Waste Management Phoenix Open Saturday Betting Picks: Once Again, Long Hitters Hold Advantage At TPC Scottsdale

Credit:

Francois Nel/Getty Images. Pictured: Byeong-Hun An of Korea.

Even though TPC Scottsdale isn’t one of the longer PGA Tour venues, it’s proven to play into the hands of some of the game’s bigger hitters — and that trend has continued through two rounds this week.

Current leader J.B. Holmes ranked 16th on the driving distance list last season; his closest competitor is Wyndham Clark, who ranked fifth. Also at 12th-or-better going into the weekend are Byeong Hun An (15th last season), Xander Schauffele (24th), Bubba Watson (sixth), Tony Finau (ninth), Jon Rahm (20th) and Keith Mitchell (28th).

That’s no coincidence.

What often gets overlooked when we’re speaking about distance, however, is that it doesn’t solely refer to distance off the tee. Anyone who plays the game understands that if you can hit your 6-iron the same yardage that another player hits a 4-iron, you’re going to own the advantage, because you are hitting are more controllable club into the green.


Odds as of Friday evening and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


Therein lies the secret to success at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

While every player mentioned above, except for Finau, is positive in strokes gained off the tee so far, all but Schauffele and Mitchell own better numbers in relation to the field with their approach shots than their drives.

With weather and other conditions remaining static for the final two rounds, expect the trend to continue, as length — both off the tee and otherwise — could be the greatest determining factor for which players find the highest degree of success.

Round 3 Matchup

Byeong Hun An over Scott Piercy and Hudson Swafford (+110)

Sticking with that theme from above, only one three-man group from Saturday’s final five tee times features just a single player who fit the distance profile.

After rounds of 65-66, An is a sneaky pick to take down this title.

First things first, though, he’s the favorite in a three-ball against Piercy and Swafford. While each of those players has fared well over the opening 36 holes, expect An to use his distance to his advantage and post another round in the mid-60s to put himself in position going into the final round.

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