The TOUR heads to the desert this week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and as always the par 3 16th hole will be the showcase. It’s always fun to see how players react to the thousands of boisterous fans that surround the hole in a stadium fashion. Scores are typically low at TPC Scottsdale where the course is set up for players to be aggressive. Last year Kyle Stanley got redemption after spoiling away a victory in a playoff with Brandt Snedeker the week before at Farmers Insurance Open.
A Group – Jason Dufner hasn’t tee’d it up on the mainland until this week, but look for Dufner to continue his success at TPC Scottsdale. Top 10s in each of his last two years at this event, which includes a solo 2nd place finish in 2011. Backing him up will be Brandt Snedeker who continued his early season success last week with a T2. Not a bad title defense at Torrey!
B Group – Some tough decisions to make within the B group this week. Lots of guys who have some good success in the desert, as well as some past champions. Getting the nod this week to start is Bo Van Pelt and Nick Watney. Despite off to a bit of a slow 2013, BVP posted a T8 at TPC Scottsdale last year, and also led the field in GIR. Watney kept his good season rolling last week at Torrey Pines with a T4, and I look for him to continue his success at TPC Scottsdale where he posted a T5 in 2011.
C Group – Rickie Fowler gets the start in the C group this week. After starting off with a crippling 77 at Torrey Pines last week, he rebounded with 65-70-68 to finish T6. Fowler has made the cut in all four of his appearances at TPC Scottsdale, and finished with a solo 2nd in 2010. He’ll be sure to feed off the boisterous crowd at 16.
Starting Foursome: Jason Dufner, Bo Van Pelt, Nick Watney, Rickie Fowler
On the Bench: Brandt Snedeker, Hunter Mahan, Ben Crane, John Huh