2022 Waste Management Open Round 2 Picks, Buys & Fades: Hideki Matsuyama, Sam Burns Among 3 to Watch
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama
- After one day at the Waste Management Open, Sahith Theegala is atop the leaderboard with a few holes left in his first round.
- There's no shortage of starpower chasing him, though, which leads Chris Murphy to some of his post-Day 1 picks.
- Check out Murphy's breakdowns and bets below entering Day 2 at TPC Scottsdale.
Click here for full Waste Management Open odds from PointsBet
|Si Woo Kim||+15000|
|Andrew D. Putnam||+25000|
|Mito Guillermo Pereira||+30000|
The first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open was stopped short due to darkness on Thursday as the current leader Sahith Theegala was left with a couple holes to play. He will close out his round on Friday morning before the start of Round 2 and will start with a 16-foot putt for par on his 17th hole of the day.
Theegala has surpassed, for the time being, K.H. Lee who came out of the gates hot on Thursday morning as he fired a 6-under 65 to start the week. The group of names chasing these two ramps up in a hurry as Brooks Koepka leads a group of players at 5-under just two shots back of the lead. Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele all linger at 4-under, making for a stacked leaderboard heading into Friday.
One added dimension this week is the news that Xander Schauffele’s caddie tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday morning. This had Schauffele call in a replacement, but also puts him in the TOUR’s protocols, which will require testing before each round.
As we saw last year, most notably with Jon Rahm at Memorial, it could be something that comes up to require Schauffele to withdraw if he were to test positive at any stage of the tournament. It’s just another story in a wild week at the biggest party in golf.
This week, we finally get back to one course with full strokes gained data throughout the tournament. I’ll dive right into it for my favorite buys and fades heading into the second round at TPC Scottsdale.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 2
It was a pretty baffling start for Hideki Matsuyama, who has been one of the hottest players in the world since the start of the new year. He carded three straight bogeys in his first four holes, and was quickly 2-over par. The concern was around some big misses off the tee, at times going both directions. He would finally figure things out a bit during the middle of the opening nine and really found his game as he turned to the back.
Overall, the reigning Masters Champion would post a 3-under 68 as his iron play carried him through the low parts of his round while he searched for his game off the tee. He eventually dialed that in as well, gaining shots on the field with his driver over five of his final seven holes.
I expect him to come out with the sharp version of his game tee to green on Friday morning and get himself in the mix heading into the weekend at historically one of his favorite courses on TOUR. The odds are about the same as he was pre-tournament, which isn’t bad for a guy right in the mix and trending in the right direction heading into Friday’s round.
As I look a little further down the board, the name that sticks out to me is Sam Burns. He has been one of the best players on TOUR over the last six months and started his week with a solid 3-under round on Thursday at TPC Scottsdale.
Burns was a little slow out of the gates to start his round as he only made par on both of the Par 5s on his opening nine, then ran into an ugly double bogey at the Par 4 18th. As he turned to the front nine he seemed to find his stride a bit, making five birdies in a six-hole stretch from holes two through seven. He would ultimately finish the round at 3-under and four shots back of the current lead.
The former LSU alum was sharp both on approach and on the greens on Thursday, gaining more than two strokes on the field in each metric. His struggles really came off the tee, but I will look for him to turn that around going forward. He’s a player who can get hot with his game, especially on the greens, and this is a course where he gained more than 10 strokes putting last year.
If he can find a few more fairways and give himself some better looks, he certainly has the ability to go low and find himself with a late Saturday tee time. His odds are +3100 on FanDuel heading into the second round, which is a solid buy for a player of his caliber.
I was on Max Homa to start the week, and I am going to beat that drum once again here. He was on fire with his ball striking on Thursday, gaining more than three and a half shots on the field in that category during his round. Homa was the third-best player in the field off the tee and solid on approach, but gave nearly all of those strokes back on the greens. He lost 1.89 strokes to the field with his putter in the opening round and his longest putt made was 7’4″ during the round.
Homa shot a 2-under 69 in Round 1, but it could’ve been so much better for the three-time tour winner if he had anything going on the greens. I’d be willing to buy in at +10000 on FanDuel before Friday with the prospects that he can bounce back with a low round and get himself positioned to contend.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2
I’m a big fan of Sahith Theegala and his prospects as a young player on TOUR. He has shown the ability to go low a few times recently, but it’s been a lack of consistency that has eventually caught up to him as play turned to the weekend. I am not sure that this course, with all of the trouble and big names lurking, is one for him to steady the ship and make a run to hang with the best players in the world over the next 54 holes.
It is only one shot, but this 16-footer for par to start his day on Friday may go a long way to telling his story of the next 18 holes. If he can somehow find a way to drain it, he will immediately have a little momentum going into the rest of the day, but my concern is that we see some similar results from him as we’ve had in recent weeks where the low round is just a quick flash of talent. I’ll be interested to see and watch it play out for the young player, but until I see him put it all together consecutively he will remain a fade for me in most markets.
My next fade going into the second round on Friday is pretty easy from an outright standpoint. We just simply can’t buy in any further on Xander Schauffele. I say it that way because he was one of my picks to start the week, but now that we have the COVID issue and testing lingering there is just too much risk to take on at +1400.
It makes it easier to fade Schauffele when we dial in on his play from Thursday, where he gained better than a shot and a half on the field with one hole out for eagle from the greenside bunker at the Par 5 15th. This was really the shot that carried him to a 4-under round as he lost better than three quarters of a shot to the field on approach. He did start to find it a little better on his incoming nine, but again the combination of risk and still short odds stack up for a fade on Schauffele going into Round 2.
Charley Hoffman is sponsored by Waste Management, but even as his tee time approached it was tough to predict if he would tee it up this week. He has withdrawn from three straight tournaments, two before they started, and last week at Pebble Beach he could only make it through one round.
It was certainly a pleasant surprise to see him play and play well on Thursday. Hoffman shot a 4-under 67 to start the tournament and has himself in a tie for seventh going into the second round. My concern for Hoffman is at a couple of levels, first around the injury and the fact we really can’t trust that he will hold up for four straight days.
He has yet to come close to doing that this year and I would certainly be willing to let him show me he can do it first. Then, as I looked at his data for the day, his strokes gained statistics show a player that really got the most out of his round.
Hoffman lost strokes to the field on 12 of his 18 approach shots on Thursday, and was really carried by three shots that gained nearly a half stroke on the field. He ended the day right around field average, but it seems he was understandably off in his ball striking and that coupled with the back concern has me staying away from Hoffman the rest of the way.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 1
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