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Range Rover

Green Light Special

by Mike Glasscott
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open

TPC Scottsdale

Stadium Course

Scottsdale, Ariz.

 

Stadium Course

 

Yards: 7,216

Par: 71 (35-36)

Greens: Bermudagrass mixed with Velvet Bentgrass and Poa annua; 6,350 square feet on average

Rough: Bermudagrass, ryegrass and fine fescue at 2.5”

Stimpmeter: 12-12’6”

Bunkers: 72

Water Hazards: 5

Course Architect: Jay Morrish & Tom Weiskopf (1986; 1995)

Purse: $6,200,000

Winner’s Share: $1,116,000

FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner

Defending Champion: Phil Mickelson tied the tournament record by firing 28-under-par 256 to defeat Brandt Snedeker by four shots.

Dates:  January 30- February 2

Format: 132 players; 72 holes, stroke play

Notes: Keep an eye on the alternate’s list this week as most of those guys were top 10 at Torrey Pines last week. Plenty of pros make their home in Scottsdale but that’s not going to be a determining factor this week.

 

 

Recent History Lessons

 

After winning 31 of 40 tournaments in 2013, the USA has now won the first 10 events of 2013-14. Harris English, Jimmy Walker (2), Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson, Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed and now Scott Stallings have kept the perfect start rolling for the crimson, white and indigo. Only Walker and the Johnson Twins (not really, relax) are not teeing it up this week.

 

After racking up 12 first-time winners in 2013, only Jimmy Walker has broken his maiden in the first 10 events of 2013-14. Plus, he’s the only player with multiple wins!

 

Jimmy Walker (34) started the season out on the right foot for the Prime Time guys and was joined by Ryan Moore (30) in Malaysia and Zach Johnson (37) at Kapalua. Walker added title No. 2 to catch the youngsters last week but that lasted one week. Scott Stallings, 28, joins Patrick Reed (23), Chris Kirk (28), Webb Simpson (28), Dustin Johnson (29) and Harris English, (24) as the twenty-somethings on the board. The Young Guns now have six of 10 wins to start the season. The Old Guys were led last week by 43-year-old K.J. Choi and his T2.

 

 

Pay Attention: It’s FREE

 

Jesper Parnevik (1998), Vijay Singh (2003) and Aaron Baddeley (2007) are the only three foreign-born winners here since 1998. #wavethatflag

 

Only Parnevik, Jonathon Kaye (2004), J.B. Holmes (2006) and Kyle Stanley (2012) have chalked up their first victories on TOUR at WMPO.

 

The only rookie to win this event was J.B. Holmes in 2006. He had so much fun he came back and won in 2008 as well.

 

The only three time champions at WMPO are Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, Mark Calcavecchia and 2013 champion Phil Mickelson. All of those folks are major champions.

 

The last player to defend their title was Johnny Miller in 1974-75.

 

The OWGR sends 22 of the top 50 this week to the Arizona desert.

 

The course record, 60, was matched last year by Mickelson in round one. Calcavecchia and Grant Waite have also fired 60 here but Mickelson’s done it twice.

 

 

Past Champions in the Field

 

2013 Phil Mickelson

2012 Kyle Stanley

2011 Mark Wilson

2010 Hunter Mahan

2008 J.B. Holmes

2007 Aaron Baddeley

2006 J.B. Holmes

2005 Phil Mickelson

2003 Vijay Singh

2001 Mark Calcavecchia

1996 Phil Mickelson

 

 

 

Inside the Ropes

 

The TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course has been known for years as the biggest party in Scottsdale in late January/early February. Each year, the TOUR crams as many party-goers and golf fans in, around and on top of this Jay Morrish-Tom Weiskopf creation that was developed with said fans in mind. Over 538,000 showed up in 2008 to set the tournament record and last year included the one-day record of over 179+,000 in round three. Most of them will gather around the famous 16th hole that is now completely surrounded by hospitality tents, mounds and galleries, giving it a “coliseum” feeling. The hole doesn’t play the hard but the crowd “buzz” will force even the top pros to keep their concentration on this par three. It is fun, once a season in my opinion, to have a place like this on TOUR where the fans can get lose and get after it. The players know exactly what goes on here and the ones that embrace the atmosphere generally are the ones who perform.

