After our second Monday finish already this season, the PGA Tour heads to the desert for the Wast Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Last year, it was Kyle Stanley who bounced back from a horrible loss at the Farmers to get his redemption in the desert. The TPC Scottsdale is probably most well-known for its stadium-style par-3 16th which is the only hole on tour that is fully enclosed. The fans are always a huge part of the entertainment factor as they really get involved in the action at 16 and throughout the course.
Last week, GoHogsGo won the week with an impressive score of 224. My score of 182 wasn’t enough to hold onto the overall lead as Eagle’s Nest put up 210 to pull one point ahead of me in the segment standings. Without the low week thrown out, MT Cup holds the season standings lead coming into week 5.
Here’s who I’m rolling with this week to heat it up in the desert:
Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker finished tied for second last week giving him a pair of top three’s in his three events this year. In his six appearances at TPC Scottsdale he’s made five cuts with a pair of top 10′s.
Jason Dufner: It’s hard to argue with top 20′s in his last eight events. He started this season with an un-inspiring t18 in Kapalua but then went to Europe and threw up a pair of top 10′s. He’s got a great history at this event including a solo second in 2010 and a t8 last year.
Aaron Baddeley: Baddeley shot a third-round low 68 and followed that up with a 69 on Sunday to finish t6. Badds hasn’t made it back to the top 25 here since his win in this event in 2007, but he also has made every cut since 2008 with a t35 as his best finish.
Hunter Mahan: Mahan finished t15 last week after alternating 69′s and 72′s at Torrey Pines.Last year he finished t6 giving him three top 10′s in his career at this event including a victory in 2010.
Nick Watney: In the wind on Monday, Watney wasn’t able to get his owners a bonus as he finished t4 at the Farmers Insurance Open giving him his second top 15 finish in as many tournaments this season. Last year, Watney sat this event out after finishing t5 in 2011. He’s a safe pick although unless he’s near the top I’ll try and save my starts on him for later this year.
Scott Stallings: Stallings was in the driver’s seat two weeks ago and will look for Stanley-like redemption in Scottsdale. He missed the cut last week on the number thanks to a rough +6 in round two after a solid -6 round one. Stallings is playing well, and with Watney as a safe option I’m going a bit risky with Stallings as my second player off the bench form the B-list.
Rickie Fowler: Fowler will be an extremely popular pick given his name recognition on tour and his recent run of success. He’s started this year with a pair of t6′s at the Hyundai and last week at the Farmers. Fowler has a good history here with a solo second in 2010 which he’s followed up with a t13 in 2011 and a t26 last year. There should be plenty of orange around the course throughout the week and I expect to see Fowler on the leaderboard on Sunday.
Jason Day: Day finished with a fourth-round low round of 66 in his first PGA tournament of the season last week. He’ll try to translate that momentum to Phoenix this week. He only has one career appearance here, a missed cut in 2010.