The Waste Management Phoenix Open has become one of the fan favorites on the PGA schedule as the tournament is known for its rowdy and loud crowds. Some players hate it while some embrace the spirit and energy most often associated with the infield of a NASCAR race.
“It’s going to be pretty wild,” Justin Thomas said of Phoenix’s infamous hole No. 16 nicknamed the Colosseum. “It seems like every year it gets crazier and crazier. But it’s so hard to control your adrenaline, you have so many juices pumping and you’re kind of like hands are tingling and it’s a little shaky. It’s just, it’s a great atmosphere.”
SPEND TIME AT THE FAMOUS 16TH HOLE | WASTE MANAGEMENT OPEN
Rickie Fowler is the defending champ but comes into the event after missing the cut last week. It was a strange outing for Fowler and the result is a +1600 heading into the opening round at Phoenix.
Jon Rahm comes in as the favorite at +600 following an uncharacteristic finish to last week's Farmers Open. Rahm was the favorite heading into the event and looked to be the winner heading into Sunday play before Leishman took advantage of Rahm’s slow start and missed shots.
Leishman is not in the field this week and it’s hard to see Rahm having another bad outing… if you can call finishing second one stroke back a bad outing.
Rahm played college golf down the road at Tempe, and plays well at Scottsdale. He has finished under par in the last 20 rounds at TPC Scottsdale and finished in the top-ten in his last three TOUR starts.
I’m starting to heat up with my PGA betting picks, and it’s early in the season. Last week at the Farmers, out of the 7 golfers I liked, 4 of them finished in the Top 10, with Jon Rahm finishing 2nd, Brandt Snedeker and Rory T3 and Tiger T9.
Justin Thomas +800
I like Justin Thomas to make a strong run this weekend at Phoenix.
Thomas comes in at +800 and he has a solid record at TPC Scottsdale, but has never been able to pull out a win.
That could change as Thomas has already notched three wins this season, with one being the Presidents Cup. He carded a victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions but followed that effort up with a missed cut at Sony Open in Hawaii.
Thomas returns this week for Phoenix now leading in FEDEX points and being ranked No. 4 on the OWGR list.
Hideki Matsuyama +1600
Hideki Matsuyama has won this event twice going back to back in 2016 and 2017. Plus, he almost won in 2015 but carded a T2, one stroke behind Brooks Koepka.
Matsuyama comes in at +1600 after a disappointing finish last week at the Farmers Open. He was well off the pace at the end with a T45. His season to date, on the new 2019/2020 schedule, includes eight events with three strong top-ten finishes and one missed cut.
His past performance at Phoenix is worth consideration as he’s proven that he can handle the crowd noise but his driver has been a bit iffy off the tee lately.
Long Shot: Ryan Palmer +5000
Ryan Palmer has scored in the top-ten twice this season with a T3 at the QBE Shootout and a T4 at the Sony Open. Last week he rode close to the top of the leader board with solid play before sliding back to a T25 finish.
Out of six events this season he’s finished T25 or better five times.
Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and
sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional
culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles
Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history
and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My
books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and
sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of
Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a
celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network.
He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National
Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL,
SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:
·Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue
·The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook
·Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian
·Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing
·The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook,
as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West
Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.
·The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A
·Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of
·Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt
the Mountains Smokey?
Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies
include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H.
Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson,
hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That
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Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard
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Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY
Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com and Twitter/Instagram