Previews and pre-event analysis from Golf Betting System's PGA Tour and European Tour coverage
To read Steve Bamford's Waste Management Phoenix Open tips for 2014 click here. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf
The PGA Tour only plays a single stroke play tournament in Arizona each year, but boy what a tournament! As January turns to February the Tour moves en-mass to Scottsdale, for one of the highlights of the golfing season the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale hosts the biggest attendance for any tournament in the United States, with over 500,000 guaranteed across the 4 days of play. The desert course which is played at altitude rewards attacking golf with low scores and now attracts a top line field with Phil Mickelson an ever present since his first appearance here way back in 1997.
Tournament Facts & Scheduling
The Stadium Course is famous for the most unique hole in world golf. The 16th hole is a Par 3 that's totally enclosed by stands that contain 20,000 of the rowdiest golf fans who cheer great shots and lambast poor shots with equal vigour. The hole is surrounded by concession stands where half of Phoenix travel simply to party. Jarrod Lyle's ace here in 2011 is well worth a watch. The excitement from the crowd is also mirrored in the course design where each of the three Par 5s are all reachable to the power hitters and the 332 yard 17th hole is a drivable Par 4. The Phoenix stop off is golf US style and its even more striking when compared to the final two stroke play tournaments on the West Coast Swing, namely the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. Tranquillity and tradition after the craziest week in golf.
TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course
Designer: Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish 1995 Course Type: Desert Resort Par: 71 Length: 7,216 yards Water Hazards: 5 Fairways: Bermudagrass with Perennial Rye and fine fescue Rough: Bermudagrass with Perennial Rye and fine fescue 2.5" Greens: 6,350 sq.ft average featuring Bermudagrass; Velvet bentgrass; fine fescue; Poa trivialis Stimpmeter: 12 to 12.5ft Scoring Avg 2012: 70.75 Ranked 29 of 49 courses for difficulty Scoring Avg 2013: 68.95 40 of 43 courses for difficulty
Previous Champions: 2013: Phil Mickelson; 2012: Kyle Stanley; 2011: Mark Wilson; 2010: Hunter Mahan; 2009: Kenny Perry; 2008: J.B. Holmes; 2007: Aaron Baddeley; 2006: J.B. Holmes; 2005: Phil Mickelson; 2004: Jonathan Kaye; 2003: Vijay Singh; 2002: Chris DiMarco; 2001: Mark Calcavecchia; 2000: Tom Lehman
Winners Prices 2013: Phil Mickelson - 25/1 2012: Kyle Stanley - 66/1 2011: Mark Wilson - 80/1 2010: Hunter Mahan - 66/1 2009: Kenny Perry - 33/1
TPC Scottsdale is a 7,200 yard Par 71 which is resort in nature. Scoring is always relatively low with Phil Mickelson shooting an incredible -28 to win in very soft conditions in 2013. Previous winning scores include -14 (Perry 09), -16 (Mahan 10), -18 (Wilson 11) and -15 (Stanley 12). The Stadium course does have teeth though and it's critical to both keep the ball in play and hit lots of greens. Players that continually attack will find trouble and make too many bogies to become champion. Mickelson made a single bogey and one double bogey when triumphing with both Wilson and Mahan only dropping shots on 4 of their 72 holes when taking the title.
As ever player form will be important this week but that has to be tied in with recent experience of shooting low scores. Unfortunately though I have to be the bearer of bad news. Fact is Tour rookies, Tour maidens, recent winners and those who haven't won over a period of time can all win the Phoenix Open. Even worse the course suits no particular playing style with long bombers, ball strikers and shorter grinders all getting the job done in recent years. It's all up for grabs!
Below we track the results of Golf Betting System PGA Tour tipster Steve Bamford who has been producing weekly tips since 2009. Here how his Waste Management Phoenix Open Tips have fared over the past 2 seasons: