PLAYERS on both main Tours are in the desert this week with the TPC at Scottsdale, Arizona, hosts for the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the 29th time.
In 2015 the course had some remodelling done and all the greens renewed. With it being increased by more than 100 yards and all the tweaks I don’t think we’ll have a winner on -28 as Phil Mickelson did before the changes.
If you look at the last two winners here (Hideki Matsuyama in 2016 and Brooks Koepka in 2015) they were first and T4 in GIR and the same in strokes gained:tee to green and both first in par-four scoring. Therefore those are the stats I’m going to follow.
Missing the cut at the Farmers last week must have been a shock to Koepka, it certainly was to me. He’s a wee bit up and down this season but won here in 2015 as I said and I think that will stand him in good stead. He is sixth in strokes gained:tee to green (1.974), GIR of 71.53% (98th) and is 18th in par-four scoring (3.9) so what’s not to like.
In his first three outings of 2017 Brendan Steele has had two T6 and T20 and looks solid. He also won in his first outing this season at the Safeway Open. In six years at Scottsdale he has finished in the top six three times and a T17, so seems to be quite comfortable on the course.
A good season looks in the offing for the 33-year-old Californian. He has SG:tee to green of 1.474 (16th), GIR of 76.94 (11th) and par-four scoring 3.89 (13th).
1.5pts ew Brooks Koepka (Ladbrokes, 28-1)
1.5pts ew Brendan Steele (Coral, 40-1)