Waste Management Open Preview

This is an absolutely amazing golf tournament with a huge amount of rightfully-deserved fanfare.  It is super, super fun, and I can guarantee you that after lock, I probably will be getting very little work done for the rest of the week.  There is generally a live feed for the raucous 16th hole alone which is worth watching just in case you happen to get lucky enough (as I did with Francesco Molinari) to catch a very rare ace, which basically prompted an absolute explosion of beer cans and solo cups with a deafening roar from the stadium crowd.  It’s just awesome.

To say that pricing is funky this week would be putting it lightly, but there is an absolute treasure trove of potential value on the table for us.  The question this week will not be how you’re going to fit your favorites on a tight week, but rather which of the many insanely cheap and underpriced options you’re going to buy in droves with so many on the board.

In terms of the actual course and player profile we’re seeking, a good, balanced skillset is useful for handling TPC Scottsdale, but overall, you still need to pepper the greens in order to dodge some of the tougher green complexes on this course.  Hideki Matsuyama hit 89% of greens in the third and fourth rounds last year alone while losing 1.5 strokes putting, but still won the event.  The course is also reasonably difficult because of the water and desert terrain that come into play more than you would think, with the former playing a far greater role on the back nine.  Finally, the Par 4s are big – only one of them (the drivable 17th) measures under 400 yards, so players need to be effective with their mid-long irons in order to do well here, although the lack of rainfall in Arizona should help shorter hitters compete more effectively.

Overall, greens, greens, greens with a pinch of scrambling perhaps as a little tiebreaker will do the job at this track as long as players are not too erratic off the tee.

Course: TPC Scottsdale
Yardage/Par: 7,266 Yards, Par 71
Scoring Expectation: The course plays reasonably easy, but still presents a pretty good challenge since it was lengthened in 2013.  Expect the winner to shoot around -15 for the week with a cut line around E.
Greens: Bermuda
Weather: It’s Arizona in the winter – pretty much perfect, with temperatures sitting in the 60s/70s and no rainfall or wind.

This week’s picks

Jordan Spieth ($22,600, Cash or GPP) – This is a LOT to pay for Jordan Spieth relative to the rest of the field, but he literally has every tool in the bag to dominate at a place like this.  Length is not necessary for him to slaughter the field here with his first-rate tee-to-green game, and if he starts hitting greens like a machine, you can bet those putts are going to start dropping fast.

Jon Rahm ($18,500, Cash or GPP) – So you’re telling me that we only have to pay $1,000 more for the guy who just shipped Torrey last week and is playing on what is essentially his home turf since he’s an ASU grad?  Sign me up, again.  He finished T5 here as an amateur in 2015 and should be poised to make a pretty strong case for back-to-back wins.

Matt Kuchar ($14,300, Cash or GPP) – Well this is just bizarre.  One of the steadiest cut-makers in the game is priced well below average and should be one of the chalkiest plays of the entire week.  You don’t need to be long to have success here, so Kuchar should be able to easily find his way through the cut as he has regularly here in the past with a superb tee-to-green and short game.

Russell Knox ($14,400, Cash or GPP) – Russell Knox is one of the absolute best tee-to-green players in the game when he’s on point, and given that he hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s Masters tournament, he’s as good a bet as any at this price to not only make the cut, but also to continue his streak of nine consecutive top-25 finishes.  Lock him in!

Good luck in your contests this week, stay disciplined, and trust your process!


Roger Casey

Roger Casey

He was the winner of the 2015-2016 Toughest $5 in Golf, a weekly 50/50 competition among industry analysts, successfully cashing in over 80% of contests offered. Roger resides in North Carolina and is a graduate of the University of Virginia with degrees in Marketing, Management, and Entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach out to him on Twitter at @DRogerCasey if you’re interested in learning more about FireDFS or just to shoot the breeze! If you’re reading this article, you can use the coupon code FDFIVE to get $5 off the FireDFS PGA Monthly Subscription!

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