Which players could excel at The Waste Management Open?
This week, the defending champion Brooks Koepka will tee off with favorite Bubba Watson and the young Justin Thomas in what should be the group to watch. The course is TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona. This Par 71 course favors those who can drive the ball far, and those who can rack up a lot of birdies.
Pick to Win:
Bubba Watson: The last four years here at this course have produced these results: 2nd, 2nd, 15th, and 5th. He was ranked 1st in SG:TTG, 2nd in Driving Distance, and 4th in Birdie Average last year. He has three top 10s in his last four events. He should be excellent this week once again.
Players to Watch:
Brooks Koepka: Last year, I had him as my pick to win, and he came through at 40-to-1 odds. While I would love to endorse him again this week, it is his first time getting the chance to defend a title. I don’t think the pressure will be an issue for him, but there is risk with getting him. Clearly, I believe his game fits this course well, but his recent performance is a little worrisome. Since the playoffs began, his results have been missed cut, missed cut, T-49th (out of 70), T-18th (out of 29), T-41st, missed cut, 7th (out of 18), and T-3rd (out of 33).
Charles Howell III: Everyone loves to hate on CH3 because he hasn’t won in such a long time even though he is always near the top of the leaderboard. He’s an excellent player when he’s on, and he’s on right now. He has now finished top 25 in six straight events, and comes to a course that fits his style, and where he has made four cuts in a row. The chances of him extending his top 25 streak this week is very high.
Smylie Kaufman: This week, a lot of experts are reminding fantasy players not to forget about Si Woo Kim. I also like Kim a lot this week, but hopefully this article will help you to not forget about Smylie in your lineups. In a way, I see the two of them as pretty similar. Both of them emerged this year, and week in and week out are producing great results. Kaufman is a little more trustworthy in my opinion, having made all eight cuts this year, including a win. He’s connected three top 25s in a row and I’m a little confused on why he’s getting no love this week.
James Hahn: He is my favorite sleeper option across the board. His price is just way too cheap for what he can do, and what he has been doing. This year he is five-for-five making the cut, highlighted by a 6th place finish at the CIMB Classic. He finished 16th place here in 2013. Lastly, he is statistically sound, ranking 50th in driving distance and 85th in birdie average last year.
Ricky Barnes: Last week’s T-34th extended his cuts made streak to six, with four of those being top 35s. He now comes to a course where he has made the cut in three of the last four editions, making him seem like a pretty safe bet to make the weekend once again.
Bryce Molder: The course history fans will be all over Molder this week. His last five years at the tournament have seen him make the cut all five times, including three top 30s. This season he has been all over the place, with his six tournaments seeing him miss the cut four times, but finish top 30 twice, highlighted by a T-4th place finish at The Sanderson Farms Championship.
Edited by Jeremy Losak.
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- Brooks Koepka
- Bubba Watson
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Ryan Palmer