Following a solid week in which all 6 of our picks finished within the top 14 (unfortunately no champion) we head to Scottsdale, Arizona for the biggest party on the PGA Tour. 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 management 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 honour 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. Nine past winners will be back for more this week and hoping they can draw on previous success. The previous winners include ( 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. All four men who have won on Tour this year will be in Arizona this week looking to become early season multiple winners. 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 favour the long bombers, something that is becoming a growing trend on Tour. Though the bombers will be favoured this week, they had better take into account the 79 bunkers and 6 water hazards located throughout the course.
Steve’s Waste Management Phoenix Open Six Pack Picks:
We are winding up and taking 6 guys who can crush the ball. With Low scoring a must on TPC Scottsdale I want players who will be on or beside Par 5’s in two shots, guys who are hitting wedges into par 4’s, and guys who will have the crowds roaring. The two favourites will be included in this week’s six pack as you cannot overlook their talent and unlike Tiger, I don’t want to bet against these guys.
- 1. Phil Mickelson 8/1
Phil is coming of a solo second at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open and looks poised to begin 2011 with a bang. His driver was a little wayward last week but he was hitting the ball so long that he just let his short irons and wedges put him back in birdie opportunities. As previously stated he has won this event twice and the crowds will be once again routing for Phil. (Back to back weeks with a lefty winning, why not! Let’s go Phil!)
- 2. Dustin Johnson 12/1
I stated this last week and I will state it again, this guy is going to be in a lot of six packs this year. Every time he tees the ball up he seems to be just short of going from star to super star! Every part of his game seemed to be on last week and I look for his great play to continue at TPC Scottsdale. (Let’s hope the crowd is chanting DJ on the 18th on Sunday!)
- 3. Hunter Mahan 25/1
Mahan is the defending champ and is coming of a solid T6 at last week’s event. Unfortunately he finished with a 73 on Sunday last week but other than that his game looked solid. Last year Mahan ranked 3rd in total driving on Tour, something that helped him take this title in 2010. The course is there for the taking and I think Mahan will have a good shot this week of taming it again. (Go pin Hunting this week Hunter!)
- 4. Bubba Watson 28/1
Last week’s winner Bubba Watson looks to continue bombing that pink shafted driver all over the Arizona desert this week. When you listen to Bubba speak it is an absolute pleasure. He seems to have his life in order this year and is just on the course having fun. He is hitting the ball a ridiculous 315 yards on drives this season leading to a 79.63% Greens in Regulation percentage. All of this should result in another great week for Bubba. (Let’s see back to back Bubba!)
- 5. Bill Haas 28/1
Another repeat pick from last week and a guy who looked like he was ready to pick up his first win of 2011 for most of the week. Bill Hass has top 10’s in all three events he has played in this year and TPC Scottsdale should make it 4 out of 4. Bill is 9th in Total Driving this year and much like Bubba has a Greens in Regulation percentage just a tick under 80%. He is going to win on tour this year if he keeps up this hot play and let’s hope it happens this week. (I can hear the chants already, Haas! Haas! Haas! Haas!)
- 6. Jhonattan Vegas 40/1
Of course the Venezuelan born rookie was going to be in this week’s six pack. This kid can flat out play. His last 10 Rounds have all been in the 60’s and is averaging 5.55 birdies each round this year! Very easily could have won his second tournament last week and I fully expect him and the crowd to get along great this week. (Jhonattan Vegas wins! Books in Vegas lose!)
Once again good luck to all our golfers and feel free to comment on the picks & tournament)
Results for our golfers
Phil Mickelson (Tied for 29th)
Dustin Johnson (Tied for 29th)
Hunter Mahan (Tied for 29th)
Bubba Watson (Tied for 29th)
Bill Haas (Tied for 29th)
Jhonattan Vegas (MC)
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