First Look: Waste Management Phoenix Open 2022

From The Golden State to the central Arizona desert, the PGA Tour remains heated this week when golfing’s elite take centre stage at the Waste Management Phoenix Open 2022.  

Following a slimmed-down 2021 edition, the WM Open returns to our screens with a returning tradition – large crowds and a party atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale that produces top-class golf, concerts, and live entertainment!  

As one of the most attended events on the PGA calendar, it didn’t quite feel the same when COVID-19 disrupted the swarms of crowds we usually witness.

However, those setbacks are behind us, and 50% of the worlds top-10 golfers will be joined in the desert with thousands of eager fans.  

While the field is cut to 132 players due to the weltering sun, the traditional 36-hole cut of top 65 and ties will remain. Let’s take a look at the power rankings. 

WM Management Open 2022 Power Rankings  

#1 Jon Rahm – The Arizona native returns home as the number one talent for the first time during his career. As a T5 2015 amateur, he’s since place T16, T11, T10, T9, and T13. 

#2 Justin Thomas – Taking 4th place during the PGA Tour Championship 2021, Thomas’ game continues its evolution. Dating back to 2018, he’s four-for-four in TPC Scottsdale, taking a pair of thirds with an average score of 67.75.  

The Remaining Top-10 

3. Hideki Matsuyama  

4. Viktor Hovland   

5. Jordan Spieth  

6. Xander Schauffele  

7. Webb Simpson  

8. Patrick Cantlay 

9. Brooks Koepka  

10. Scottie Scheffler   

The Defending Champion Brooks Koepka: Outside the Top-10 

Brooks Koepka is number #11 in the power rankings, but he notably claimed the WM Open trophy last year for a second time.

This course additionally marked Koepka’s inaugural PGA Tour victory back in 2015.  

Arizona online sportsbooks covering the PGA have priced the defending champion at a staggering 28/1, a significant outside position in the betting market I expect countless bettors to take advantage of.

I anticipate the stronger field will cause bookmakers to become even more hesitant with Koepka’s pricing before tee off. 

Golfers Most Likely to Win the 2022 Phoenix Open 

Jon Rahm  

The Arizona native returns home as the world No.1 for the first time during his career.

Rahm has visited TPC Scottsdale on five occasions and has finished T16 or better every time; however, his first game as an amateur remains as his best result to date (T5).   

Jordan Spieth   

Before Koepka came in strong at last year’s WM Open, Jordan Spieth played a beautiful game where his career-low round was matched (61), eventually finishing T4.  

With that said, he’s usually all in or all out. Spieth has three top tens and a handful of missed cuts on this course, making him unpredictable.  

Xander Schauffele   

Xander Schauffele came awfully close to winning the 2021 Phoenix Open, leading the game with one round to play.

Koepka spoiled Xander’s party but with three previous visits to TPC Scottsdale, he owns three T20 finishes.  

Justin Thomas  

Five T20 finishes throughout seven appearances at the Phoenix Open is enough to believe Justin Thomas can provide another positive performance this year.

To add, he’s managed to claim top-five spots heading into the final round on three occasions.  

  The Pros Opinion: 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open 

Chesson Hadley  

“These greens are tough to read, and they’re fast, and they’re very pitched, and there’s some roll-offs here and there and some tricky breaks.”  

Bubba Watson   

“You can play out of the rough here, which I’m in a lot. These greens are very receptive, so even out of the rough, I can hit some high shots and get them to stop on the greens.”  

Steve Stricker  

“Conditions, soft, bumpy greens, cold weather, not really my cup of tea,” said Stricker, when asked why he chose not to play at the WM Open.  

Gary Woodland  

“Length’s a huge advantage, especially 15’s tough second shot in there. 13, I can take out a lot of the trouble with driver. 3, some guys can’t get to some days, and I can. So out of that, the greens get pretty firm, so you got to drive the golf ball in the fairway.”  

Beau Hossler  

“I think you got to stay patient out here.

“The golf course has a lot of holes that you can be aggressive on with wedges, but at the same time, there’s some meaty par-4s that you got to try and make pars on.

So I think it’s kind of trying to pick your spots and then realizing that the greens are pretty good and you can make a lot of 20 footers out here if you’re rolling it well.”  

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