The Tour is heading out to TPC Scottsdale for this year’s version of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Unfortunately, given the COVID protocols, it won’t be quite as raucous of a crowd as usual. For those that are unfamiliar, the 16th hole is set up like a stadium and is one of the few events where the PGA pros welcome noise. It’s a completely different atmosphere than a usual tour stop. There will be some guests allowed on the grounds, so some of that feeling will be there but it won’t be quite the same.
This event is the perfect appetizer for the Super Bowl. It’s a 7,260-yard par 71. It features 67 bunkers, three water hazards, and TifEagle greens.
Checking the Chalk
The $9,000 range is slammed with chalky options this week, or at least options that are getting plenty of buzz to start the week. Daniel Berger ($9,600), Will Zalatoris ($9,000), and Sungjae Im ($9,400) have all flown across my timeline on multiple occasions already.
Zalatoris is the shiny new toy on Tour. Everyone is enamored with his talent and, quite honestly, it’s hard not to be. Typically, the PRK is slow to catch up with brand new golfers on Tour but even accounting for that, Zalatoris is in the top 10 of PRK among active golfers. He demolished the Korn Ferry Tour before bursting onto the scene this year with a T6 at the U.S. Open. It’s very hard to argue with playing him this week.
Over Berger’s last 200 rounds, he fought through an injury and saw an incredible improvement in his game. He currently sits at No. 5 in my overall Power Ranking and is 4th in this week’s field. Berger hasn’t missed a cut since the Memorial back in July.
Im has historically paid off his salary.
Lately, he’s gone through these stretches where he just completely forgets how to golf. Sunday’s round was a perfect example: he was humming along, playing great, and then couldn’t even break 40 on the back nine. His variance has been tough to handle, but if he avoided that bad stretch on Sunday, we’re likely talking about him as one of the can’t-miss options on the slate.
At just $7,700, Sam Burns is interesting this week. It’s rare to have a golfer in the $7,000 range with such a sharp peak in the top-15 portion of the graph.
Burns is 14th in PRK but all the way down at 27th in salary. There’s a lot of up and down to his results, but when it clicks, it clicks. Burns is also one of the better course fits at this track, with an emphasis on off-the-tee game.
There are three golfers that outperformed the rest of the sub-$7,500 range in the optimal this week.
- Brendon Todd ($7,400)
- Cameron Tringale ($6,900)
- Henrik Norlander ($7,500)
|↑1||Water is in play on six holes.|