Waste Management Phoenix Open: Betting Predictions and Picks

We’re back at the People’s Open, without most of the people.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open welcomed over 700,000 people in 2018, including 216,000 on Saturday (the last year attendance was estimated). This year, TPC Scottsdale will look a lot different. Due to COVID-19 protocols, a mere 5,000 fans will be allowed to occupy the stands on the famous 16th this week, 25% of its normal occupancy.

Webb Simpson returns as the defending champion, as he beat Tony Finau in a playoff last year. Rickie Fowler, the 2019 champion, is also in the field and sits at a hefty +5000 to win again this go around.


My man, Rory McIlroy, is making his very first start at TPC Scottsdale. Joining him in the field is Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and Hideki Matsuyama (’16, ’17 Champion).


TPC Scottsdale

Par 71

7,261 yards (Scorecard Yardage)

Design: Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish

Over-seeded Greens with Bentgrass and Poa.

Very TPC. Bland, boring routing. Nothing interesting until late on the back 9. Fairways are a bit wider compared to last week, and the rough isn’t nearly as penal.


Thursday: Sunny, 69 degrees. 7 MPH winds.

Friday: Sunny, 67 degrees. 7 MPH winds.

Saturday: Sunny, 70 degrees. 7 MPH winds.

Sunday: Sunny, 74 degrees. 6 MPH winds.

Key Stats

Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.

This is a very common factor when it comes to the players that have won here. Fantastic ball-strikers. For example, Webb last year, and Hideki in ’16 & ’17.

Driving Distance

This is only a slight advantage. Bombers can take advantage of their length by getting past penalty areas, while also facing little penalty by hitting it in the rough.

Data Golf Information

Course Fit: 1. Keene Trace Golf Club, 2. Bay Hill, 3. Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean)

Trending (of the players in the field): 1. Xander Schauffele (Last 3 starts: T17, T5, T2), 2. Jon Rahm (T7, T7, T7), 3. Justin Thomas (T12, 3, MC)

% Chance to Win (Baseline, Course History & Fit): 1. Jon Rahm (14%), 2. Justin Thomas (8.9%), 3. Xander Schauffele (7.3%)

Betting Odds

Twilight 9 Card

Top 10 – Justin Thomas (+110)

JT is coming off a MC in Abu Dhabi, but there isn’t a better ball striker on the planet – 6th in SG: Tee to Green so far this season. He placed T3 here last year, and solo 3rd in 2019.

Top 40 – Max Homa (+125)

Going back to the well. T6 here last year, Top 30 in 2019. Lives here, so is very familiar with golf in the desert. Top 20 at the Farmers, 54 hole leader at the AMEX, T12 in Mayakoba the week before. His value is still very very good, +255 for a Top 20. He was 14th tee to green last week.

Top 20 – Will Zalatoris (+175)

T7 last week at the Farmers, 14 top 10 finishes since the start of 2020, 4th on TOUR this season in SG: Tee to Green. First start in this event. Unreal ball-striker and is phenomenal off the tee.

Top 40 – Luke List (+125)

T21 at the AMEX, Top 10 last week at the Farmers, 24th on TOUR this year Tee to Green. Last 3 appearances at the WMPO, has 2 Top 30 finishes. Lead the field in SG: Off The Tee last week at Torrey Pines, that carrying over would benefit him greatly at TPC Scottsdale.

Top 30 – Bubba Watson (+120)

Missed the cut at the Farmers, but really hasn’t been playing that much golf. Before that, the last full field event he played in was the Masters. Bubba’s 3rd on TOUR this season in SG: Tee to Green. Has back to back Top 5s at this tournament.

Top 10 – Rory McIlroy (+150)

Rors is 19th on TOUR Tee to Green, and is coming off a week at Torrey where he ranked 6th in the field in that same SG category. He’s hitting it LONG right now (2nd on TOUR), just not as accurate as he would like. Accuracy isn’t as important this week as it was at Torrey Pines, due to the rough not being as penal. Played with his C game, finished inside the Top 20, and should have been inside the Top 10. Rory has never been here, but feels like a course he can win at. Needs to get his wedges dialed in. Doesn’t feel right not to put money on my guy and has dropped down to the 4th favorite, so why not now?


Xander Schauffele. I think this is a great week for him to finally get back into the winners circle. This season, he ranks 9th on the greens, 8th Tee to Green, and 2nd in SG: Overall. He’s never finished outside the Top 20 at TPC Scottsdale, and in his last 6 starts, has 4 Top 5 finishes (including a T2 last week in San Diego).

Cover via GolfDigest

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