Yahoo Golf Talk: Waste Management Phoenix Open

Josh Culp
·3 min read

The PGA TOUR heads to TPC Scottsdale this week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

For DFS purposes we should know it's a slim field (132 golfers) so the chances of getting all six golfers through the cutline is a bit higher than the last few weeks which have been full-field events. Should we make drastic changes because of the field size? No. It does allow us to take on an extra risk or two, knowing the overall expected cut-made ratio is just a fraction higher for everyone in the field.

When going hunting for value plays you can look at course history, recent form, or take a stats-based approach. Let's lean on the latter two and look at some recent-form stats that might lead us to some value nuggets.

Tee-to-Green Momentum

For years we have talked about the importance of strokes gained tee-to-green. If you are going to look at one stat each week, it should be this one. It removes the most volatile piece of the equation (putting).

We know it's important but some weeks I just forget to look at it. Not this week. Let's see who is swinging a hot stick since the return from the holidays.

These golfers have gained the most strokes tee-to-green over the last month:

Luke List
Si Woo Kim
Rickie Fowler
Henrik Norlander
Chris Kirk
Brendan Steele
Sungjae Im
Xander Schauffele
Daniel Berger
Jon Rahm
John Huh
Sam Ryder
Justin Thomas
Ryan Palmer
Charley Hoffman

Luke List ($20): The putter remains a serious question mark but the ball-striking is as good as ever recently. List gained strokes tee-to-green in 7-of-8 measured rounds during January and he gained 2.6 or more tee-to-green in five of those. That gives him a median SG:T2G of 3.1 per round in the short-term window. A small sample of course, but he's also gained tee-to-green in 11-of-16 rounds at TPC Scottsdale. He should have loads of scoring opportunities this week.

Off-the-Tee Performance

Historically TPC Scottsdale has had one of its main defenses be the firmness of the greens. That makes it tough to hold then greens when attacking from the rough or native area.

As a result, strokes gained off-the-tee becomes a very important stat. If you can gain strokes off-the-tee via distance then you'll be attacking with more short irons or wedges. If you gain off-the-tee through accuracy then you'll be attacking from the fairway.

Here are the golfers that are averaging the most strokes gained off-the-tee per round, over the last six months:

Sam Burns
Jon Rahm
Rory McIlroy
Bubba Watson
Corey Conners
Luke List
Cameron Champ
Scottie Scheffler
Will Zalatoris
Xander Schauffele
Sungjae Im
Doc Redman
Daniel Berger
Emiliano Grillo
Charley Hoffman

Sam Burns ($23): He's 0-for-2 at TPC Scottsdale but on paper the course should fit him a little better than the early results. More recently, he's been T18 or better in 13-of-24 rounds played this season. He continues to flirt with contention and might provide the value needed on Yahoo to fit in some superstars at the top.

Hopefully these stats will give you some names to dive into when it comes to researching your final selections this week over at Yahoo!