After the drama of Kyle Stanley’s collapse on the 18th at Torrey Pines, the PGA Tour heads to Scottsdale, Arizona this week as TPC Scottsdale hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The course is probably most famous for its iconic 16th hole. The stadium-seating on the 16th stadium hole brings the fans right on top of the action and the gallery will cheer heartily for each birdie on the Par 3 and explode if anyone aces the hole.
Congratulations to newcomer Squatney Leather who claimed the highest score in our Fantasy CPR group which is now up to 11 members and you are welcome to join. Leather also has the overall lead since they had been active in the game, just not in our group, prior to this week. Just to give you an idea of the quality of our group, my entry is in the 82nd percentile for the overall game, but is only good for 6th place in total points in our group.
Last week, I had Brandt Snedeker on my team and had him active for a round so I got the 20 point bonus even though he spent Sunday sitting on my bench. His Saturday round was discouraging so I went with Rickie Fowler an DJ Points. They finished under par and had decent Sundays but not the storm-back of Brandt and his big win. I was really hurt in my 122 for the week by losing both my C Group golfers to the cut line. Hopefully my picks for this week in Group C fair better. You can find all my picks right after the jump.
Phil Mickelson-The Arizona State grad likes to return to the desert and has had good results here at TPC Scottsdale in the past. In 20 appearances he’s missed 3 cuts but has 9 top 10′s and 2 wins. Phil has played in the previous 2 tournaments missing the cut last week at the Farmers and finishing t49 at Humana. He shot a 68 in the second round of the Farmers but couldn’t overcome a really rough first round of 77. This story from U-T San Diego reports that his daughter had a health scare Thursday but recovered by Friday which may have been partially to blame for Lefty’s tough start. He’s a proven competitor on a course he’s proven at, so I’ll take him in the A group to start off this week.
Matt Kuchar- Kuchar’s a great backup plan for Mickelson given his record in Scottsdale. Kuchar, who is known for his consistent play, has been able to go low enough here to t6 in 2009 although he’s sat out the last couple years. In his only start of this season, he tied for 22nd at the Humana Challenge.
Brandt Snedeker-Snedeker obviously has the hot hand after shooting a closing -5 to tie for the lead in last week’s tournament which he won on the second playoff hole. He’s done well at this event in the past (2 top 10′s in 5 starts), so look for him to be near the top again on Sunday.
Rickie Fowler-Fowler’s bright orange should also be ready to share the leaderboard on Sunday. He finished solo 2nd here 2 years ago and shared 13th last year. The course plays well to his game and the crowd will definitely back him in this college-like atmosphere on Sunday’s back 9.
D.A. Points-Points has been on fire this year with 12 rounds played and 12 rounds under par. He doesn’t have a great history here, but did make his first cut at the event last year.
Justin Leonard- Leonard is coming off a top 10 at Torrey Pines after turning some solid play in the fall series into 2 made cuts in his first 2 evers. He’s had mixed results here over the years finishing runner up twice with 4 top tens, but also 5 missed cuts. Leanard’s an off-the-radar pick, but I think he’ll make the cut and very easily could be around the top of the leaderboard again in Scottsdale.
Vijay Singh- Singh’s history, 6 top 10′s in 15 starts and t3 last year, and his current form, t13 last week, make him the surest choice in group C. After getting burned with nobody left from this group last wee, the safe pick is good with me.
Martin Laird-Laird was the played who tied Singh last year and this year has a solo 2nd and a t14. He played very well on Saturday and Sunday last year in this tournament and I’m hoping he can build on that success to be right in the thick of it come Sunday this year.