Waste Management Open Preview
February 17, 2020
What a great final round by Mark Leishman at the Farmer’s Insurance Open. He could not miss a putt on the back nine on way to a 65 to beat Jon Rahm by 1. Speaking of Rahm, despite the 3-over through 3 start, he finished 5-under in his last 6 holes with a bogey thrown in there. Despite the tournament being overshadowed by the devastating news about Kobe, it was a great weekend. Now we get to head to Scottsdale for the Waste Management.
Everyone loves the Waste Management and the rowdy crowd on the 16th hole. Even with some big names (Brooks, Dustin, Phil) heading to Saudi Arabia, we are still treated to a great field this week in Phoenix. Justin Thomas, the FedEx Cup points leader, returns after missing the cut at the Sony Open. We also will see the return of Bryson DeChambeau to american soil after his tour of Dubai.
Holes 16-18 are some of the most exciting on tour. The infamous par-3 16th, the driveable par-4 17th, and the intimidating par-4 finishing hole. We all remember Tiger’s hole in one on 16 in 1997. There have been some great shots played on these three holes and you can expect something similar this year.
The 7,261 par-71 course will again be one of the highest attended PGA Tour stops. This isn’t surprising when you get some incredible moments. One of my favorite moments of last year was Amy Bockerstette and Gary Woodland. If you don’t know what I am talking about or just want to relive this great moment, here is the video.
Players to Watch
Will this be the week the Rickie defends a title for the first time as a professional? Will Jordan Spieth figure out his weekend struggles on a course suited for his game? Can JT pick up his third win this season? Speaking of third wins, can Hideki or J.B. join Phil, Arnold, Mark Calcavecchia, and Gene Littler as the only three time winners? These are a few questions I am interested in this week.
I am really interested to see how Viktor Hovland plays after a T-23 finish at the Dubai Desert Classic last week. Viktor was one of my class of ’19 players I talked about in my season preview. He is extremely likeable and the crowd will get behind his this week.
After a solo second finish last week, what will ASU alum Jon Rahm do at the Waste Management? His best finish is T-5 when he was an amateur in 2015. He has not finished worse than T-16 in his four starts here. He is definitely a favorite this week.
I am going to go out on a limb (kinda) with my prediction this week and pick Gary Woodland to pick up his second Waste Management title in three years. He won back in 2018 and last year finished in a tie for 9th. Not really sure if you can call the reigning U.S. Open champion a limb, but that’s what I am doing.
As for scoring, I think the winner will have to shoot 19-under to pick up 500 FedEx Cup points and $1.3 million check. The weather looks to be perfect for scoring with low winds and sunny all four days. No matter what happens, I love being able to enjoy this tournament before watching the Super Bowl.
Draft Kings Lineup
- Hideki Matsuyama- $10,100
- Gary Woodland- $9,300
- Collin Morikawa- $9,200
- J.B. Holmes- $7,400
- Max Homa- $7,100
- Harry Higgs- $6,900
Comment below with your pick on who is going to win this week. If you want to join in on DraftKings click here.