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Waste Management Phoenix Open

waste management phoenix open 2022 DraftKings Preview

stacked field vies for people's open championship in scottsdale

It would appear the People's Open is a title worth fighting for in 2022. The 2021 People's Champion, Brooks Koepka, is back to defend along with a stacked group of the PGA Tour's elite. World #1, Jon Rahm, lead's the second strongest field TPC Scottsdale will have ever seen as 18 of the top 30 in the world are set to tee it up at the 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO). Let's get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this weekend. 

What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and our favorite DraftKings picks for the week. 

Hollywood Hoge! It hurts to not have a piece of Tom Hoge's first PGA Tour win. Hoge had a late push on Sunday evening to fend off Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. DB and Pat didn't have a piece either but we're all happy for Hoge. That's two first-time PGA winners in a row. The WMPO sets up well for first-time winners so maybe we'll see three in a row come Super Bowl Sunday.

All of the course data, player stats, and most of the information below can be found on Fantasy National Golf Club (FNGC). At FNGC you can view historic course conditions, course scoring breakdowns, tournament history, simulators, and official strokes gained data provided by the PGA Tour. Start building your models at Fantasy National now!

The Field and Tournament Details for the Waste Management Phoenix Open

We have finally made it through multi-course SZN. Congrats to all the survivors. For all of those still with us, or maybe just climbing out of the weeds, your reward is the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The reigning People's Open Champion, Brooksy, will look for his third WMPO title this week. Arizona resident, and the top-ranked golfer in the world, Jon Rahm is here. Viktor Hovland is here. Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and Hideki Matsuyama are here. All inside the official world golf ranking top 10.

The next tier is juicy as well. Louis Oosthuizen is making his first start of 2022. Sam Burns, Scottie Scheffler, Spieth, potentially Daniel "How's your back?" Berger, Tony Finau, Harris English, Abe Ancer, Sungjae Im, Billy Horschel, Talor Gooch, Russell Henley, Seamus Power, and last week's champ, Tom Hoge, are all set to tee it up in Scottsdale on Thursday,

Brooksy will look to be just the second player to go back-to-back at the WMPO. Deki did it in 2016 and 2017. Brooks and Deki will also try to join the list of three-time WMPO champs, joining Phil Mickelson, Mark Calcavecchia, Gene Littler, and Arnold Palmer. More recent winners at Scottsdale include Webb Simpson (2020/-17), Rickie Fowler (2019/-17), Gary Woodland (2018/-18), Deki (2017/-17,2016/-14), Brooks (2015/-15).

The winning score has consistently been between -15 to -20 with a round by round scoring average of 69.455. The field is 132 with a T65 cutline. There is a Monday qualifier and four sponsor exemptions. Sahith Theegala, Austin Eckroat, Patrick Rodgers, and Preston Summerhayes have been awarded the exemptions. Summerhayes is a current student at Arizona State and has worked the WMPO event since he was 10 years old.

tpc scottsdale Course Breakdown

  • Course: TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course)
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Yardage: 7,261
  • Par: 71
  • Grass: TifEagle bermudagrass overseeded w/ Poa trivialis and perennial ryegrass
  • Architect: Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish (1986)
  • Comp Courses: Sothern Hills CC, Silverado Resort, NT at PGA West, Bay Hill Club, TPC Boston, The Old White TPC

TPC Scottsdale. Home of the WMPO since 1987. Built to be a spectacle of golf, for golf fans. The event is one of the most attended events of the year. Fans will be back in full force this year after Covid forced a limit in 2021. The near 7,300-yard par 71 features Bermudagrass tee to green. However, due to the season, the greens have been overseeded with Poa trivialis and perennial ryegrass. Important to note though, because it has been colder than normal, the overseed has not taken over.

FNGC's Past Course Conditions model gives us a great look at how TPC Scottsdale has played. The greens are firm and fast. The rough isn't long. Hitting fairways can be difficult but scoring relative to par is easy to average. The main defenses of the course are the narrow fairways, 67 bunkers, and water hazards that come into play on six holes. Including the driveable 17th hole which has seen a steady collection of golf balls over the years.

Phoenix lies at an elevation of 1,500 feet which allows the ball to travel farther. The dry desert air helps as well. Other than maybe some cooler desert temps in the early morning hours, the weather looks decent. Could be some possibilities of afternoon gusts on Thursday and again on Saturday. Something to keep an eye on.

Key Stats for the waste management phoenix open

  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Driving Distance
  • Opportunities Gained
  • Par 5 Scoring (550-600 yds)
  • Par 4 Scoring (400-500 yds)

This is a week where putting comes in as the most important stat. Over the last three years at the WMPO, only three players have placed in the top 12 while losing strokes on the green. All three came in 2019 (Bubba Watson, Hary Woodland, Harold Varner III). The greens are huge and they play firm and fast.

With the greens in mind, sticking your approach shots close is also key. Nobody inside the top 10 the last three years has lost strokes on approach. In fact, only three have failed to at least gain a stroke. For that reason, I also like FNGC's Opps Gained stat. To give yourself great approach opportunities, smashing the daylights out of the ball is helpful. I like driving distance at TPC Scottsdale but they can't be too wild with it. Don't want a cactus in the ass.

