Last week was rough for the picks, especially with Ollie Schniederjans and Jhonattan Vegas missing the cut. I’m sure we will bounce back in a big way this week.
We travel a short way to Scottsdale, Arizona to the “Greatest Show on Grass.” This is a very strong field event with a ton of value on the low range and some studs up top. This is a GPP article predominantly, but I am not one to fall into fancy play syndrome. Let’s dig in.
Course: TPC Scottsdale
Grass: Bermuda Fairways and Greens
2017 Hideki Matsuyama -17
2016 Hideki Matsuyama -14
2015 Brooks Koepka -16
2014 Kevin Stadler -16
2013 Phil Mickelson -28
2012 Kyle Stanley -15
Finishing average: -18.4
|2017 Hideki Matsuyama -17||26||303.3||121||58.61||5||1.369||26||0.455||7||0.645||32||418||24||0.269||173||-0.383||3||24.71||15||14.33|
|2015 Brooks Koepka -16||8||308.2||145||57.33||33||0.66||23||0.407||67||0.2||72||319||83||0.052||17||0.421||10||23.05||61||15.43|
|2014 Kevin Stadler -16||76||291.6||49||64.28||21||0.826||16||0.505||38||0.386||35||414||108||-0.102||163||-0.468||50||20.72||86||16.85|
|2013 Phil Mickelson -28||93||287.9||149||57.3||22||0.775||102||0.021||23||0.494||96||422||29||0.26||5||0.661||1||23.86||30||15.81|
|2012 Kyle Stanley -15||8||306.9||124||59.49||10||1.181||5||0.786||33||0.439||34||416||118||-0.043||189||-0.797||67||20.24||127||18.32|
I didn’t include Matsuyama’s second win in the key stats study and instead went an extra year back to Kyle Stanley. Instantly we can see that strong tee-to-green players who score a high percentage of birdies dominate here at TPC Scottsdale. The average driving distance of the winners is right at 300 yards, so distance will give players an advantage. We see a similar correlation between off-the-tee and approach work and will need to factor these in equally.
$11.4K Jordan Spieth
Spieth is an odds value at 10-1 to win and is on fire tee-to-green, averaging two strokes gained there over his last 12 rounds in 2018. He also has elite advanced course history (T2G course history), being second in the field after Hideki.
$8.5K Matt Kuchar
Kuchar is a safe play to make the cut and has upside. He played in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago so he has competed recently, but that is enough time to readjust after the long travel. He finished ninth last year and played well T2G, finishing 15th versus the field both last year and this year.
$7.7K Kevin Chappell
Chappell is first T2G in the last 12 rounds in 2018 and is long off the tee with a 305-yard average in 2017. According to the odds, he is not a value this week, but on a regular week where the previous tournament didn’t finish on Monday,2 I believe he would be.
$7.5K Scott Piercy
Piercy is only 295 yards off the tee, but he’s gaining a crazy 2.3 strokes per round in the last four, good for fourth in the field in that span. That stat can’t be ignored.
$7.6K Kyle Stanley
Stanley has won here before, has the second-best advanced course history in the field, and has the distance. He was 29th on the tour last year in birdie or better percentage.
$7.3K Bud Cauley
He is a slight odds value and is ninth in SGT2G in the field over the last 12 rounds in 2018.
$6.9K Kevin Na
He is an odds value at 110 -1 to win, and he gained an alarming 2.6 strokes T2G here last year en route to a 16th place finish. That was despite losing a stroke putting per round on average. There is certainly room for improvement in finishing position.
$6.9K Chesson Hadley
We are going to keep riding Hadley until he gets the respect he deserves. An odds value with odds to win of 100-1 that has the T2G skills and distance to compete here.