Daily Fantasy Golf Picks Preview | PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open 2018

Daily Fantasy Golf Picks Preview | PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open 2018

We’re back at the site of our most painful defeat. Three years ago, with the final group headed to the 18th hole, I sat in first place in the big Draftkings Tournament of the week. $12,000 would go to the winner. Martin Laird had just come off the 17th with a bogey, making me squirm more than I wanted to, but all I needed was a par on the 18th. It would have secured Martin Laird a tie for second place amongst many others, and I would claim victory. Then, like I knew it would, disaster struck of mammoth proportions. Now one shot down, instead of playing it safe up the right hand side, Laird took a line over the water, if you could call it a line. Nerves got the best of him on this day. It was a pure shank right off the club face. I mean, it wasn’t even close. It looked like a dying bird with a life full of regrets. At that moment, my hopes to win were gone, and I was now in damage control. to be limited. Laird managed to salvage double bogey, and I still managed a solid 3rd place finish in a massive GPP, however, the bogey on 17, and the shank on 18, will haunt my nightmares forever. 

Now onto the course.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open may host the most exciting final four holes in golf. There are two eagle opportunities with the Par 5,15th, and the short par 4, 17th. Throw in the raucous crowd at the par 3, 16th, and you have a recipe for noise and mayhem coming down the stretch at the TPC Scottsdale.

The course is a Par 71, measuring 7216 yards, with 79 sand bunkers which are strategically placed around the greens and on the fairways. There are also six holes which feature water, including 3 of the last 4 holes. Scoring is generally low, so players can be aggressive on this course, however they have to pick their moments as several holes can jump up and bite you hard. Looking at the past 10 winners they have averaged -18, so expect the same this year, unless the weather is out of the ordinary. 

So what are we looking for this week? If you take a look at the fairways hit percentage over the years, it’s usually between 60%-62% on average, which is slightly lower than normal, and GIR for the week is around 69%-72% on average, which is slightly higher than normal. Players with solid histories at this venue in the last 8 years include: Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson, Brendan Steele, Bubba Watson, Scott Piercy, Hunter Mahan, John Rollins, Harris English, Kevin Na, Vijay Singh, Graham Delaet, Charles Warren, Rod Pampling, Webb Simpson, Charles Howell, Gary Woodland, Ryan Palmer, Ryan Moore. JB Holmes, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker and  Martin Laird.

So what do all these players have in common? For the most part, they are all above average GIR players from off the fairway. When you’re not hitting fairways at a regular clip, being able to hit it from the rough or the bunkers becomes key. You’ll notice that there’s a mixture of short and long hitters in there, but it doesn’t hurt to be long here.

Besides GIR from off the fairway, we still think you should pay attention to regular GIR as well. If you hadn’t noticed yet, there are tons of bunkers on this course which make club selection off the tee more difficult, so course mangers, like a Dufner, can do well here. Why? Because of the strategic sand. Avoiding it is best, but being an excellent sand player will come in handy on the fairways and around the greens too. Speaking of the greens, you’ll get a mixture of large ones and small ones throughout the day. It sums up the course in many ways as well. With varying lengths of holes and wide variety of second shot lengths. 

So to sum up what we’re looking for: GIR from off the Fairway, Length (but not the be all and end all), Sand Skills, and Course Managers/Ball Striker Types. As always, we love form, history, and putting ability too. 

That’s it for this week and Good Luck To All.

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