 

The course itself is not that demanding as evidenced by Mickelson’s 28-under runaway last year. TPC Scottsdale only has three par fives but the perfect greens, fairways and weather make for perfect scoring conditions. Rocco Mediate’s 11-under in 1999 is the worst winning score here in 15 years and is the only score higher than 14-under. The Stadium Course was the 40th-easiest of the 43 courses used on TOUR last year and historically finishes in the easier half. Heck, Mickelson played the par THREES last year in nine-under, same as he played the far fives.  After this season’s tournament, the Stadium Course will close in April for major renovations which will include the repositioning of certain holes and resurfacing all of the greens. For in-depth details on the course renovations, be sure to check Rob Bolton’s column this week as he will break it down. Those changes will not affect the 2014 edition of this tournament so gamers will still get to enjoy the final six holes that include two par fives, No. 16 and the drivable No. 17. This is where the tournament will be won and lost because of the risk-reward.

 

The last four winners here have been in the top three in GIR and last year’s top five were the five best in number of total feet of putts made for the week. I think I’ve cracked the code! The 2013 WMPO was the lowest scoring tourney of all time at TPC Scottsdale.

 

 

 

The Chalk

The players that should be on your fantasy rosters and should be making the most noise come the weekend. Yahoo! gamers, each player’s Yahoo! group is in ( ).

 

Keegan Bradley (B): He’s teed it up five times in 2013-14 and has not finished worse than T18. After T15 (-8) in 2012 he moved it to 13-under last year and T24 but that included a round of 63. He kills three and four pars and will have no problem eating up this track of 7,216 yards. This is his third tournament of 2014 so I expect big things this week.

 

Webb Simpson (B): After showing a penchant for going low with his win in Las Vegas, Simpson backed up that 24-under performance with 17-under at Kapalua to finish T3. He was only T23 at Humana on his last venture out but his weekend consisted of 67-64 so he’s trending in the proper direction. He didn’t play here last year but he was T8 in 2012 and 2011 with only two rounds in the 70s.

 

Graham DeLaet (B): Course history is null and void to me when evaluating the Canadian ball-striking machine as DeLaet has shown over the last year that he is one of the best tee-to-green players on TOUR. His last three events over the last three months back up that statement as he’s posted T7, T6 and T2 in those starts. He’s currently 14th in GIR and 17th in strokes gained-putting. Maple syrup for ERRYBODY1!1!

 

Chris Kirk (B): In his last three events on TOUR he’s won, T16 and finished solo second. The only misleading number in that group was his T16 at Kapalua because that was a 30-man field but he backed up that performance by firing 16-under at the Sony. He’s sixth in scoring average and 11th in the all-around. He was T24 here last year with four rounds in the 60s. His monster year shows no signs of slowing down. Get on board with THE CAPTAIN!

 

Harris English (C): He’s seven-for-seven which includes a win, a solo fourth and a T7 this season. He’s first in GIR and first in strokes-gained putting. In eight career rounds at the Stadium Course the last two years, only one of those rounds is over 70.

 

Ryan Palmer (C): Coming off back-to-back top 10s with T8 at Sony and a solo second at the Humana, Palmer’s game sets up perfectly for a run at a title this week. In his last eight rounds he’s fired 65 or lower in half of them and that’s exactly what it will take to win around here this week. Last year, Palmer opened with 64 and closed with 62 to finish fifth for his second top 10 in seven starts. He’s the OAD pick as well this week. #choochoo!

 

Ryan Moore (A): His solo fourth last year saw him post 66-66-65-65 as he racked up his second top 10 in eight starts at the WMPO. Moore has been an early season beast over the last couple seasons and his trend continues. He’s five-for-five with a win and two other top 10s in this young season. He likes desert golf as he’s won in Las Vegas. He has no problem making birdies and he crushes three and four pars. Moore please!

 

Bill Haas (B): There’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of him on the West Coast or in the desert. Haas is trending the right direction here as he’s finished T29, T19 and T6 last year in his last three starts.  He’ll need a hot week from his putter but he’ll have plenty of chances as well as he strikes it off the tee and from the fairway.

 

Gary Woodland (A): He’s been close three times now to backing his Reno-Tahoe victory with a second win but he’s come up short each time including last week on the 71st hole at the FIO. He returns to the Stadium Course where he’s played 15 of 16 career rounds at par or better. The last three seasons have seen him finish T5, T26 and T16 last year. This will be the perfect panacea after Torrey and he’ll look to pull a “Kyle Stanley” and win this week.

 

 Brandt Snedeker (A): In seven starts in the desert, Snedeker is six-for-seven and has three top 10s including his solo second to Mickelson last year. I’m a big believer that form is temporary and class is permanent so I’ll endorse Snedeker to bounce back this week.  A nice, flat stroll across the desert on slicker-than-normal greens should be just the cure for what ails him. Plus, I like going against the grain early in the season.

