2023 WM Phoenix Open Round 3 Picks: Justin Thomas Among Players to Target
Pictured: Justin Thomas. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Outside of the rounds being slow to finish because of the early-morning frost, things couldn’t be going better for event sponsors when you take a look at the WM Phoenix Open’s star-studded leaderboard.
Our defending champion, Scottie Scheffler, holds a two-shot advantage over an impressive list of names.
Perhaps these outlooks are what we should expect moving forward when we peek into the elevated nature of tournaments and the high-end potential of Sunday groupings mimicking major championship final rounds.
Does that mean every week will present this sort of quality? No. But let’s enjoy these major championship-quality leaderboards when they are presented to us!
If you haven’t already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There, I will provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.
WM Phoenix Open
I am most comfortable attacking the board and talking about who some of the best values are inside my model. That’s because we don’t know multiple aspects about the day, including the cut number or who has officially made the weekend.
If you can’t tell, I don’t like tournaments that limit us in any fashion.
I removed any player who graded as breakeven (or worse) on the DraftKings board when comparing the price to my rank. That left us with a list of 20 names I am considering for Round 3 contests, so let’s talk about a few.
It is hard to say we have gotten the best of Justin Thomas over the opening two rounds. Hot mics and outbursts are making more headlines than his performance on the pitch, but the steady output across the board is something to keep in mind when constructing DFS builds.
The American ranks as one of only nine players to gain in all four critical strokes gained data points over the opening two days. Of course, his three-under mark stands out most when you consider the eight other golfers to accomplish that feat rank above him on the leaderboard.
There is some intrigue in considering Jhonattan Vegas at 80/1 in the outright market since books continue to misjudge his win equity potential. My model believed he was a top-45 prospect entering this tournament because of his ball-striking acumen. Back-to-back days landing inside the top 30 of that category should show the upside he possesses when he makes a few putts.
That didn’t happen on day one as he lost 2.59 strokes with the flat stick, but we have seen him bounce back so far in Round 2 to the tune of 2.91 shots. If he can get that trend to continue over the final four holes of his second round, don’t be shocked if he closes in on Scheffler’s lead.
I don’t even know if Luke List will make the cut at one-over, but if you are willing to be proactive, adding him to your build should present an opportunity to play him at minimal ownership because of the uncertainty.
From purely a value perspective, nobody ranks better than List at his $6,800 price tag, and his consecutive days of off-the-tee dominance are noteworthy from a long-term perspective. My model believed he should have been a top-30 priced player heading into the weekend, suggesting a mid-$7,000 price tag over anything else.
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