Perry’s Waste Management Phoenix Open Betting Preview and Picks: Four Longshots to Bet at TPC Scottsdale
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Henrik Norlander
Just another boring Sunday at Torrey Pines.
After shaking off the drama, Patrick Reed was able to run away with a five-shot victory at The Farmers Insurance Open. That performance, even with the heel-turn, will likely make him a popular pick for the U.S. Open, which is taking place at Torrey Pines in June.
Adam Scott was our best hope at cashing a winner, but he was unable to put any pressure on Reed, despite starting Sunday in third place. Scott was still able to cash a top-20 and so was Tony Finau, so that kept us above water for the week.
One more note before we move on to TPC Scottsdale. I’d keep an eye out for Francesco Molinari’s U.S. Open odds. He isn’t listed on many books but definitely is in the field thanks to his exemption as a recent Open Champion. Molinari finished the week third in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG:T2G) and actually tied Patrick Reed in their three rounds on the same course.
I’d expect a number in the 150/1 range once Molinari gets listed, but we’ll probably see that number get cut by two-thirds once we get closer to June. Molinari has shown up in multiple majors and owns a win on Carnoustie, so if his game is in a good place, Torrey Pines won’t be too much for him to handle.
Now on to Phoenix for what figures to be a weird Waste Management without the boisterous crowd and the chaos at No. 16. There will be limited attendance, but for a tournament known for its crowd, you can expect a somewhat subdued atmosphere.
TPC Scottsdale measures 7,266 yards for a par 71, and really isn’t all that difficult. We can expect the winning score to be around 17-under par unless weather plays a factor.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there tends to be a lot of movement on the leaderboard over the last four holes. There is water in play on No. 15 (a reachable Par 5) and No. 17 (a driveable Par 4), plus the closing hole is quite difficult so there can be a lot of volatility down the stretch.
TPC Scottsdale tends to favor good iron players. Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Hideki Matsuyama and Brooks Koepka all have victories here and each of them are terrific with their approach shot.
We don’t have a clear cut favorite this week. Jon Rahm opened at +700 with Justin Thomas right behind at +800. Xander Schauffele (+1000) and Rory McIlroy (+1100) are just a notch below them.
If I had to bet that group, I’d probably look at Thomas, who has finished third in back-to-back years, the most. That said, Rahm and Schauffele have solid history here, too, as neither one of them have finished outside the top-20. This will be McIlroy’s TPC Scottsdale debut, but nothing about this course should be a problem for the Northern Irishman.
Webb Simpson, the defending champion, is next in line at +1400. Simpson played well in Hawaii and a strong track record here, so there’s not that much to suggest he won’t have a good week this time as well.
Daniel Berger (+2000) and Hideki Matsuyama (+2200) close out this range. I’ll wait and see with Berger. I don’t like the number but I think this course sets up well for him. If his number drifts after a slow start, he could be worth adding. Hideki is always a threat here. He’s got two wins and a two other top-five finishes. I’ll steer clear for now, but I imagine he’ll be pretty popular.
While I prefer to shop further down the board, four of the last five winners here came in at +2500 or lower, so it’s not a bad idea to just pick a couple of these guys and ride it out for the week.
I’ll take my first shot in this range on Sam Burns at +8000. Burns was in the final group with Reed on Sunday and it just didn’t go well. Despite that, it was the second time in three starts (going back to Houston last year) that Burns was in the final group.
Burns has missed the cut in both of his appearances at TPC Scottsdale, but he’s solid tee to green and putts well on Bermuda, so it should be a good fit for him. I’m going to gamble that the atmosphere around this event may have been a little distracting for a young player and maybe the more subdued setting this week will help someone like Burns.
I’ll also go with Corey Conners here at +8000.
Everyone knows what type of player Conners is at this point. Great ball-striker. Never makes a putt. The good news is that those kind of players have had some success here. Hideki Matsuyama and Kyle Stanley have won this event and even Byeong-hun An has contended at this course. TPC Scottsdale sets up well for ball-strikers and Conners has gained strokes off the tee and with his approach in 10 of his last 11 events.
This hasn’t been a place where the underdogs have thrived. But we’ll take some chances down here this week.
First up is Henrik Norlander at +10000. Norlander recorded back-to-back good results over the last two weeks in California, highlighted by a second-place finish at Torrey Pines. This will be his debut at the event, so I think that’s part of why we’re getting him in the triple digits this week.
Norlander has gained strokes with his ball-striking in each event dating back to the Northern Trust in August, but his putting has been a struggle. He’s not really consistent anywhere, but tends to be slightly above average on Bermuda, so that could help him this week.
Lastly, we’ll leave this spot for the obligatory Davis Riley play at +50000. Riley is on a sponsor’s invite, but in a normal season he’d be playing in most of these events on his talent after posting two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour last season.
Davis has been boom or bust for a year now, so we’ll probably know pretty early on Thursday how the week’s going to go. But he makes birdies in bunches and is a good putter on Bermuda, so this is an event he can do well in. I’ll look to sprinkle in those top-20s as well.
It’s a pretty limited card so far, but I’ll keep an eye on the Berger price to see if it gets to +2500. If it doesn’t get there, we’ll have plenty of room to add a live-bet after we see how the limited attendance is impacting this event.
The WMPO Card
- Sam Burns +8000 (.41 units)
- Corey Conners +8000 (.41 units)
- Henrik Norlander +10000 (.33 units)
- Davis Riley +50000 (.07 units)
Total Stake: 1.22 units