Phoenix Open odds: Watch out for Wilson

Mark Wilson hits a tee shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Humana Challenge.

Mark Wilson hits a tee shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Humana Challenge.

Scores »

Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

11:17:55 PM ET. 04/24/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
1Ben Martin-10F-10
2Andrew Svoboda-8F-8
T3Peter Hanson-7F-7
T3Seung-Yul Noh-7F-7
T5Erik Compton-6F-6
Complete Leaderboard »

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Waste Management Phoenix Open generally has been a bomber’s paradise. Excluding the diminutive Mark Wilson, who won last year with a driving average of 290.3 yards (ranked 68th), the winners since 2005 at TPC Scottsdale are the big-hitting Hunter Mahan (2010), Kenny Perry (2009), J.B. Holmes (2006 and ’08), Aaron Baddeley (2007) and Phil Mickelson (2005).

So, using all drives this year on Tour and their past performances here, these guys should contend:

• Martin Laird (302.6) 3rd

• Aaron Baddeley (301.5) 5th

• Kyle Stanley (301.4) 6th

• Gary Woodland (301.0) 7th

• Keegan Bradley (300.6) 8th

• Webb Simpson (298.4) 11th

Laird ranks first on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation and has had a good start to the 2012 season, with a runner-up finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a tie for 14th at the Humana Challenge. But his length and his T-3 finish in 2011 in Phoenix make him an intriguing pick this week.

Baddeley won this event in 2007, but has had spotty results since then here, with his best finish a T-35 in 2009. However, the Australian has two top-20s this year – 21st at Hyundai and a T-27 at Farmers. Those solid results, plus his length off the tee and a ranking of 12th in strokes gained putting, should put him in the mix.

Stanley should have been basking in the glow of a victory last week in San Diego, but instead was left reeling from a stunning triple-bogey collapse on the 72nd hole and his eventual playoff loss to Brandt Snedeker. Driving distance is not the issue for the second-year Tour pro out of Clemson, but victory has been elusive. Stanley is solid in most key statistical categories, but he will be making his debut in the Phoenix Open. With no history at TPC Scottsdale, Stanley would be a shot in the dark this week. Even more important, though, is the state of his mental game. Can he bounce back from last week?

Woodland has all the tools to win this week and has had some success here, notably a T-5 last year. Now working with Butch Harmon, Woodland is hitting the ball farther than ever and is trying to find a way to rein in some of that massive distance, which now includes a driver with a 325-yard carry. Woodland won’t reduce TPC Scottsdale to a chip-and-putt venue, but if he can get comfortable this week with a new swing, the result here could be a foregone conclusion.

Bradley, whose two victories last year included a PGA Championship, was the flavor of the year in 2011. He already has posted three top-25 finishes in three events this year. With good driving distance and a No. 11 ranking in GIR, Bradley should contend. However, his downfall has been with his belly putter. Bradley ranks 100th in strokes gained putting. With this being his first visit to TPC Scottsdale, Bradley would be a wild card but certainly worth consideration.

Simpson, a two-time winner in 2011, is off to a strong start via a T-3 at Hyundai and a T-38 at Sony. He ranks seventh in GIR. However, he has been up and down in Phoenix, finishing 65th in 2009 and missing the cut in 2010 before tying for eighth last year.

There are others worth considering based on their history at TPC Scottsdale and/or a hot start to the season.

Johnson Wagner is the only player here who has recorded all top 10s in 2012. With a victory at the Sony Open and a runner-up finish at Humana, Wagner is the hottest player on the PGA Tour. However, his best finish in four starts in Phoenix is a T-60, and he has missed three cuts.

Snedeker is riding high after his unlikely victory last week at Torrey Pines. The Vanderbilt product has had some success at TPC Scottsdale, with two top 10s, including a tie for eighth last year. He ranks third in birdie average and second in scoring average, but can he build on the euphoria of last weekend?

