Last Weeks Results
|To Win||Patrick Cantlay||Lost|
|Top 10 Finish||Matt Kuchar||Lost|
|Top Asian Player||Satoshi Kodaira||Won|
|Top 40 Finish||Kelly Kraft||Won|
Profit/Loss (This week) – Profit of $47.50 to a $10 Stake
Profit/Loss (Overall) – Loss of $361.80 to a $10 Stake
On to this week’s event.
For this week’s tournament in Arizona, it’s back to the desert. TPC Scottsdale has been a part of the PGA Tour’s schedule since 1987. The Stadium Course in Scottsdale is 1,500 feet above sea level and flanked by the harsh Sonoran Desert and the neighboring McDowell Mountain range. In the first round on Thursday, as many as 15 of the world’s top 20 players will tee off, with the tournament taking place the same week as the NFL Super Bowl.
This course encourages pros to hit it long and aggressively with wider fairways and fewer hazards than other PGA Tour locations. The ball will also travel further due to the desert air in Arizona. Since 2000, the winning 72-hole total at Scottsdale has been 265.96, with 270 being the highest winning score this Millennium.
When it comes to what works in this setting, you won’t be surprised to learn that ball-strikers like Hideki Matsuyama dominated a tournament he won twice. The more surprising winners, Kevin Stadler and Kyle Stanley follow a similar pattern, as does Jason Dufner, the past playoff runner-up. In addition, Graham DeLaet came as close to winning here as he did almost anyplace else, JB Holmes is a two-time winner, and Gary Woodland defeated Chez Reavie in a playoff four years ago.
More precisely, approach play has been king: it’s crucial for setting up chances on the par-fives, but away from the thrills of the back nine, a sequence of mid-to-long par-fours that have been made more difficult by recent alterations require superb second shots. Eight of the 12 champions since 2010 have finished fourth or better for the week, with a third of them leading the field.
On to our picks for this year…
Jon Rahm +600
The better the field, the better the favorite, and that is certainly the case with the world number one here. Rahm went to college in Arizona, so they will be accustomed to the playing conditions this week, whereas others may struggle. While a win has eluded Rahm so far this season, he has played well, especially at the Sentry and at the Farmers Insurance Open when we last saw him. His form figures here are superb and read as follows 13/9/10/11/16/5. So, despite not winning the tournament (yet), it’s clear he loves it around here. Off the tee, there is probably nobody better that can go long and straight, and his approach play is also superb. Although he hasn’t won this season, he still ranks 3rd for his greens in regulation percentage, which means he should get plenty of birdie opportunities this week. And he usually takes those chances as he has the sixth-best birdie average on TourTour, which has led to him having the eighth-best scoring average. If he doesn’t take those chances, he doesn’t get down on himself, which is backed up by the fact he has now played 201 holes without a 3-putt. This is the second-longest streak on Tour behind Matthew Wolff. Speaking of streaks, Rahm also has the longest for consecutive fairways hit (27) and successive greens in regulation (34).
Tournament Match Bet
Viktor Hovland to beat Patrick Cantlay +100
There is no doubt that Cantlay is one of the top golfers in the world right now, but he dropped away tamely at the AT&T last week. This suggests he could be carrying a slight injury as it’s unlike him to take the lead in the final round of a tournament and not to win it or at least come close to winning it. On the other hand, Viktor Hovland already has two wins on the PGA Tour to his name this season, having won the World Wide Technology Championship and the Hero World Challenge. He has a high driving accuracy percentage, leading to a high GIR percentage and the second-highest birdie average on TourTour. His birdie or better percentage sits at 33%, meaning for every three holes he plays, he is likely to make a birdie a better, which is some going.
My name is Dean, AKA The Stat Man. I am a Sports Betting Analyst who uses math, algorithms, probability and logic to create my posts. I specialize in many sports, with Golf being the primary focus. You can find a lot of my work on various websites but the best content is found here on Beer Life.
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