The Farmers Insurance Open is behind us and congratulations go out to Scott Stallings for an impressive victory with a birdie on the 72nd hole. Tiger inherited the dreaded “MDF” on the leader board after a poor third round that saw him miss the secondary cut. But what might impact this week’s field the most was the withdrawal of Phil Mickelson with a back injury. Why this week? Well Mickelson was set to defend his title at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The Phoenix Open is in its 78th year and the host course has been the TPC at Scottsdale for over 25 years. Players the likes of Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller and Phil Mickelson have been called champion after 72 holes of hard fought competition. The TPC at Scottsdale is a 7,216 yard track that will play to a par of 71 over the next four days of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. A full field of 132 players will battle for the $6.2 million purse and the winners share of $1,116,000.
Predicting a winner in a full field golf tournament is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. . I have a few players in mind with a great shot at navigating the TPC at Scottsdale, and some of the rowdiest fans in golf. If you don’t believe that(just Google the 16th at TPC at Scottsdale to understand what I mean. On to the predictions and picks for the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Horse for the Course-Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson would be the pick to win the 2014 Waste Management Open if it wasn’t for his withdrawal from the Farmers. His status for this week is in question and if he does play his health will be a big question mark. He is the defending champion almost setting the PGA Tour tournament scoring record and the undisputed fan favorite. Phil played his college golf at Arizona State University and has won this event a grand total of three times including last year, 2005 and 1996. In his last full tournament, which was overseas, Mickelson finished one shot from victory in second place which included a two stroke penalty.
Contender- Brandt Snedeker
Brandt Snedeker has a history here are the Waste Management Phoenix Open finishing ninth in 2008, eighth in 2011 and second last year at 24 under par. We might have talked about defending champion Brandt Snedeker if Mickelson didn’t have a historic week here last year. The previous FedEx Cup Champion won twice on tour last year and has a tie for 11th at this year’s Tournament of Champions. If Snedeker can get his putter on track, which we all know he is capable of, he could post another 24 under week and that would probably be enough for victory.
The Pick- Webb Simpson
The former United States Open Champion had a down 2013 without a win capturing only one top-3 finish. However, new year’s can bring change and Webb is having an incredible start to his 2014 campaign. He has not finished outside the top-25 yet with a tie for third at the Tournament of Champions and a victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. While Webb did not play in the Phoenix Open last year he did finish tied for eighth here in 2012 and tied for eighth here in 2011. He is comfortable with the TPC Scottsdale and he is playing well.
He is getting it done on the course and he has been minimizing his mistakes while maximizing his birdie opportunities in 2014. Webb is currently first on tour in Greens in Regulation, Scoring Average and Birdie Average. He is also second in Strokes Gained Putting, ninth in the All-Around and 16th in Total Putting. As my pick, don’t be shocked to see Webb holding the trophy at the end of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Who will win the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open?
- Other (46%, 66 Votes)
- Webb Simpson (36%, 51 Votes)
- Brandt Snedeker (12%, 17 Votes)
- Phil Mickelson (6%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 143