Yahoo DFS Golf: WM Phoenix Open Picks and Strategy

Yahoo DFS Golf: WM Phoenix Open Picks and Strategy

This article is part of our Yahoo PGA DFS Picks series.

WM Phoenix Open

Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Course: TPC Scottsdale - Par 71 – 7,261 yards
Designer: Tom Weiskopf (1986)
Purse: $20 million

The Preview

The biggest party of the PGA Tour season has arrived, and over 500,000 fans will descend upon the greater Phoenix area for what should be an exceptional weekend of sports. Although the WM Phoenix Open is known for its famously rowdy 16th-hole stadium setup, TPC Scottsdale is a rather traditional layout that players are more accustomed to than some of the other West Coast Swing venues. Accordingly, birdie opportunities will be plentiful, and past winners have often challenged 20-under par. Perhaps that's exactly why this event boasts 23 of the world's top 25 players and represents the PGA's first full-field designated event of the year. Unsurprisingly, the weather forecast for the weekend is sunny and mid-70s throughout.

The winner's share for this event is $3.6 million, and second and third places will come away with $2.2 and $1.4 million. As one can see, there's a lot more to be excited about in Phoenix this weekend than just the Super Bowl. Somewhat notably, this tournament typically comes right down to the wire, as five of the past seven champions have been determined via a playoff.

Recent Champions

2022 – Scottie Scheffler (-16)
2021 – Brooks Koepka (-19)
2020 – Webb Simpson (-17)
2019 – Rickie Fowler (-17)
2018 – Gary Woodland (-18)
2017 – Hideki Matsuyama (-17)
2016 – Hideki Matsuyama (-14)

Key Stats

SG: Off-the-Tee
SG: Approach
Scrambling

Yahoo Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Rory McIlroy - $47

McIlroy is fresh off an impressive victory at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, where he outdueled rival Patrick Reed to claim the title by one stroke. While being interviewed following his victory, the Northern Irishman was quoted as saying that he didn't quite have his "A game" during the week. This is reminiscent of Tiger's dominance when he was besting fields with his "B" or "C" game, and it's scary to think about what McIlroy could post should he find that second gear amongst a highly energized cadre of PGA Tour fans. It's not difficult to envision him catching another wave of momentum, and we've all seen what Rory is capable of (see: Ryder Cup) when he gets the crowd going.

Xander Schauffele - $46

Schauffele is priced one dollar lower than the three premium options (McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler), but his odds suggest bettors still think he's a rather safe option given his recent results and track record. Crucially, he almost always plays well at TPC Scottsdale, finishing second and third in his last two appearances in this event. I think this is the year that Schauffele finally breaks through in the desert and comes away with his first victory since the Scottish Open last June.

Glue Guys

Max Homa - $41

Homa just fits the mold of a player that will excel within this type of spirited environment, and he's demonstrated via Twitter that he's a man of the people. His price is particularly attractive for someone who claimed a title and finished third over his last two starts. Homa has all the tee-to-green prowess necessary to get the job done at TPC Scottsdale, and he'll have the comfort of staying at home for the weekend while other players pay top dollar for accommodations. Another victory to keep the hot streak going would certainly cement Homa as one of the top players on Tour.

Viktor Hovland - $38

Hovland's been in the mix at both Kapalua and Pebble Beach (T18, T13), but a couple big numbers derailed any chances at truly contending. That said, TPC Scottsdale presents a relatively straightforward setup with a minimal amount of serious trouble, and Hovland's heavy, piercing ball flight should play well on firm fairways and fairly-maintained greens. He's trending in the right direction, and I expect him to notch a top-10 -- or better -- as his game continues to round into form.

Bargain Bin

Rickie Fowler - $28

Fowler hasn't been overly impressive to begin the 2023 season, but he's nonetheless 2-for-2 in cuts made. He's certainly a bit of a speculative choice based on recent performances, but this price is almost too low to bypass for such a defending champion. Accordingly, here's to hoping the WM is a springboard for Fowler and he's able to play well enough to make some noise late into the weekend. 

Webb Simpson - $24

Simpson -- another defending champion priced rather generously -- tends to play well at TPC Scottsdale as well as similar tracks. He's not a terribly long hitter, but that's not usually an issue on firm, fast conditions. Beware, though, his price largely reflects the fact that he's missed a lot of cuts in recent months. Selecting Simpson is a wager that he finds his game in the desert and captures some lightning in a bottle like he did in 2020.  

Joel Dahmen - $23

Dahmen is another Scottsdale native and local legend who should feel very comfortable competing on his home turf. He will likely have several family members and friends in attendance and will undoubtedly be familiar with the course layout. It's conceivable that he finds the first few pages of the leaderboard early and often, and it wouldn't be at all surprising to see Dahmen in contention come Sunday. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Joseph Szmadzinski plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jszmadzinski.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joseph Szmadzinski
Joseph Szmadzinski is a golf and soccer contributor. He played golf at Bucknell University (2013). When not at the office, he enjoys spending time on the golf course, playing tennis and watching whatever games are on.
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