Scott Piercy, a winner for the first time last year in Reno, has had solid success in three trips to Phoenix. With a T-15 in 2006, a T-6 in 2009 and a T-8 in 2010, Piercy seems to enjoy this golf course. He has three top-25 finishes in four starts this year and could be a dangerous player this week.

Vijay Singh has a solid history in Phoenix, with six top 10s in 15 starts, including a T-3 last year and victories in 1995 and 2003. After a first-round 64 and eventual 13th-place finish last week in San Diego, Singh could be ready to make a run this week.

Camilo Villegas has been on a roller coaster at TPC Scottsdale, with two missed cuts, a WD last year and two top 10s, including a runner-up finish in 2006, in six starts. Villegas has enjoyed some exceptional starts this year, with a first-round 63 at Humana and an opening 65 at Farmers, but he has been unable to continue the momentum. He clearly would be a speculative pick this week.

Y.E. Yang has made two appearances in Phoenix: third in 2010 and a T-8 in 2011. However, he missed the cut last week in San Diego, his only start this season. But it would be hard not to look at his history here.

Phil Mickelson is struggling with scoring, but not with his game, which might seem to be a contradiction. If you believe the big left-hander, he is hitting the ball well and making good passes on the greens, but it is not showing up on the scorecard.

Mickelson, who went to college at nearby Arizona State, has played the Phoenix stop 21 times, with nine top 10s, including victories in 1996 and 2005. After he missed the cut last week in his hometown event in San Diego, this might be the place where he puts it all together.

Wilson, the defending champion, has not been excluded from success because of his relative lack of distance. Wilson, a Midwesterner, has played well in the desert, with two top 10s in four appearances and nothing worse than a T-48. He is hot, and his game seems to fit well almost anywhere, so you can’t count him out.

• • •

Odds to win the Phoenix Open

  • Webb Simpson . . . 15/1
  • Matt Kuchar . . . 20/1
  • Brandt Snedeker . . . 20/1
  • Nick Watney . . . 20/1
  • Martin Laird . . . 20/1
  • Phil Mickelson . . . 25/1
  • Rickie Fowler . . . 25/1
  • Bill Haas . . . 25/1
  • Dustin Johnson . . . 30/1
  • Keegan Bradley . . . 30/1
  • Bubba Watson . . . 30/1
  • Charles Howell III . . . 30/1
  • Ian Poulter . . . 30/1
  • Mark Wilson . . . 30/1
  • Ben Crane . . . 40/1
  • Aaron Baddeley . . . 40/1
  • Camilo Villegas . . . 40/1
  • Kyle Stanley . . . 40/1
  • Gary Woodland . . . 40/1
  • D.A. Points . . . 40/1
  • Kevin Na . . . 40/1
  • Jason Dufner . . . 40/1
  • Bud Cauley . . . 40/1
  • Bo Van Pelt . . . 50/1
  • Sean O’Hair . . . 50/1
  • Bryce Molder . . . 50/1
  • John Rollins . . . 50/1
  • Johnson Wagner . . . 50/1
  • Jonathan Byrd . . . 50/1
  • Y.E. Yang . . . 50/1
  • Vijay Singh . . . 50/1
  • Robert Allenby . . . 50/1
  • J.B. Holmes . . . 50/1
  • Scott Piercy . . . 50/1
  • Anthony Kim . . . 60/1
  • Ryan Moore . . . 60/1
  • Carl Pettersson . . . 60/1
  • Stewart Cink . . . 60/1
  • Brian Gay . . . 60/1
  • Pat Perez . . . 60/1
  • Brendon de Jonge . . . 60/1
  • Spencer Levin . . . 60/1
  • Chris Kirk . . . 60/1
  • Robert Garrigus . . . 60/1
  • Cameron Tringale . . . 60/1
  • Justin Leonard . . . 80/1
  • Seung-Yul Noh . . . 100/1
  • Danny Lee . . . 150/1
  • Jon Stanley . . . 500/1
  • Field (All Others) . . . 4/1
Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification

  • PGA
  • CHMP
  • WEB
[[PGAtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next
[[CHMPtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next
[[NWIDtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next