 

Hunter Mahan (B): Knocked the rust off last week in San Diego so I’ll be interested to see how the 2010 gets back on it this week. In two events here after his W, Mahan has posted seven of eight rounds in the 60s and has finishes of T29 and T16.

 

Billy Horschel (B): One bad round on the toughest day, Saturday, last week at Torrey killed his chances for a top 10 but his eagle hole-out on the 72nd hole should give him momentum heading to Phoenix this week. He was T10 in birdies last week but cranked out three doubles to finish T23. In his first appearance at WMPO he fired 64-67 on the weekend to finish T11.

 

Horses-for-Courses

Yahoo! group in ( )

 

Scott Piercy (B): He’s five-for-five on the Stadium course including a closing round 61 last year to claim solo third. #HiYa. In 20 rounds here only two of them have been above par. After WD at Mayakoba in November, he’s began 2014 with MCs at Sony and Humana.

 

Matt Every (B): He’s teed it up here twice and has finished T8 in 2010 and T9 last year. To put in perspective how good Mickelson was last year, Every is a combined 28-under in those two events. He’s five-for-five in the 2013-14 season and is coming off T8 at Sony and T13 at Humana. When course form meets current form…Oh, and he’s 13th in scoring average. Works for me.

 

Brendan Steele (C): In the last three years he’s finished T53, T5 and T6. He made only three bogeys in his last two rounds on the South Course last week and made only two bogeys in his final 54 holes here last year. Nothing wrong with avoiding bogeys!

 

J.B. Holmes (C): The 2006 and 2008 champion has suffered through brain surgery and a roller blading injury and has 18 starts remaining to rack up over $526,000 or 306 FedExCup points. His T23 last week was a great start and the Stadium Course is home to his only two wins on TOUR.

 

Ben Crane (B): In his last six trips to Phoenix, Crane has played the weekend in five of them. His last two starts here saw him finish second in 2012 and T11 last year. He also has a T4 from 2008.

 

Kevin Na (C): In eight starts he’s hit the top five four times. The only thing that’s missing is a win.

 

Robert Garrigus (B): If you need an “all-or-nothing” pick this week, Garrigus fits that description. In five events over seven years, the bigger hitter has bookend T11s with three MCs in the middle. His ball-striking and length will carry him but the question is going to be how many putts he’ll hole.

 

Bryce Molder (B): In the last four years he’s posted T8, T62, T15 and T24 with only one round above par.

 

 

 

 

Heat Wave

The recent form of this bunch must be investigated when assembling this week's roster

 

Scott Stallings (C): Out of nowhere Stallings stole the FIO last week with an excellent four iron that found the front of the green on the par five No. 18 hole by about three feet. It’s a game of inches. He shot 80 in the second round here in 2012 but there’s no question his confidence is as high as the Senoran Desert sky.

 

Patrick Reed (A): See above. As well as he played at another easy course in the desert it would be irresponsible to dismiss him this week. His WD last week with a rib injury should for gamers to take a deeper look.

 

Brian Stuard (B): Another week, another very decent finish, T28, which is his worst finish in his last four events. He’s 10th in scoring average and 15th in birdie average.

 

Charley Hoffman (C): He’s six-of-six with back-to-back top 10s. He has a solo fourth and T22 as well in that stretch. Those results might make me overlook four MCs from seven and a T76 for Hoffman at WMPO. He did finish solo second back in 2009.

 

Marc Leishman (A): His solo fifth at Sony and T2 last week should have gamers on their toes. Not a bad way to start 2014. Gamers won’t find many hotter players than that but he’ll need his putter to cooperate to continue to perform at this level.

 

K.J. Choi (C): In four events since late October the South Korean has not finished outside the top 20. I prefer Choi on courses where ball-striking and par are more valuable as opposed to this week’s putting contest.

 

 

 

 

Sunsets

Players I’ll watch from a distance

 

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano: It’s hard to endorse any player coming off an 82 last week.

 

John Rollins: It’s even harder to endorse a player who shot 83.

 

Ian Poulter: Only two rounds of eight in the 60s. That’s not low enough to contend here.

 

Ken Duke: In five starts his best finish is T43, last year.

 

Brian Davis: Sure he can putt, but he’s missed five weekends from eight events and has only one finish inside the top 30.

 

Jason Bohn: He’s usually a wonderful sleeper in events where a boatload of birdies are required but his history on the Stadium Course is the exception, not the rule. Since his T11 in 2008 he’s followed up with MC, T68, MC, T62, MC and MC last year. Let someone else break him out of that slump here.

 

Aaron Baddeley: He’ll be picked because he lives in Scottsdale and he’s a former champion. In six events since that victory, Baddeley’s best finish is T35. Save him for Pebble or Riviera!

