The next stop on the PGA Tour is the Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale. This event has typically large numbers of fans in attendance, with 700,000 fans attending the event in 2018. In last year’s event, Brooks Koepka shot -6 in the final round and finished at -19 to win by one stroke over Xander Schauffele.
For three straight weeks on the PGA Tour, the events played have all been with rotating courses with a couple of Pro-Am events scheduled. So, players are finally given a chance to play on the same course for four straight days.
TPC Scottsdale a Favorite
This TPC Scottsdale course is one of the most predictable courses on the Tour, meaning that players who have won here before are more likely to get another win. In addition, the atmosphere of this course has one of the most enthusiastic crowds of any event. Last year’s tournament was limited to only 5,000 fans per day due to COVID-19 restrictions, but this year’s event will allow the standard 50,000 fans each day.
The course is an average, 7,200 yards and a Par-71 and always produces the highest driving distance of any course on the PGA Tour every year. Several holes bring the water into play, such as the well-known par-4 17th. Longer hitting players will have a chance to be more aggressive and can get many more birdie opportunities when playing against these water hazards.
135 Names On Tap
The field for this event is 135 players with many big names slated to participate. Current world number-one Jon Rahm headlines this field that will feature 17 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), including Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matuyama, who are both recent two-time winners of the event.
Jon Rahm is the current favorite to win at +600, and Justin Thomas follows up with +1200 odds. Thomas is the world’s seventh-ranked player, just behind Rory McIlroy. Victor Hovland won last week on the DP World Tour and is currently ranked third in the OWGR and has +1400 odds to win this weekend in Scottsdale.
Three other top-10 OWGR players round out the tournament’s field, including fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay at +1600 and Xander Schauffele, who is eighth in the world, is at +2000. Hideki Matsuyama, the world’s tenth-ranked player, is also at +1600.
Several Repeat Winners Lined Up
Many players in this field have had multiple top-10 finishes in this event, including favorite Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, who won the event two years ago, and Jordan Spieth.
The big advantage for the favorite Jon Rahm is that he is from Scottsdale, attended Arizona State University in nearby Tempe, AZ, and has probably played this course much more than the rest of the field.
He has never won this event but has finished between T5 and T16 in the six times he’s played this tournament. This makes him number one on this course in the last five years of the event. This isn’t including the fact that he’s currently the world’s number-one ranked player.