TPC Scottsdale only has three Par 5s so need to take advantage of those. All three are between 550 and 560 yards. Reachable for most. There are 11 Par 4s. All but one of them are between 400-500 yards. That would be the driveable and highly entertaining 17th hole that plays 332 yards.

Here's a tidbit from our Nut Hut in-house caddie: "Keep the birdies going and bogeys off the card. Some guys know how to putt these greens, factor the mountain slope, with Bermuda overseed. Lots of mid irons, the course plays shorter than its yardage bc of the dry air and elevation."

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Waste Management Phoenix Open Picks & Fades

Each week we will give you some plays and a fade from each DraftKings salary range. For all of DB and Pat’s thoughts and picks make sure to check out and subscribe to the Tour Junkies Podcast.

To Play or Not to Play Brooks Koepka

BK is the reigning People's Champion and back to defend. Brooks isn't a grinder. He's not going to pop in your stat model. He's going to give you a low-owned, long-ball, birdie-making shot at taking down a GPP. The haters will hate all day. BK stuffed it in their face last year and can do it just as easily this year.

$9K & Above 

  • DB: Play - Hideki Matsuyama | Fade - Brooks Koepka
  • Pat: Play - Jon Rahm | Fade - Brooks Koepka
  • AC: Play - Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele** | Fade - Patrick Cantlay

**Xander's caddie has tested positive for Covid**

JT has dominated the WMPO and done everything but win. He leads the field in score to par, birdie or better, strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: total over the last four years. Similar story for Xander but this time we get a reduced price. Nothing worse than a T17 in his last four outings. Xander seems to lack some win equity when it matter but like last year, we don't need him to win. Spieth is a bit more mixed bag. A T4 last year but two MC's after a T9 in 2017. Spieth came up short last week but loved seeing him in the fight. His comp course history is fantastic as well. With the news of Xander's caddie being out, X is probably a fade for me now.

This will be Cantlay's first time in Phoenix. He plays a bit slow. I'm not sure how he will react to the roaring crowd but at the price, I'm not interested in the outcome. Course history is important here. Cantlay has zero.

$8K Range

  • DB: Play - Russell Henley | Fade - Harris English
  • Pat: Play - Tony Finau | Fade - Corey Conners
  • AC: Play - Louis Oosthuizen, Russell Henley | Fade - Tony Finau

The first time we get to see Louis in 2022. Historically, he gets off to a bang. Since 2009, he has had four wins and nine top 10s at his first event. A T11 and T3 here his last two starts is pretty solid too. Henley is a model darling and likely to be highly owned. Hopefully, it won't be too high. Although his history isn't amazing, his recent form is. Henley is a ball-striking machine and the putter is dependable too.

Finau played in Saudi which is a red flag for me anyway but his putting and driving has been OFF. It's just not worth the gamble to me when so much talent surrounds him.

$7K Range

  • DB: Play - Talor Gooch | Fade - Si Woo Kim
  • Pat: Play - Keith Mitchell | Fade - Joel Dahmen
  • AC: Play - Talor Gooch, Keith Mitchell, Andrew Putnam | Fade - Abe Ancer

Big shock to see Gooch here. Ya, ya... It's a new Gooch and he's striping it. He's third in strokes gained: total over the last six events and that includes a missed cut. The history at WMPO isn't great but Gooch wasn't this great before anyway. Killa Keith's history won't pop off the page either but squeezed in the middle is a T16. The form has been outstanding though and he can put his big stick to work this week. Putnam's T7 last year looks pretty good. His play last week and even the last three weeks has me finally hopping on the train. Let the flow loose this week!

Abe has only played the WMPO one time. It was an MC in 2019. He played last week in Saudi which wasn't bad but his recent results on the PGA Tour have been. The price is pretty awesome but I think I'll let him burn me if he happens to show up.

$6K Range

  • DB: Play - Hudson Swafford, Patton Kizzire, James Hahn
  • Pat: Play - Adam Hadwin, Emiliano Grillo, Wyndham Clark
  • AC: Play - Adam Hadwin, James Hahn, Kevin Chappell

I could go a bunch of different ways in this range. That's the joy of having a stacked field. Somebody has to be down here and often some decent players get pushed back. That's Hadwin for me this week. Arizona guy. Solid history. Solid form. Hits fairways. Makes putts. Hahhhhhnnnnnnnnnn! Thanks, Mayo. Hahn helped me win a bunch of money last year at this event. He loves it and hasn't been playing poorly.

Okay, I know Chappell burned me last week. I wasn't surprised. Took a gamble on a guy who had two starts left on a medical. This is his last. Do or die. Needs a minimum of solo 34th for conditional. T5 or better for full. Bring it, Kevin.

There ya go. Very excited about this week. The season really kicks off for me here. Ownership should be pretty spread out with this field. Play your favorite plays. Parlay your favorite plays with the Super Bowl. Good luck!


OUT: Webb Simpson, Harris English, Mav McNealy

IN: Hayden Buckley, Cameron Young, Jonathan Byrd

Open qualifiers: 66 [-6] Ben Silverman (6 birdies); 67 [-5; via 6-for-2 playoff] Jeffrey Kang (8 birdies, 3 bogeys); Étienne Papineau (7 birdies, 2 bogeys)

*The field is 132