 

The Man with His Own Section

 

Phil Mickelson has been driving gamers nuts since the beginning of fantasy golf as his mercurial talent tends to blow hot and cold without a sense of why or why not and this week is not any different. Last week, his near-miss victory in the desert plus his wonderful course form at Torrey made him a no-brainer. His WD after two rounds with a 42-year-old bad back puts a grey cloud over his status this week. When healthy, as shown above, he has the tools to dominate this course. When he’s not, I’m not sure, at his age, if the gamble is worth it. If he is passed with a clean bill of health, I’ll endorse him on a course that he’s destroyed over time; if he’s ok, I’m “ok” with staying away.

 

 

Jordan Spieth of the Week Last Week

 

The column was taken over and thrashed by the kid from Texas last year. Out of respect, I’m not changing the title of it for 2013-14. It will remind me just how good Spieth was in the last three months of the season. This year, we’ll still identify an up-and-coming player and/or rookie that fantasy players should have on their radar.

 

Frys.com: Hideki Matsuyama, T3; Brooks Koepka, T3; Max Homa, T9.

SHCO: Ryo Ishikawa is only 22, don’t forget, T2; Chesson Hadley, T5.

CIMB: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, 24, might have enough money after this week to earn Special Temporary Membership. Pay attention!

WGC-HSBC: Jordan Spieth was 17th. Tommy Fleetwood (T18) is only 22 and plays in Europe. Matsuyama WD with a bad back.

McGladrey: Scott Langley turned 24 last April and is in his second season on TOUR. He finished T22 last week and No. 124 last season. #slimpickinngsthisweek

OHL Mayakoba: Harris English turned 24 last July. He won.

HTOC:  Er, Jordan Spieth, solo second.

Sony: Hudson Swafford and Will Wilcox both finished T8. Both played on the Web.com Tour last year and are rookies on TOUR this season.

Humana: Patrick Reed won. He’s 23. You need to pay attention.

FIO: Ryo Ishikawa, 22, bagged another top 10 finish. That’s his sixth in his last 10 events on TOUR or the Web.com Tour. He’s an alternate this week as of Monday afternoon.

 

 

One-and-Done

 

SEASON TOTAL: $550,474

 

 

Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again!

 

SHFC Open: Hideki Matsuyama. Time to break through, son. Matsuyama WD with injury so he was replaced with Nick Watney. He finished T48 for $15,264

 

CIMB Classic: Let’s try this again: Hideki Matsuyama. There’s no cut. This pleases me. His T25 after 74 on Sunday does not please me. Oh well. Here’s $53,433 into the piggy bank.

 

WGC-HSBC: Martin Kaymer. There’s no other place I would consider using him and he’s the defending champ on this track. #hangsonfordearlife. Kaymer’s third round 62 dared me to dream but his T8 and $161,667 is a nice deposit.

 

The McGladrey Classic: David Toms. He’s finished T3 in 2010 and second last year. His recent form suggests he’s playing well and I don’t see another chance to burn him down the road. It was him or CH III. Well, BOTH of my selections finished T27. I should have listened to O…T27 was good for $39,050.

 

OHL Mayakoba: Brian Gay. When form meets course history…  Well, that was a nice theory but it resulted in T45 and $18,060. I’m glad 2013 is now over.

 

HTOC: Martin Laird. Since I’m off to a woeful start I see no reason to burn a premium player. Chris Kirk was my second choice but nobody wins in back-to-back starts plus he’s just had another child. Laird is the horse-for-course. The Scot finished T20 in a 30-man field for $87,000.

 

Sony: Charles Howell III. He plays great in the early part of the season and his record at Waialae has everything BUT a win. If you notice, I saved most of my heavy hitters for the latter part of 2013 last year and that strategy worked out. Hey, a top 10 and $119,000! Feels like a winner!

 

Humana: Webb Simpson has been on fire to get 2013-14 started and going low has never been a problem. It’s time to start firing at ‘em. Sigh. Another week brings another disappointing selection as I add a whopping $57,000 to my morbid total.

 

FIO: Same as last year, Rickie Fowler. He’s working with Butch Harmon to get to the next level and he’s played SoCal courses plenty in his young life. He finished up last week at Humana 67-66 and he’s finished T5, T20, T13 and T6 last year in four career starts. I’ll save Woods and Mickelson for down the road for bigger winner’s checks. Snedeker and Walker were also considered and are solid options for this week. Fowler was just as bad as the other four I had listed, save for Woods’ MDF cash. Tough week in OAD for most I’m guessing. MC $0.

