Following Patrick Reed’s controversial win at Torrey Pines, the PGA TOUR travels to Scottsdale, Arizona for the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open. TPC Scottsdale (par 71, 7,261 yards) has hosted this tournament every year since 1987 and Webb Simpson (-17) is the reigning champ, beating Tony Finau in a playoff last February. After back-to-back weeks of tackling multiple courses for one tournament, the Phoenix Open brings us back to the standard set up with only one course to put all of our focus on.
Throughout its tenure on the PGA TOUR calendar, TPC Scottsdale has seen both short and long hitters come out on the top, but the past few years in Arizona have created a narrative that this is a bomber’s paradise, with four of the last five winners at TPC Scottsdale ranking inside the top-30 in driving distance for the season of their victory. Now, I never think we should eliminate any player because of their length, but distance and SG OTT should have a heavier weight in your model this week when breaking down this field. Unsurprisingly, strong iron play is also needed to succeed at TPC Scottsdale. Over the last five years, four of the golfers to secure the top prize at the Phoenix Open have finished the week in the top-four in SG APP, with Simpson leading his field last season and Hideki Matsuyama in 2018.
There are 11 par 4s at this par 71, six of which are between 450-500 yards in length. Last year, Simpson was incredible on the par 4s, gaining four more strokes than the rest of the field on these holes. He specifically dominated on the par 4s from 450-500, producing a field-high 9.2 strokes on the six holes in this range. Simpson was the 4th winner at TPC Scottsdale over the past six years to lead their field in SG on the par 4s, and we must prioritize elite par 4 players this week. While the par 4s are certainly more important, exploiting the three par 5s at TPC Scottsdale for at least a birdie is also pivotal, with two of the past four champs at this desert track leading their fields in SG on the par 5s.
With names like Matsuyama, Gary Woodland and Jason Dufner capturing a win here over the last decade, it’s evident that you can be an average putter of the golf ball and still walk away with victory in Scottsdale, but it’s worth mentioning that greens at this course are Bermuda. Barring any pre-tournament withdrawals, 132 golfers will tee it up Thursday morning and the top-65 and ties will proceed to the weekend following the first 36 holes. Six of the top-ten ranked players in the world will be making the trip to Arizona this week and we are going to need to find some cheap golfers to be able to afford these studs. So, without further ado, I present to you four of my favorite PGA TOUR DFS value picks under $7,500 on DraftKings this week.
Brendan Steele, $7,400
So far in the year 2021, Steele has been striking the ball at a very high level. The 37-year-old has produced 5.8 ST2G and averaged a 77.1 GIR% across his last two, after not gaining any shots T2G and only hitting 61.5% greens in his previous four. The great form has helped him to a T4 at the Sony Open and a T21 at the American Express.
Steele will now make his way to Scottsdale, where he has carded four career finishes inside the top-six. In total, he is 8/10 at the Phoenix Open and ranks 6th in total strokes gained at TPC Scottsdale when we compare this entire field’s results at the par 71. With a compelling course resume and strong current form, I don’t see how you can fade Steele at this soft price.
Byeong Hun An, $7,300
Last week at Torrey Pines, An was killed by his weak putting on POA, losing a ridiculous 8.5 strokes on the greens. He still gained strokes tee-to-green and thankfully, the 29-year-old will be back on Bermuda this week in Scottsdale. By a huge margin, POA has been An’s worst putting surface throughout his career, and before the T75 at the Farmers last weekend, he finished with an impressive T8 on the Bermuda greens at the American Express the week prior. His ball striking has been excellent, ranking 17th in SG APP and 21st in SGT2G over his last 12 rounds, and the Phoenix Open is arguably An’s favorite event on the PGA TOUR calendar.
He has played at TPC Scottsdale each of the last four seasons and has never finished outside the top-23. His T9 here a year ago was his second top-ten at the venue and he ranks 8th in total strokes gained at the course. His +8500 odds to win on DraftKings Sportsbook are tied for the best of all the players priced under $8,000, and An is a legitimate threat for a top-10 this weekend.
Luke List, $7,200
This past Sunday, List shot a four under 66 at the South Course of Torrey Pines to secure his first top-ten in four months. He generated 8.2 ST2G, good enough to rank him 4th in the stat for the week. Additionally, List only trailed Rory McIlroy in driving distance and he finished 3rd in total birdies. In his previous start, the bomber posted at T21 at the American Express and he ranks 2nd in SGT2G, 8th in SG APP, 5th in SG OTT, 6th in distance and 4th in BOB% across his past eight rounds.
List’s 2/6 record at TPC Scottsdale isn’t ideal, but those two made cuts have come the past three years and they both have been top-30 finishes. The 36-year-old’s game is trending up right now and I was shocked to see him this cheap.
Sebastian Munoz, $7,100
Munoz has made 12 of his last 14 cuts on the PGA TOUR and is always a player we should be targeting on Bermuda grass. Including his T47 in his Phoenix Open debut last year, Munoz has made it to the weekend in 15 of his past 20 appearances at courses that sport Bermuda greens. In those 15 successful made cuts, the 28-year-old has finished inside the top-30 on ten occasions, including his first ever PGA TOUR win at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship.
His salary on DraftKings peaked to a career-high $9,000 just four starts ago at the RSM Classic, and the time is now to buy low on Munoz.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.