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WM Phoenix Open Best Bets | 2022 PGA Pick of the Day

Posted: Feb 9, 2022Last updated: Feb 9, 2022

The Biggest Party in Golf returns this week as the PGA Tour makes its annual stop in the desert for the 2022 WM Phoenix Open. For many golf enthusiasts, this event is the unofficial kickoff of the Tour season.

After dealing with three-course rotations, 56-hole cuts, limited fields, and Pro-Am events over the past few weeks, Phoenix presents us with a return to normalcy and a star-studded field that features 18 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.

The uproarious crowds — especially those gathered around the famous Par-3 16th — already make this event both unique and must-see TV, but this year’s ultra competitive field should make for one of the best Phoenix Open’s in recent memory.

And that’s no easy feat, especially after what we witnessed last year when Brooks Koepka chipped in for eagle on the 71st hole to vault into the lead en route to his second career victory at TPC Scottsdale.

Let’s see if we can find a winner this week as we dig into the odds.

Phoenix Open Winner Odds 2022

Phoenix Open winner PGA odds are current as of 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, February 9 and provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Jon Rahm (+750)
  • Justin Thomas (+1200)
  • Patrick Cantlay (+1600)
  • Viktor Hovland (+1800)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (+1800)
  • Xander Schauffele (+2200)
  • Jordan Spieth (+2200)
  • Scottie Scheffler (+2500)
  • Daniel Berger (+2800)
  • Brooks Koepka (+3300)

Phoenix Open Course Tips

TPC Scottsdale, Stadium Course (Scottsdale, AZ)

  • Par 71, 7,261 yards
  • With only three Par 5 opportunities per round, the Stadium Course puts a premium on Par 4 scoring. There’s an equal balance of Par 4s by length, with five ranging from 400-450 yards and five more between 450-500 yards, however, the pivotal one is the shortest. The drivable 17th hole, with water looming long and left, is where the Phoenix Open tends to be won and lost.
  • Just under 60% of drives find the fairway at TPC Scottsdale, about 3% fewer than the Tour average, according to Fantasy National. Wayward drives can prove costly in the desert, especially if they end up near rocks or cacti.
  • The key stat this week (and most weeks) is Strokes Gained Approach, as good second shots generally lead to birdies or better. 24.5% of approach shots on TPC Scottsdale come from 150-175 yards, so keying in on guys that excel from that range is going to pay dividends.
  • Despite being in the Southwest, the greens at TPC Scottsdale are Bermudagrass. Historically, they also play firm and fast, which levels the playing field a bit for the Tour’s more mediocre putters.

Phoenix Open Field

It’s no surprise to see Jon Rahm open as the betting favorite. He’s the No. 1 golfer in the world and has quite the track record at TPC Scottsdale, finishing 16th or better in each of his last five appearances in Phoenix.

As an Arizona State alum, he’s got as much familiarity with the course as anyone and will have plenty of local support in the gallery.

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay are also among the favorites after posting top-5 finishes at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week, but neither could deny Tom Hoge his first PGA Tour win.

Hoge (+6600) will be looking for back-to-back wins, while Brooks Koepka will be looking to defend his 2021 title and find some form after missing the cut two weeks ago at Torrey Pines.

Phoenix Open Best Bets

Justin Thomas to Win the Phoenix Open (+1200) at Caesars

I generally don’t like taking outrights from the top of the board, but the cream of the crop tends to rise in Phoenix and I expect a big name to take home the trophy this year.

Thomas ranks seventh in the field in strokes gained approach over the last 24 rounds and is second in proximity to the hole from 150-175 yards over the same timeframe.

He’s finished in the top-5 here twice in the last three years and should be in contention once again.

Louis Oosthuizen Top-5 Finish (+700) at Caesars

At 40-1 odds, Louis Oosthuizen may end up on my outright betting card as well, but the issue with Louis is that he generally doesn’t win golf tournaments. Oosthuizen may not have a win on U.S. soil yet, but he’s contended plenty.

Last year, he finished inside the top-3 at three of the four majors and also finished runner-up at the 3M Open in July. We haven’t seen him yet this year, so rust could be a factor, but there’s a lot of value here for a ball striker of his caliber.

Daniel Berger Top-10 Finish (+260) at Caesars

After withdrawing with a back injury ahead of last week’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Daniel Berger enters the week with some unknowns. Those unknowns make him a risky proposition in the betting and DFS markets, but if he’s healthy, he could be undervalued.

Berger leads the field in strokes gained approach over the last 24 rounds and posted top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open and Open Championship last summer. He’s certainly capable of doing that in Phoenix, where he’s finished T-11 or better in three of his last five trips.

Russell Henley Top-20 Finish (+163) at Caesars

My mixed condition model at Fantasy National ranked Russell Henley as the third-best golfer in the field this week, which isn’t surprising given his acumen for approach shots. Henley ranks third in the field on approach over the last 24 rounds and is No. 1 in proximity to the hole from 150-175 yards over the same time frame.

After betting him to win the Sony Open and watching him throw away a five-shot lead on the back nine before losing in playoff, I’m not ready to bet Henley outright again just yet.

A top-20 at plus-money seems like a better option.

Top South Korean: Kyoung-Hoon Lee (+188) at Caesars

K.H. Lee (+12500) has garnered some attention in the outright market after his T-2 finish at TPC Scottsdale last year, but this seems like a more prudent play.

Lee is second-favorite in this prop category behind Si Woo Kim, who I’m admittedly a big fan of. Despite Kim’s recent turnaround in form, he’s a player that generally excels on certain tracks and Phoenix isn’t one of those as his best finish here in the last five years is a T-50.

Lee checks the boxes as a strong iron player. He gained 5.2 strokes on approach in just two measured rounds at the American Express last time out and should have plenty of confidence after last year’s performance.

First Round Leader: Bubba Watson (+4000) at Caesars

First round leader bets, much like outright bets, are far from a sure thing. However, I like Watson’s chances to get off to a quick start in Phoenix.

In 15 measured opening rounds at TPC Scottsdale, Watson leads the field in strokes gained off the tee and from tee to green. He’s also coming off a runner-up finish last week overseas and arriving at a comfort course, where he’s posted top-5 finishes in two of the past three years.

His outright number is has dropped below this, but I think there’s still some value here.

Hideki Matsuyama Over Patrick Cantlay (+120) at Caesars

Hideki Matsuyama won back-to-back Phoenix Open titles in 2016 and 2017 and is perfectly suited to contend here once again.

Far from a strong putter, Matsuyama does his best work with his irons and is generally an accurate driver of the golf ball.

Cantlay is generally regarded as a superior player — hence why we’re getting Hideki at a great price — but he didn’t look comfortable for much of Sunday at Pebble Beach and never made the charge many expected. This matchup likely won’t be a walkover, but I think we’re getting good value here.

Phoenix Open Event Details

  • Dates: Thursday, February 10 - Sunday, February 13, 2022
  • Course: TPC Scottsdale, Stadium Course
  • Course Dimensions: Par 71 (7,261 yards)
  • 2021 Phoenix Open Winner: Brooks Koepka
  • How to Watch: Golf Channel/CBS

Author

John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the last two men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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