Welcome back fans! The Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO) will have around 5,000 people in attendance each day, the first event on US soil since March to allow fans. Now this will be quite a bit different from the 200,000 fans usually in attendance. The 16th hole, known as the stadium hole, will sound very different from what players are used to. I know I am very excited about watching this finish, then flipping over to the Super Bowl. What a weekend to play some Phoenix Open DraftKings.
The Course – TPC Scottsdale
WMPO is played at TPC Scottsdale. The course was designed and constructed by Tom Weiskopf in 1987 and sits about 1,500 meters above sea level. The stadium course produces the second-longest drives on tour, behind only Chapultepec. The added length helps every player navigate this par 71, 7200+ yard desert course. The course was originally designed with bermudagrass greens fairways with some rye and fescue in the rough. Over time they have been re-seeded with poa and bentgrass so it is a blend, unlike any other course. Keep in mind the terrain is usually dry and firm with the greens around a 12 on stimpmeter. The winning score will be around -12, with most scoring happening on the par 5’s. Other key stats for us this week include SG BS, SG ARG, BOB gained, Good Drives Gained and Par 5 scoring 550-600 yards.
2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open DraftKings Picks
Xander Schauffele – ($11,000)
Let’s be honest, Xander is due for a win. We’re two years removed from his last win. He’s gone 16th, 10th, and 17th the last three years here respectively. His game is arguably in the best shape it’s ever been. He was T-2 last week, T-5 at TOC, 5th at US Open, 2nd at Tour Championship, need I say more? We’re taking the X man this week to win the Phoenix Open.
Will Zalatoris – ($9,000)
Will Zalatoris is a name everyone should be accustomed to hearing. The Korn Ferry stud is one of our top picks of the week. Zalatoris is coming off a 7th place finish last week at Torrey Pines and he is popping in our model. In his past 5 events, Zalatoris has gained 5.5 strokes T2G, 2 OTT, and 2 APP. We are not too concerned that he has no course history here and that the field is loaded with some of the world’s best golfers. Zalatoris proved he can compete with the best at last year’s U.S Open when he finished in 5th place. His numbers look great, and we expect him to continue to perform at a high level.
Corey Conners – ($7,900)
When looking at the stats mentioned as our key stats for the week, Conners is 2nd in good drives gained, 4th in ball striking, 5th on Par 5 scoring, and 20th in BOB gained. Seeing that level of quality play across the board from a guy priced in his range gets me excited. Conners has been playing well of late, his last MC was in September and is sporting a handful of top-20s since then including a 10th at the Masters. With this putting surface being so unique I do not expect anyone to have a major advantage over the field. Conners being a traditionally poor putter doesn’t concern me here. Lock Conners in as a key part of your Phoenix Open DraftKings lineup.
Henrik Norlander – ($7,500)
After going +1 on the first day, Norlander posted three straight sub 70 rounds to end up in the log jam at -9 last week. He really impressed me with his ability to stay even keel, never getting too down or too high and just keeping to the grind. That’s what he is going to need to do again here this week. He is making his first appearance at WMPO, he should be thankful to get his feet wet without the gloom of 200,000 people booing you for missing the green by a few feet.
When playing well, he’s doing it with all aspects, OTT, APP, and ARG, and he usually goes on a sustained run for a few weeks. Coming off a 12th and 2nd place finish we think he’s got it all working right now. He is going to need every tool in his bag to conquer the challenging stadium course.
Byeong Hun An -($7,300)
If there is one player who loves playing in the Waste Management Open, it is Benny An. In his four showings here, Benny An has finished in 9th, 20th,23rd, and 6th place. An had a rough showing at last week’s Farmers but played very well the previous week at the American Express. The major difference between the two weeks was An lost 8 strokes putting last week. Between his quality ARG and T2G game, if he is just mediocre putting An will be in contention this week.
Martin Laird – ($7,00)
Martin Laird is our dark horse this week. He has played pretty poorly the past few weeks with a missed cut and 47th finish but we are not too concerned. What makes Laird an interesting play this week is he has not missed the cut in this event since 2014 and has 3 top-ten finishes. With that kind of course history, and at his price, it’s worth taking a flyer on Martin Laird. Laird will really help round out your Phoenix Open DraftKings lineup.