We finally leave California for a quick trip to Scottsdale for the 2019 Phoenix Open. An event that debuted in 1932, the last three times this event has been played resulted in a playoff. Of course, this is a bit of a pattered down field with so many players participating in the Saudi International.
Here are five golfers to consider throwing on your card this week.
Phil Mickelson - Phil Mickelson is coming off a runner-up finish at the Desert Classic and is well rested after not playing in San Diego last week. Mickelson has quietly put together some highly impressive performances lately and is pacing himself well. Mickelson is also no stranger to success at the Phoenix Open, as he’s a three-time winner and finished fifth here last year. In fact, Mickelson has finished in the top-20 in four of his last six appearances at TPC Scottsdale. Mickelson and +3000 odds is worth a look.
Tony Finau - Tony Finau has failed to make the cut in three of his four appearances at TPC Scottsdale, which is why he’s listed at +2500 odds this week. I’m going to play the law of averages and say Finau snaps the bad luck. Finau is too consistent of a player to continue his struggles on this particular course, and he enters Arizona in really good form, which includes top-20 finishes in nine of his last 10 events and three runner ups. In a watered down field, this could finally be the week Finau breaks through with a victory.
Gary Woodland - Gary Woodland has made the cut in seven of his nine appearances in Phoenix and is the defending champion on this course after beating Chez Reavie in a playoff. Woodland was a -12 last week at the Farmers Insurance Open and has now finished in the top-10 in five of his last seven events overall. Woodland and +1800 odds is hard to pass up given what he did here last year and his current form.
Hideki Matsuyama - Hideki Matsuyama nearly cracked the safe with us last week at +5500 odds. We’re not getting that same price with him this week, but Matsuyama is still bringing in respectable +1400 odds. There’s good reason to double down on Matsuyama when you factor in that he’s produced top-five finishes in each of his four starts at the Phoenix Open, which includes wins in 2017 and 2016. Who knows what happens last year if he didn’t withdraw due to a wrist injury. Matsuyama is a must bet this week if putting together a golf card.
Jon Rahm - Jon Rahm is the favorite this week at +600 odds, but we’re talking about a player who has top-10 finishes in each of his last four events and has finished no worse than 16th in all three of his appearances at the Phoenix Open. In three trips at TPC Scottsdale, Rahm has produced an average finish of 10.3. Sure, Justin Thomas at a bigger price is quite appealing, but Rahm is in slightly better form the last couple of weeks and has a history of raising him game at this event. I’ll bite on this play.