2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

The world’s largest outdoor cocktail party that also just happens to have a professional golf tournament going on in the background tees off this week at TPC Scottsdale, site of this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.  It’s the fifth PGA Tour event of this calendar year, but mainly it’s just one freaking huge fiesta in the middle of the desert.

The best way to sum up the WMPO tourney is to rephrase what I witnessed in-person when attending the tournament in person several years back.  It was late Saturday afternoon and I was standing near the 16th grandstands with a buddy waiting to a get another “refreshment,” when we saw a young female carrying her beverage and racing up the hill with her friends saying, “ok, so I at least want to see one golfer while I’m here.”  (Get it?  Many people go there to drink and party, not really watch golf).  Yep, that’s the Phoenix Open in a nutshell for ya.

The TPC Scottsdale course is a bomber’s paradise, as at 7,266 yards (following Tom Weiskopf’s recent renovations) in elevation, it merely becomes a pitch and putt on many of the holes for most in the field.  With the lone exception of Mark Wilson, long hitters have owned this venue in recent years, as bashers Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Kyle Stanley, Hunter Mahan and JB Holmes have lifted the trophy here in the past decade.

A sloppy week for my picks last week at the Farmers Insurance Open, other than nailing Emiliano Grillo as my Hosel-Rocket BUST of the week as he missed the cut.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Mickelson MC)

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler– Rickie’s TPC Scottsdale performance has actually gotten progressively worse over the course of his career, with two missed cuts followed by a t-46th last year, although it also includes a solo 2nd in 2010 and a t-13th in ’11.  But, the most volatile golfer on the planet does one thing consistently well–bounce back.  Whether it’s making a birdie after making a double bogey (which I swear he does on the front nine on Thursday every freaking week) or from tournament to tournament—MC, win, MC, win….he is Mr consistently inconsistent.  Given that he missed the cut last week at Torrey Pines, he-yo, I like me some Rickie this week.  Oh yeah, also safe to say that this 27-year-old and his Puma high tops will be getting some major love from the libation-happy crowd this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Lovemark t-31st)

Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson
– For one reason or another, the Webster doesn’t play here every year, but when he does, he delivers.  T-8th, t-8th and 10th in his past three appearances here show his comfort level with the desert track.   I’m still a little nervous about his consistency on the greens with a non-belly putter, but things seem to be improving in that department now that he knows that anchoring is gone forever.  Look for another top 10 from the former U.S. Open champ this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Grillo MC)

David Lingmerth
David Lingmerth
– No question about it, this Swede packs some serious firepower.  Finishing 62-65 at the CareerBuilder Challenge and losing in a playoff to Jason Dufner has him on nearly everyone’s radar this week.  Well, sorry folks, but I’m not buying it.  After his sizzling summer stretch last year, he followed it up by wildly missing the cut in the first two FedEx Cup Playoff events, which ok yes was months and months ago, but my point is that he is still unreliable from week to week.  He has one career start here at TPC Scottsdale, when he finished t-42nd here two years ago.  Steer clear of Lingmerth this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Tringale MC)

Jason Kokrak
Jason Kokrak
– I’ve been high on Kokrak’s PGA Tour potential since the moment he made the leap up from the Web.com Tour and thus far, I’ve mostly been disappointed; however, sometimes success is more of a gradual ascension, as opposed to a rapid adjustment.  Extremely long off the tee, some decent past success here (t-15th in ’14 and t-40th last year) and comes in highly under the radar this week, load up on some Kokrak this week and thank me later.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Comments

  1. Uncle Phil says:

    I promise to see at least one golfer while attending the tourney! 🙂
    UP

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