 

WMPO: Ryan Palmer. He’s on fire, can really putt and was fifth here last year.

 

 

GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf

 

WMPO – Event I

 

Glass ($1,886,631; Rank: 9,098)

 

Group 1: Keegan Bradley

Group 2: Ryan Palmer

Group 3: Brian Stuard

Group 4: Brendan Steele

 

 

Rob Bolton ($1,821,096; Rank: 10,151)

 

Group 1: Keegan Bradley

Group 2: Graham DeLaet

Group 3: Matt Every

Group 4: Ben Crane

 

 

Ryan O’ Sullivan ($1,421,185; Rank: 17,240)

 

Group 1: Webb Simpson

Group 2: Ryan Palmer

Group 3: Matt Every

Group 4: Kevin Na

 

 

Ned Brown ($1,817,356; Rank: 10,208)

 

Group 1: Webb Simpson

Group 2: Ryan Moore

Group 3: Matt Every

Group 4: Kevin Na

 

 

Omega Dubai Desert Classic – Event II

 

Glass ($1,886,631; Rank: 9,098)

 

Group 1: Tiger Woods

Group 2: Rafael Cabrera-Bello

Group 3: Robert Karlsson

Group 4: Tyrell Hatton

 

 

Rob Bolton ($1,821,096; Rank: 10,151)

 

Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: Rafael Cabrera-Bello

Group 3: Seung-yul Noh

Group 4: Robert Rock

 

 

Ryan O’ Sullivan ($1,421,185; Rank: 17,240)

 

Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: Matteo Manassero

Group 3: Robert Karlsson

Group 4: Graeme Storm

 

 

Ned Brown ($1,817,356; Rank: 10,208)

 

Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: Rafael Cabrera-Bello

Group 3: Alvaro Quiros

Group 4: Robert Rock

 

 

 

Ned said, “…

 

Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf.  He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years.  Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read. 

 

Group A

 

Ryan Moore-- His impressive play in the fall has carried over into the start of the year with a nice 10th place finish at the TOC. Moore has played in eight prior WMPOs and has two top 10s to his credit with the most recent being a fourth place finish last year.

 

Marc Leishman-- Phil Mickelson or Brandt Snedeker usually fills in this spot, but as of Tuesday morning there is quite a bit of doubt if Phil will play and Snedeker still hasn't shaken the rust from being laid up with his left leg injury. Leishman played well in Australia in the off season and then lit it up on the PGA Tour with a fifth place at the Sony and a T2 last week at the Farmers. His record at the Phoenix Open isn't as strong as I would like, so I reserve the right to use Mickelson in this spot if his back suddenly gets better.

 

SUPER SUBS

 

Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson

 

 

Group B

 

Webb Simpson-- He was on a very nice run of five consecutive top 7 finishes until last time out when he tied for 23rd place at the Humana. His recent history here is very good, with a T8 finishes in '11 and '12.

 

Keegan Bradley-- He’s had a solid start to the year with a T18 at the Humana and a T16 last week at the Farmers. He has two prior starts here and he played well with a T15 in '12 and a T24 last year.

 

Chris Kirk-- After his victory at the McGladrey Open in the fall, Kirk continued to play well at the start of the year with a T16 at the HTOC and a second place at the Sony Open. His record here is just fair, so he is mostly about playing the current hot hand.

 

Matt Every-- He played well in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and that form has shown up again to start the year with a T8 at the Sony and a T13 at the Humana. His record at the here is very good, with a T8 in '10 and a T9 last year.

 

SUPER SUBS

 

Graham DeLaet, Ian Poulter, Billy Horschel, Hunter Mahan

 

 

Group C

 

Ryan Palmer-- He had a rough period at the end of last year, but he has been on fire at the start of this year with a T8 at the Sony and a second place at the Humana. Palmer's best finish here came last year when he finished in fifth place.

 

Kevin Na-- It's a real coin flip in this spot between Kevin Na and Harris English. I'm going with Na because he has a stronger record here (T2 in '05, T4 in '08, third in '09, T5 in '12), but I wouldn't be surprised if English does very well here this week.

 

 

SUPER SUBS

 

J.B. Holmes, Brendan Steele, K.J. Choi

 

 

“Pure Spin”

Points this season: 712

Rank: 2,856

Percentile: 96th

 

 

Coming Wednesday

 

And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a one-hour live chat WEDNESDAY at NOON p.m. ET. We will be breaking down the field at the WMPO and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.

 

Mike Glasscott
Fantasy Golf columnist Mike Glasscott joined Rotoworld in 2012. He can be contacted via email at RotoworldGlass@gmail.com or on Twitter.