Learn about the course for the WM Phoenix Open and what types of golfers are likely to succeed on it for PGA DFS.
Before jumping into the details of this week’s PGA Tour Event, I wanted to mention a timeline for all PGA DFS items that you can expect each and every week from Frank and myself:
- Monday: Course/Event Preview
- Tuesday: Cash article, GPP article, Cheat Sheet, PGA DFS Stream
- Wednesday: Chat room (8pm EST) to answer questions
Without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s event:
Event: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Dates: Thursday February 4th through Sunday February 7th
Course: TPC Scottsdale
Field: 132 players
Cut: 65 and ties
Past Winners: Simpson (2020), Fowler (2019), Woodland (2018), Matsuyama (2017), Matsuyama (2016), Koepka (2015)
- Thursday-Friday: 3pm-7pm EST (Golf Channel) plus PGA Tour Live
- Saturday/Sunday: 1pm-3pm EST (Golf Channel), 3pm-6pm EST (NBC) plus PGA Tour Live
- We are finally back to a single course event which means that due to daylight restrictions we only have a 132 player field. That means that we will see higher than normal cut percentages for lineups because there are 24 less players than the last 2 weeks.
- TPC Scottsdale is a birdie maker’s paradise as we typically see ideal playing conditions and plenty of holes that are ripe for the taking.
- One thing to note about this Par 71 7260 yard course is that we are at a slight elevation and the air does make the ball fly a bit further (about 2%).
- The course features:
- 3 Par 5s (551, 540 and 555 yards):
- All 3 par 5s will be reachable by the majority of the field so we should see a bunch of eagle chances and easy looks for birdies. All 3 holes have a birdie or better percentage over 40%.
- 4 Par 3s (175, 194, 187, 129)
- The 7th and 12th holes play as the 2nd and 4th hardest holes on the course.
- The 4th and 16th are the 11th and 12th ranked holes on the course.
- 11 Par 4s:
- <420 yards: 1 (driveable 17th hole)
- 426-449 yards: 6
- 450+ yards: 4
- 3 Par 5s (551, 540 and 555 yards):
- Off the Tee:
- This course features landing areas that are bigger than Tour average so you can spray it a little off the tee. However, if you hit it way off line you can find the desert which can lead to large numbers.
- Off the tee accounts for 20% of strokes gained amongst top finishers historically which is about Tour average. No real advantage towards distance or accuracy this week.
- Approach Shots:
- This will be one of the most important stats of the week. In particular, you will see the majority of approach shots from around 150 yards once again. The way the par 4s are setup, players will have an abundance of shots from this distance specifically 150-175 yards.
- There will not be a lot of wedges inside 125 yards this week because the par 5s are reachable and there aren’t any short par 4s besides the driveable 17th.
- Approach accounts for 31% of strokes gained amongst top finishers.
- The greens this week are pure. They are Bermuda grass with overseed of bent and rye which means they will be super smooth. The only thing that makes putting difficult this week is the Valley effect which pulls putts toward the Valley on the green. Players who have played here a bunch have a good understanding of these hidden breaks.
- Putting accounts for 34% of strokes gained amongst top finishers. What does this mean? Well, players who can putt well have the chance to make a lot of putts here as they will have a lot of putts in the makeable range of 10-20 feet.
- Around the Green:
- We typically see the greens in regulation rate to be higher than Tour average because the greens are massive and players have a lot of shots around 150 yards into the green.
- We typically see the rate of players getting up and down around the green to be higher than usual because the green surrounds aren’t overly difficult. As such, there is a decreased importance on around the green as it only accounts for 15% of strokes gained.
What type of player typically succeeds here?
- I see one clear path to victory at this course:
- Elite short iron players who can putt well with a preference to those who can score well on Par 5s
What areas of a player’s game will be tested the most this week?
- Largest emphasis:
- Strokes Gained Approach (specifically around 150 yds)
- Strokes Gained Putting
- Par 5 Scoring
- Birdie Rate
- Smaller emphasis:
- Strokes Gained Off the Tee
- Strokes Gained Around the Green
Check back in on Tuesday for the Cash article, GPP article, Cheat Sheet and DFS Stream.