Another week and another preview to deep-dive into as the PGA Tour moves to Arizona for the WM Phoenix Open!
The PGA Tour were a bit unlucky after what can only be described as a somewhat lacklustre finish to the first proper signature event of the season. Offsetting that was a rather remarkable round from Wyndham Clark. You can hardly begrudge him his victory after an impressive round of 60, despite the reduction to 54 holes to hurricane like weather. Also, a huge shoutout to one of our WinDaily team Spencer Aguiar (@TeeOffSports) who successfully tipped him at 100/1!
Pebble Beach Recap: @BettorGolfPod @RotoBaller @ActionGolfHQThe Good: Wyndham Clark 100/1, 4-0 on H2H bets (14-4-2 on the year), Eric Cole T20 +180The Bad: NothingTotal: +11.382024: +15.92 (52.66%)Overall Since 2017 +343.783 https://t.co/ii5vwyc41P— Spencer Aguiar (@TeeOffSports) February 5, 2024
Pebble Beach Recap: @BettorGolfPod @RotoBaller @ActionGolfHQThe Good: Wyndham Clark 100/1, 4-0 on H2H bets (14-4-2 on the year), Eric Cole T20 +180The Bad: NothingTotal: +11.382024: +15.92 (52.66%)Overall Since 2017 +343.783 https://t.co/ii5vwyc41P
Although we correctly predicted the event would only be held over 54 holes, we ourselves were a bit unlucky to get on the wrong side of the weather. Although Thursday was tough as predicted, Friday ended up playing much easier than forecasts foreshadowed. This resulted in a substantial edge developing for players who played the more sheltered Spyglass Hill on Thursday. We had unfortunately gone the other way, expecting higher forecast winds on Friday to prove difficult on the highly exposed Pebble Beach Golf Links.
These things can and do happen. Part of covering any live sporting event is the unpredictability and volatility that naturally enters that territory. But, isn’t that part of the beauty? And, this was the first tournament this year where we didn’t really end up with anyone in true contention. We trust the process and continue what we do best, as we preview the WM Phoenix Open.
Having been held at TPC Scottsdale, since 1987, we again have one of those beautiful weeks where there is plenty of easy data available to preview the WM Phoenix Open. It only take a cursory glance at previous leaderboards to realise a couple things. Firstly, with several multiple winners here course history is relatively sticky. Secondly, that this is a course dominated by good ball strikers.
Names such as Scheffler, Matsuyama, Koepka, Fowler, Thomas, and Mickelson all hint at some of the best iron players on the Tour. They also have a certain amount of grit to them, often finding themselves in contention in the biggest of events. Despite losing signature status, still remains amongst the more iconic events on the schedule.
Of note in the data is the heavy skewing we see in approach distances. Golfers will see between 8-9 approach shots on average from 150-200 yards. Despite being an above average length par 71 at 7,261 yards, roll-out tends to give a helping hand to shorter hitters. Likewise, the wide fairways and fairly benign rough mean you can pull driver often without actually providing much advantage. The main thing off the tee is to avoid the big miss and the risks in the natural waste areas. Your approach is the way to separate yourself from the pack.
Huge green complexes average over 7,000 sq ft. This sees an increased importance on not just finding the green, but the right area and shelf on the surfaces. Putting does receive a higher weighting at this course. A combination of needing to lag putt, avoid long three putts, and make your birdie opportunities see SG: Putting as a good indicator of potential success.
As mentioned, prior form at TPC Scottsdale does tend to be a good predictor of future success here. Accordingly, you should give a higher weighting to previous performance on this track than at other venues. Likewise, if a golfer has had several opportunities to preview this course and never really performed well you should take this into consideration at the WM Phoenix Open.
Other desert form is useful to consider at this event. TPC Summerlin, host of the Shriners Children’s Open in neighbouring Las Vegas Nevada, is a decent enough guide. You will see similar approach metrics to those at the WM Phoenix Open, and a preview into a golfers ability in desert altitude.
Additionally, Colonial Country Club and TPC San Antonio in Texas bear consideration. The latter, host of the Valero Texas Open, is a particularly good guide. TPC San Antonio also features multi-tiered Poa Trivialis greens. They also have near identical distances throughout the course. Average par 4/5 length being 469 vs 467 yards and average par 3 length being 188 vs 183 yards. Fairway widths are 31.3 on average vs 31.5 yards at TPC Scottsdale.
Finally, The American Express provides a nice combination of desert golf and recent form. It is worth considering as guide for your WM Phoenix Open preview.
We saw the beauty of the volatility that comes with the weather last week. Although we nailed the call early in the week that the Pebble Beach Pro-Am would be a 54 hole event, Friday brought far less rain and winds than had been originally forecast.
Certainly, it always poses a risk to take a stance when it comes to mother nature. However, the risk so often proves worthwhile. Bookmakers are notoriously slow to react to weather forecasts in adjusting their pricing. Likewise, DFS players can benefit in significant leverage on the rest of the field when you get the weather right and have constructed your line-ups to benefit.
It does seem quite possible a weather edge may develop this week as well. Thursday looks to be cold and overcast all day. Rain is predicted in mid to late afternoon. This will make the course play longer, but also mean the greens will play softer. The heaviest wind gusts are currently forecast in the morning. Friday looks to be calm but still cold. There is little variation in wind gusts forecast throughout the day. Saturday looks to bring quite heavy rain, which could prove difficult for any very short hitters who aren’t excellent with longer approach shots. Sunday should be sunny, but a very cold morning to start.
If I were to take a guess, those going out Thursday afternoon may see the best of conditions. There is certainly a risk that flips again this week. The rains could well be accompanied by either an uptick or continuation of the morning winds. As such, I’d definitely recommend building some contrarian lines this week to cover both angles in some capacity.
If you would like to read my golf betting tips and player profiles for the WM Phoenix Open, you can preview these here.
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David takes the business international, joining the team from New Zealand and having grown up in Dubai. It was when living in the Middle East where he first developed his love of golf whilst working at local DP World Tour events, getting inside the ropes with the world’s best, and being fortunate enough to be coached as a junior by elite instructor Justin Parsons. Despite having experience working in multiple other areas of the sports industry, golf remains his main passion. David relies heavily on data, agronomy, topography, and meteorology in providing his @DeepDiveGolf analysis and betting tips for both the PGA and DP World Tour events. View Dave's P&L Tracker »
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