Snedeker favourite at Phoenix Open
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Preview | 30 Jan 2013
The PGA Tour is in Phoenix, or more specifically Scottsdale, for this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open at the TPC Scottsdale where Kyle Stanley will attempt to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time.
Stanley recovered from a meltdown the previous week at the Farmers Insurance Open to defeat Ben Crane by one in what was his very first start in the event.
Stanley though has missed the cut in his last two starts and seems some way from the form he was in when arriving here last year.
Brandt Snedeker will start the favourite this week given his good current form and that he has been twice inside the top ten is six starts in the event. That record is not exactly great but his form this season is having been 3rd and runner-up in two of his three events in 2013.
Jason Dufner has played in the Middle east in the past two weeks and has done well enough finishing 9th in both Abu Dhabi and Qatar. He does boast a good record in this event having finished runner-up in 2011 and 8th last year. He has become one of the standouts in the game over the pat eighteen months and it would not surprise to see him contending this week.
Nick Watney showed last week that he was close to his best with a good tournament at Torrey Pines and while his record here could not exactly be described as great, he has generally played solidly in the times he has competed at the TPC Scottsdale. He was 5th the last time he played in 2011.
Bubba Watson has played this event well on occasions and although he has not played often this season he did finish 4th in his only start at Kapalua. He has been inside the top ten in five of his last eight PGA Tour starts.
Watson withdrew from last week’s event with a mysterious illness – perhaps a carryover from a virus type of problem at Kapalua but if he has recovered he could be a chance to do well.
Rickie Fowler seems to have affinity with this layout and area having made the cut on all four occasions and finished runner-up in 2010. He also finished runner-up at the Frys.com event in Scottsdale earlier in his career.
Six Australians will tee it up including Aaron Baddeley who won this event in 2007 although other than that he has an average record at the Phoenix Open. His strong finish last week when 6th at Torrey Pines however, his best finish in twelve months on the PGA Tour, suggests he could easily contend. Baddeley is one of only three Australians (Bruce Crampton and David Graham are the other two) to have won this event.
Jason Day played well on his 2013 debut when 9th last week and although he has not played this event all that well in the two starts he has had he could improve his record here this week. He has a previous best of 20th.
Other Australians in the field are Geoff Ogilvy, Marc Leishman, Greg Chalmers and Alistair Presnell who earned a start via Monday qualifying despite having his card to play the PGA Tour in 2013. Presnell’s status was not quite enough to earn a start on merit so he tee it up on Monday, finished 1st and claimed one of the three spots available in the event.
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