Following a week that saw neither Tiger or Phil play on Sunday at Torrey Pines we head to Scottsdale, Arizona for the biggest party on the PGA Tour. Though many people will be focussed on the Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos this weekend, the golfers will be busy battling in one of the best events of the year. Below is a bit about the beautiful track the players will be playing and the college kids will be partying at.
The men will be teeing it up in the desert this week at a 7200 yard Par 71 gem of a course. Scottsdale is a course that can be had if you are striking the ball well and you don’t let the enormous crowds get to you. The course record at TPC Scottsdale is held by three guys who all managed to post an 11 under 60 (Grant Waite 1996, Mark Calcavecchia 2001, and Phil Mickelson 2005). Be sure to keep an eye on the players when they walk up to the 11th hole. They will be faced with a daunting 469 yard Par 4 that will challenge any player’s mental and physical game. Water lines the left side of the entire hole with a pair of bunkers protecting the green.
Though the 11th hole will be the toughest for the players, it will not be where the attention of the crowd is. That honor goes to the stadium styled 16th hole. With throngs of rowdy college and university students surrounding the entire hole you will hear everything that happens on the 16th. The 162 yard Par 3 offers the players a birdie opportunity if they can block out the noisy crowd.
Teeing it up in the desert this week will be an excellent field eager to make the PGA Tours West Coast swing a good one. Previous winners of this event include (Phil Mickelson 2103, Kyle Stanley 2012, Mark Wilson 2011, Hunter Mahan 2010, Kenny Perry 2009, JB Holmes 2006 and 2008, Aaron Baddeley 2007, Phil Mickelson 1996 and 2005, Chris DiMarco 2002, Mark Calcavecchia 1989, 1992 and 2001, Tom Lehman 2000, and Rocco Mediate 1999)
Plenty of players come in on a roll and will look to continue their success at TPC Scottsdale. Players this week will be looking to take advantage of the three Par 5’s on the course, as over the years they have been some of the easier holes. The scoring holes tend to favor the long bombers, something that is becoming a growing trend on Tour. Though the bombers will be favored this week, they had better take into account the 79 bunkers and 6 water hazards located throughout the course.
Steve’s Six Pack Picks for WM – Phoenix Open
To win at TPC Scottsdale this week we will be looking to players who have played well here in the past. I also want players who have the ability to put up plenty of birdies.
(We came extremely close last week again and I can feel a great winner coming. Hopefully your friends at the Super Bowl parties don’t mind you cheering for a sunday payday from the Waste Management Phoenix Open.)
Below is this week’s free pick (all others are sent to members only)…
BRENDAN STEELE 66 TO 1 – Steele loves playing in this event and his results prove this. In three career starts at this event Brendan has managed to finish in the Top 6 twice (2012 – T5 and 2013 – T6). He has putted the ball terrifically over the past two seasons at TPC Scottsdale, which is actually a bit of a surprise because that is not a strong part of his game normally. Steele is known as one of the better drivers of the golf ball on Tour, as he combines power with accuracy. Brendan will look to once again dominate the Par 5’s at TPC Scottsdale as over the past two seasons he has played them a combined 17 under Par. His only career victory came in 2011at the Valero Texas Open, though Brendan does only have 83 career starts on the PGA Tour. Brendan enters this week playing well as he has finished inside the Top 30 in three of his past four tournaments. Look for him to continue to roll the ball well at the Waste Management Open and have all the fans cheering for this California guy.