The best betting props for the Waste Management Phoenix Open

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February 3rd, 2021

The Phoenix Open isn’t going to be as raucous as usual this year, but the quality will certainly not be lacking. While we will be missing the packed 16th hole where, fuelled by warm beers in the desert, the fans roar every drive, wedge, and putt like it’s their last, we will still have 5,000 people in attendance to give the players a boost.

The Phoenix Open is one of the oldest events in the PGA Tour, creeping towards its 90th birthday, and the TPC Scottsdale course in Arizona is hosting the tournament for the 33rd time. The desert course has a thrilling finish with the par 3 16th hole in between two fantastic birdie opportunities at 15 and 17, but both holes have water to avoid.

In the last five years alone Martin Laird, Branden Grace, and Rickie Fowler have all been leading this event on the final day before finding the water on the 17th to cost them!

The most important trends at this course are greens in regulation and par 4 scoring. The average GIR ranking of the last six winners was fifth, while eight of the last nine winners ranked inside the top seven for par 4 scoring.

It’s also worthwhile keeping an eye on anyone that has played well at the course before or played well a fortnight ago in the American Express, which is also a desert course.

2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open winner odds

Jon Rahm
Justin Thomas
Xander Schauffele
Rory McIlroy
Webb Simpson

Top GB & Ireland: Rory McIlroy (-250)

Rory hasn’t won a golf tournament for 18 months and dropped away in the Farmers last week after sitting just three shots off the lead before teeing off on Sunday. But that won’t put me off here, particularly as the jet lag from Abu Dhabi four days earlier may have been an issue last week.

Most notably, however, is Rory’s from since the arrival of his daughter last year. From when golf resumed in June up until the birth of his daughter, Rory played eight tournaments and didn’t post a top 10 finish – he was even outside the top 30 in six of those competitions. Since the birth of his daughter, Rory has played seven tournaments and finished in the top 10 four times, never posting a worse effort than 21st.

He’s focussed, he’s happy, and he’s in the zone. Rory led the field in greens in regulation last week and I’m keeping him onside here. Jon Rahm is the clear danger in the top European player market, but Rory should be untouchable in this prop.

Top 10 Finish: Rickie Fowler (+400)

If you’re looking for a guy with course form at TPC Scottsdale, look no further than Rickie Fowler. The 2019 winner here, he’s also finished as runner up twice and has posted a total of four top 10s. Last year was a little disappointing as he tried to retain his crown, and a 74 on the opening day essentially put him out of contention. But he fired in a 65 and a couple of 69s to show he still had plenty of love for the place.

Fowler finished 21st in the American Express two weeks ago in the desert, and that was his best outing of the season, which is another good pointer for here. His form lines don’t make for great reading other than that, but he was ranked fourth and 16th for shots gained: tee to green in his last two tournaments and that will bode well here at a course he rocks.

Top 20 Finish: Ryan Palmer (+175)

Palmer is in a real purple patch of form, finishing fourth in the Zozo Championship, fourth in the Tournament of Champions, 41st in the Sony Open, and then runner-up in the Farmers Open last week.

Add that to some tidy form at TPC Scottsdale, where twice Palmer has finished as runner-up, and he’s an intriguing bet this week. Palmer ranks 22nd in greens in regulation for the season, and third for his par 4 scoring average on Tour.

I’m always keen to play the hot hand, and with Palmer in such good form and back on a course where his form is exceptional, a top 20 finish looks like the very minimum he’ll achieve this week.

Tournament Winning Margin: Playoff (+300)

This tournament is always close. In the last 14 years it has gone to a playoff on seven occasions, with another five tournaments being decided by just a single shot. Rickie Fowler’s two-stroke in in 2019 and Phil Mickelson’s four-stroke win over Brandt Snedeker in 2013 were the only exceptions.

That 50% strike rate on a playoff is the key number here, particularly as four of the last five renewals of this competition went to additional holes.

This is set to be a fascinatingly close battle once again, so back it to end in a playoff.