenix champion and world’s 20th ranked player will be joined by 12 others currently resting inside the Top 30: Hideki Matsuyama (5), Jordan Spieth (6),
We even get two of Twitter’s most beloved golfers,and, a now-healthy/post name change, , get to bask in the glory of the crowds. Old man Steve Stricker will make a cameo too.
Waste Management Open Key Stats
Waste Management Open Course
TPC Scottsdale | 7,266 Yards | Par 71
Despite a winning score that will hover around -15 (give or take), TPC Scottsdale generally hovers around the middle of PGA courses in terms of difficulty. Scoring can be fruitful if you’re piling up greens in regulation, but acan derail your entire day. It happens. Desert surrounds the short grass, and the gallery will only remove “ ” for only the greatest golfers, so there’s enough trouble to quell scoring at any given moment.
Even as a Par 71, bombers will have the advantage. Although there is one fewer Par 5 to take advantage of, the reachable risk/reward 332 yard 17th is in play for the deepest hitters. Essentially, you’re looking for deep hitters and quality ball strikers who gain most of their strokes on approach shots in favor of off the tee and around the green. Putting will separate the pack, but the slower Bermudagrass greens will help neutralize the difficulty for those with inferior flat sticks. If you’re going to side with a shorter hitter this week, place an emphasis on Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green and hope they end up inside the Top 20 for the event in putting. Since putting has the most variance hole-to-hole, the safer bet is to load up on the deeper drivers and birdie makers.
Waste Management Open Picks (Yahoo! Game)
Brendan Steele & Shane Lowry - Sometimes you get a perfect confluence of recent form, statistical alignment, and course history. This week, it’s Steele. Already a winner in during the swing season, Steele has worked his way up to No. 55 in the world rankings with seven straight made cuts and Top 20 finishes in each of his last three starts. He’s never missed a cut in Phoenix, and has churned out a Top 30 performance, with three Top 10s each of the last five seasons. Checking in on the key stats, he’s in the upper crust of the field in Strokes Gained Approach (20th), SG: T2G (16th), GIR (9th), Par 4 Scoring Average (13th), and Scrambling (1st). When things line up this perfectly the player usually disappoints. Let’s hope that’s not the case with Steele… Despite a lackluster T33 last week in San Diego, Lowry had no issues making birdies; he finished eighth in the field with 18. It was those bogeys that proved to be the problem. While not simple, TPC Scottsdale is significantly easier than Torrey Pines, so I’m going to choose to focus on the birdie-making over those pesky miscues. Hopefully the Irishman can come close to matching his T6 at this venue last year.
Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth & Bubba Watson – Hideki, the reigning champ, has an average finish of 2.6 in three career starts in this event. I’ll take it… While I’m rarely a Phil supporter, there are few places where he’s experienced so much success. 2017 will mark his 28th start in Scottsdale, playing every year since 1990. In those appearances, Phil has won three times (1996, 2005, 2013), posted ten Top 10s, made six of his last seven cuts, and owns the course scoring record, shooting -11 twice: Round One in 2013 and Round Two in 2005. Phil would be an easy fade if he was coming in without any form, but that’s just not the case. Hefty notched a T21 at Careerbuilder two weeks ago and led the field in birdies at the Farmers en route to a T14…This spot would have been reserved for Charles Howell III, but his late withdrawal opens up a spot for Spieth. In two starts this calendar year, Spieth has a pair of third place finishes. He’s very very close… Hopefully people lose track of Bubba among the younger, hotter names. I won’t. Bubba hasn’t finished worse than T15 in any of the past five years, with three Top 5s and a pair of runner-ups. Most people in this group will gravitate towards Justin Thomas, justifiably so, but the skill and history match for Bubba and this course is undeniable.
Jon Rahm & JB Holmes - Last week, I proclaimed I’d be ALL IN on Rahm for Phoenix. So, of course, he’d have to win at Torrey Pines, and get the entire world on him too. Meh. I don’t care that he won, he’s in line to do it again in Phoenix. Like Phil, Rahm’s a Sun Devil, who actually had success at the venue as an amateur in 2015 (T5). Sometimes there’s a worry that a player won’t be able to carry momentum forward after a win, however that’s reserved for lesser players. Rahm is ascending into the elite and he’s going to keep it going… A two-time winner at the Waste Management Open, JB closed out the Farmers with a bogey-free 68. Exactly the form I want to see entering one of his favorite PGA stops. One of the leaders in driving distance and Par 4 birdies or better, JB is flying under the radar with so many big names in the field. He makes an excellent pivot off of Brooks Koepka andTony Finau, who will be popular in this grouping
The Pat Mayo Hour covers the entire scope of the Fantasy sports landscape from Football to Reality TV, daily and yearly leagues and everything in between. You can watch the Pat Mayo Hour every weekday at 3:00pm EST, 8:00pm EST and Midnight on the FNTSY Sports Network Television channel or on your Apple TV, Xbox, Roku or Amazon Fire Stick. If you have a Fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at PatMayoHour@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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