PGA Golf Odds & Predictions: Koepka Looks to Defend at Biggest Party outside of Super Bowl

by Aengus Moorehead

PGA Golf Odds & Predictions: Koepka Looks to Defend at Biggest Party outside of Super Bowl

The Story:
One of the year’s most attended events on the PGA Tour is upon us as the players will be greeted by 500,000 people who will trample the TPC Scottsdale in Phoenix this week in an event featuring a strong field coupled with one of the most unique experience a PGA Tour event has to offer.

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Sharing the slot with Super Bowl Week does not seem to faze organisers of this event as it continues to attract throngs thanks to its inimitable atmosphere akin to the NFL’s big game. Indeed, the players have come to embrace the raucous and at times intimidating shenanigans which reach fever-pitch on the enclosed par-three 16th - arguably becoming the most famous hole in the game.

Droves of drunken college students pack the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, just waiting to explode at a hole-in-one, witness a dance move or watching caddies labouring for a foot race and even booing missed putts.  The skyboxes at 16 can easily fit 15,000 spectators and regularly draws capacity crowds, creating one of the most unique and raucous settings in golf.

In the field, Rickie Fowler, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Dufner have all signed up for the challenge and all three have shown their hands already with victories on the board in 2016. Past winner Phil Mickelson has always fared well in his adopted home state while the volatile Bubba Watson boasts a fine course record here and is the odds on favorite.

Course history shouldn’t necessarily be a determining factor at every tournament, it’s a case-by-case situation, but the same players tend to do well at this event each year which is the case for defending Champion Brooks Koepka, Graham DeLaet and Webb Simpson and based on their past success, they should garner interest.

There is also Kevin Na who is looking to take home a Phoenix Open title after finishing second or third over his past six tournaments. Na appears to be comfortable playing in Scottsdale, as he’s got four top-five finishes at TPC in his career. In his most recent outing, Na placed third in the CareerBuilder Challenge in California.

My Top Three:
Ricki Fowler: +1400
It looks like we are finally watching Fowler live up the potential that everyone believed was inside him. It is true that Rickie did finish tied for 46th last year but did close with a final round 67 as it appears he remembered how to play TPC Scottsdale. He did finish tied for 13th in 2011 and second back in 2010. He has four global wins in the last nine months. Watch out.

Brandt Snedeker: +1400
He has a history here are the Waste Management Phoenix Open finishing ninth in 2008, eighth in 2011 and second in 2013 at 24 under par. We might have talked about a title in 2013 if Mickelson didn't have a historic week. He added another top-10 here last year. Since the calendar turned he has a tie for third and a solo second at the Sony Open and an incredible come-from-behind victory at the Farmers.

Bubba Watson: +1100
Watson, on the other hand, must be itching to get over the hump at TPC following two-straight second-place finishes there. Moreover, Watson hasn’t missed the cut in Scottsdale since 2011 and will enter this year’s edition of the Phoenix Open with a streak of four top 15 finishes in the event.

Propping up:

  1. Take Brendan Steele -125 over Ian Poulter -105
  2. Take Brandt Snedeker for top-10 finish +135
  3. Take Ryan Palmer -120 over Zach Johnson -110
  4. Take Hideki Matsuyama for top-5 finish +450
  5. Take Webb Simpson -130 over Charles Howell EVEN

Here are the odds for the top field:

Bubba Watson   +1100
Brandt Snedeker   +1400
Rickie Fowler   +1400
Brooks Koepka   +1600
J.B. Holmes   +2000
Phil Mickelson   +2000
Hideki Matsuyama   +2200
Jason Dufner   +2500
Kevin Kisner   +2500
Justin Thomas   +3300
Kevin Na   +3300
Ryan Palmer   +3300
Zach Johnson   +3300
Billy Horschel   +5000
Brendan Steele   +5000
David Lingmerth   +5000
Gary Woodland   +5000
Kevin Streelman   +5000
Martin Laird   +5000
Robert Streb   +5000
Ryan Moore   +5000
Scott Piercy   +5000
Shane Lowry   +5000
Webb Simpson   +5000

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