WM Phoenix Open: Course Notes, Daily Fantasy Golf Picks, Win Simulations, and Best Bets

The WM Phoenix Open's crowd is back to full capacity this week.

The field is also a lot more loaded than what we had last week at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Three of the top four in the world are teeing it up, so all types of fireworks are in order in Phoenix.

Let's dig into the course, the key stats, and -- of course -- the picks for the week.

You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.

Course Information and Key Stats
Golfers With Great Course History
Win Simulations
Best Bets
Daily Fantasy Picks

TPC Scottsdale Course Info & Key Stats

Par: 71
Distance: 7,261
Average Green Size: 7,069 square feet (large: around 118% of the PGA average)
Green Type: Overseeded bermuda
Stimpmeter: 12 (average: PGA average is 11.9)
Past 5 Winning Scores: -19, -17, -17, -18, -17
Past 5 Cut Lines: -3, -1, -1, -1, -1
Key Stats: Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, Par 5 Scoring, Birdie or Better Rate, Course History

Lengthwise, TPC Scottsdale is an average par 71, but the data shows a slight emphasis on driving distance and a large emphasis on overall ball-striking.

The greens are easy to hit, and it's easy to putt, which is a driving factor for me with some of the value picks I'm targeting.

Datagolf shows major predictiveness on course knowledge/experience here. TPC Scottsdale trails only Waialae and Augusta in terms of the predictiveness of course history. With the altitude, the crowds, and the firm greens, that's enough for me finally to put course history on my list.

Golfers With Great Course/Event History

Past winners in the field include Brooks Koepka (2015, 2021), Webb Simpson (2020), Rickie Fowler (2019), Gary Woodland (2018), Hideki Matsuyama (2016 and 2017), and Kyle Stanley (+27000).

The following golfers have at least 8 rounds at TPC Scottsdale with a strokes gained average of at least 1.0, via FantasyNational:

Golfer Strokes Gained: Averageat TPC Scottsdale
Branden Grace 2.6
Hideki Matsuyama 2.4
Louis Oosthuizen 2.4
Xander Schauffele 2.1
Jon Rahm 2.0
Nate Lashley 2.0
Brooks Koepka 1.8
Bubba Watson 1.7
Justin Thomas 1.7
Rickie Fowler 1.5
Webb Simpson 1.5
Jordan Spieth 1.5
Brendan Steele 1.4
Matt Kuchar 1.3
Daniel Berger 1.3
J.T. Poston 1.3
Max Homa 1.3
Scott Piercy 1.2
Brandt Snedeker 1.1
Alexander Noren 1.1
Gary Woodland 1.0
Zach Johnson 1.0

Win Simulations

Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their FanDuel Sportsbook win odds.

Golfer FanDuelSalary Win% Top-10% MadeCut% FanDuelSportsbookWinOdds
HaroldVarner III$9,8001.4%13.6%65.2%+5000
CharlesHowell III$8,7000.7%8.1%54.0%+12000

Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets

Jon Rahm (+750) is a tad overvalued, but it's not that egregious, and with his win odds where they are, you often see worse value on a typical betting favorite.

The name at the top of the board who jumps out as a value is Patrick Cantlay (+1400), who couldn't close it out last week. He's super similar to Rahm with his consistency. My model shows value on him at +1400.

I'll be in on Sam Burns at 33/1. He's got the ball-striking to take the course deep even though he has struggled at TPC Scottsdale in the past (two missed cuts and then a putting-driven T22 last year).

The model also likes Louis Oosthuizen (+4100), Abraham Ancer (+5000), and Aaron Wise (+8000). I'm into Corey Conners (+4100), as well.

Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the WM Phoenix Open

All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.

Best of the Best

Jon Rahm (FanDuel Salary: $12,100 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +750) - Even adjusted for the salary, Rahm is the best value in the field, per my combo model, which accounts for recent form, key stats, and course history for this week. Rahm's roots at Arizona State have played part in some of the best course history at TPC Scottdale in the field. There's no justification to avoid him in cash games. Even in tournaments, you're hoping for a missed cut. My win simulation model has that happening 11.7% of the time.

Sam Burns ($10,800 | +3300) - Burns' ball-striking should lead to a good return on salary, though struggles at TPC Scottsdale are worth noting. He missed his first two cuts here and then was 22nd here last year while losing strokes off the tee and with his wedges. He gained 10.9 strokes from putting. I'm emphasizing course history this week but am willing to overlook it because of how good Burns is right now.

Others to Consider:
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,500 | +1600) - Two-time winner here and has 95th-percentile tee-to-green numbers in my model.
Webb Simpson ($10,700 | +3400) - Former winner at TPC Scottsdale; seems to be rounding back into form after injuries last year.
Corey Conners ($10,100 | +5000) - Has 96th-percentile tee-to-green; benefits from an easy putting course.

Mid-Range Picks

Russell Henley ($9,900 | +4100) - Henley's irons are second-best in the field over the past year with recency and field strength adjustments. That helps account for 40th-percentile putting. Henley enters with four straight top-25 finishes (including a runner-up in Hawaii) and, in total, has finished top-25 in six of seven starts in the 2021-22 season.

Luke List ($9,600 | +5500) - List is coming off his big win at the Farmers, which followed up plenty of impressive tee-to-green performances and high-end finishes. A theme this week is easy putting, and that can only help List, whose putting puts him in the 3rd percentile among the field this week. List has three top-30 finishes here in the past four years.

Others to Consider:
Max Homa ($9,500 | +8000) - Missed cuts bookend a T15 at the Tournament of Champions; ball-striking is there, though.
Joel Dahmen ($9,200 | +9000) - Showed the upside last week with a T6; short-game woes still lower the floor.
Keegan Bradley ($9,100 | +10000) - Has 94th-percentile tee-to-green data; putting ease benefits a 10th-percentile putter.

Low-Salaried Picks

Gary Woodland ($9,000 | +9000) - Woodland's got plenty of history at TPC Scottsdale, including a win in 2018. He virtually always gains strokes with his irons at this course, and that's a great place to start. Woodland has been extremely average over the past half of the calendar, yet he's got the form here to get back on the upswing.

Aaron Wise ($8,800 | +8000) - Wise missed the cut at the Farmers on the number in his return to golf after the holiday break. He did it losing strokes in all three tee-to-green facets. If two rounds were predictive, that'd be an issue, but they aren't. Wise, over the past year, leads all golfers with a salary below $9,000 in long-term form, per my data. He was 66th here last year while losing...10.2 strokes putting. He's already been bet down from +10000 to +8000.

Others to Consider:
Mito Pereira ($8,900 | +12000) - Has elite ball-striking (88th percentile); making his TPC Scottsdale debut.
Keith Mitchell ($8,800 | +9000) - Long off the tee and makes plenty of birdies. Could do worse than that this week.
Emiliano Grillo ($8,000 | +15000) - 90th-percentile ball-striking with 10th-percentile short game. Has played here plenty (5 of 6 made cuts).