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Phoenix Open tips: Wyndham Clark stands in way of Scottie Scheffler hat-trick bid

The USPGA Tour makes its annual visit to Arizona, where 600,000 spectators are expected to add their usual unique flavour to one of golf’s most popular events. Martin Colwell takes a closer look.

Phoenix Open key stats:

  • When: February 8-11 2024
  • Where: TPC Scottsdale - Stadium Course, Arizona
  • How long: 7,261 yards - par 71
  • What to expect: Raucous crowds in stadium settings, including 20,000-seater “Coliseum” par-3 16th
  • Who won last year: Scottie Scheffler (-18)

The stadium course at TPC Scottsdale creates an atmosphere like no other on the Tour, with the signature par-3 16th well named as ‘The Coliseum’ as 20,000 spectators lie in wait to voice their (dis)approval.

Scottie Scheffler has won this in each of the last two years, and will turn up again with his game in its usual top shape, and he was primed to make a Sunday challenge at Pebble Beach until the weather halted proceedings. 

Even with a putter that doesn’t glow as hotly as others, the world number one is always the one to beat, and he looks a shoo-in for a strong bet at 9/2.

Suggested bet: Scottie Scheffler in the WM Phoenix Open

 

Justin Thomas is the current flavour of the month in American golf, but the fact remains that JT has not landed a win since the 2022 US Open, and hot form or not, 10/1 seems short in this field.

The same argument can be made for (or against) Max Homa, who is also playing well enough and should be able to perform if conditions become testing, while Jordan Spieth boasts good course form but continues to flatter to deceive, so do we really want to be on him as low as 16/1 when he usually finds a way to lose?

Sam Burns putts well on this type of surface and he must have a chance this week after making the top 10 at both Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach over the last two weekends.

His price of 18/1 is a bit borderline, but he still looks favourable over other fancied golfers this week.

Of much more interest at 20/1 is Pebble Beach winner, Wyndham Clark, and although the weather landed him that success unexpectedly early, his stunning 60 on Saturday was worthy of victory.

The current US Open champion has won back-to-back on tour before, and given his current form and a course that should suit his game, who would rule him out here? 

Suggested bet: Wyndham Clark each-way in the WM Phoenix Open

 

Others to watch:

  • Min Woo Lee (33/1) - a big talent with a bright future who should feed off the crowd
  • Tom Kim (33/1) - has gone off the boil, but another who can thrive on the course and in this atmosphere
  • Hideki Matsuyama (33/1) - not at his best right now, but has won this tournament twice and this course may spark a revival
  • Rickie Fowler (50/1) - won this tournament in 2019, but not on Tour again until last season- needs to rekindle that form
  • Akshay Bhatia (50/1) - up and coming start on this tour and a winner on the tour in 2023, top-14 in three of four events this year, and could be the surprise package

Suggested bet: Akshay Bhatia each-way in the WM Phoenix Open

 

 

Suggested each-way bet summary:

  • Scottie Scheffler (9/2) - 5 points win
  • Wyndham Clark (20/1) - 2 points each way
  • Akshay Bhatia (50/1) - 1 point each way


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