The WM Phoenix Open is the third-most predictive tournament on the PGA TOUR. The first is the Masters and the second is the Sony Open. The significance of that statement cannot be undervalued. “Most predictive” means that competitors who historically play well at a course will continue to play well there. These horses for courses either have the skill set needed to annually contend, or they just really love the event. In the case of the WMPO, it is probably a bit of both!
WM Phoenix Open 2023: Tournament & trends
The Phoenix Open moved to the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale in 1987. Thirty-six years later, the atmosphere surrounding this designated PGA TOUR event only continues to get better. Although some golf purists may mind all the craziness, it is obvious from a golf perspective the tournament has some serious swagger.
- Each of the last eight winners are either major champions or winners of the PLAYERS Championship.
- Eight of the Top 10 players are entered alongside 22 of the Top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
- The purse has been raised to $20 million dollars with a winner’s check worth $3.6 million.
- More than 600,000 fans will converge on Scottsdale this week to attend. That makes the WMPO the second-largest attended sporting event in the world behind the Olympics.
For a course that is extremely predictive, fan familiar, and susceptible to scoring, I wonder why champions tend to excel here. In the last ten years:
- The average winning score is 17 under par.
- The average winner’s pre-tournament odds are +3900.
- Of those winners, only one had odds greater than +5000 in the last decade.
Competition is tight at TPC Scottsdale. The average cutline since 2013 is -0.3 under par. Competitively, this course creates epic drama. Who could forget our lead into Super Bowl 56 last year, when Scottie Scheffler defeated Patrick Cantlay in a playoff. In fact, there have been eight playoffs needed in the last 15 years to help decide the winner.
The scorecard says Par 71 measuring 7,261 yards, but the pros will be playing at 1,250 above sea level in Phoenix. The ball will be flying in the desert across this barren landscape dotted with green holes. Successful players will need to navigate a variety of tee shots bending in both directions. Seven of the holes have water in play and on top of the Arizona sand there are sixty-seven more bunkers.
After close analysis of the last ten winners, one can start to see how they collected their trophy. It all starts on approach, with the majority of shots falling in the 150-175 yard range. Even though each of them gained an average of 5.5 strokes on approach en route to winning, their biggest gains against the field came in this range. Statistically, the best mid-iron players in this field are Tom Kim, Collin Morikawa, Joel Dahmen, Justin Lower, and Justin Thomas.
The second-strongest trend came on the putting green. Seven out of the last 10 champions gained over three strokes on the green with their flatstick. Most will comment that TPC Scottsdale has some mundane green complexes, but the research shows picking putters makes a difference. Here’s the Top 5 flatstick aficionados in the field: Taylor Montgomery, Maverick McNealy, Andrew Putnam, Sam Burns, and Brendon Todd.
TPC Scottsdale registered the longest average driving distance on the PGA TOUR last season. Players let it rip in the desert, and when you look at the past winners one can easily see why. Hideki has won twice and so has Brooks. Gary Woodland, Phil Mickelson, and Scottie Scheffler are also recent champions. Speed matters for success and even though the shorter hitters benefit from a little altitude, the longer ones bomb it even more. The top tee shot swingers are: Jon Rahm, Cam Young, Rory McIlroy, Keith Mitchell, and Taylor Pendrith.
If you take the averages from just those three strokes gained categories alone, you would gain an average of over 13 strokes against the field. Considering most PGA TOUR winners only need to gain about 10 or 11 strokes each week to win, these skills succinctly show you why the Stadium Course is so predictive.
Speaking of predictions, here’s the odds to win and our top wagers for the WM Phoenix Open.
WM Phoenix Open 2023: Odds
|Player||Odds to Win|
|Si Woo Kim||+8000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+30000|
|J. B. Holmes||+50000|
For a complete list of my betting predictions covering winners, placements, H2H matchups, One and Done picks, and DFS recommendations please go to Read The Line and subscribe. For now, let’s look at the remaining odds for the 2023 WM Phoenix Open. Good luck and enjoy the Super weekend!
WM Phoenix Open 2023: Best bets
Placement bets are a great opportunity to win a little extra cash. Unlike H2H matchups, these opportunities usually carry positive odds. With solid expert research many of these bets can be banked quite easily. Check out the following two tremendous props on BetMGM.
We established it takes a major player to compete and contend at the WMPO. Jason Day has a PGA Championship and PLAYERS trophy on his mantle. The former No. 1 ranked player in the world has six Top 21 finishes in eight starts this PGA TOUR season. In his last five events, he’s been awesome in Par 4 scoring, on approach (gain 1.5 strokes), off the tee (gain 1.6 strokes) and avoiding bogeys. His excellent mid-iron game and putter fit nicely into a Top 20 finish (+200) in the desert this week.
The best prop bet opportunities always take a little extra time to find. Most combination bets are a risk, but the books aren’t always right. Collin Morikawa and Max Homa are two of the hottest golfers in the world. On a course that rewards approach play, these two attack greens like bears in a campground. Yes the two Cal standouts haven’t finished outside the Top 3 in any event this year! When they both finish inside the Top 20 (including ties) the payout is +230. I’m already betting this win on the Super Bowl coin toss!
It certainly is Super Bowl weekend and this Sunday is all about the big win. I’ll leave the pigskin picks to those experts, but my money is on Collin Morikawa (+1800) or Tom Kim (+3000) to win the WMPO. Morikawa has finished 2nd and 3rd this season while the last time Kim played in the desert he won in Las Vegas. Both are available on BetMGM, so get to the book and bet on two of the best iron players alive. Tee to Green each has the skills to set themselves apart at TPC Scottsdale.
Read The Line is the leading golf betting insights service led by 5-time award winning PGA Professional Keith Stewart. Read The Line covers the LPGA and PGA Tour, raising your golf betting acumen week after week. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter and follow us on social media: TikTok, Instagram, Twitter.