The PGA Tour moves from California to Arizona this week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the most raucous tournaments of the season.
As always, a strong, international field – including Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer – has been attracted to the event, which is famous for the hoards of spectators that surround the par-3 17th.
Kyle Stanley has also returned to defend the title he won so memorably 12 months ago.
He came from eight shots behind to overhaul 54-hole leader Spencer Levin, just a week after suffering a harrowing final-round collapse at the Farmers Insurance Open.
As ever, the tournament is contested at the TPC Scottsdale, a 7,216-yard track that contains several ponds but presents numerous birdie opportunities.
Nick Watney is the 14/1 favourite with Ladbrokes, but with none of the world’s top five in action, the tournament is wide open.
Martin Kaymer, at 25/1 with Ladbrokes, is making his 2013 PGA Tour debut this week, and I fancy him to do well. The former world number one has made an encouraging start to 2013 on the European Tour, finishing sixth at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and ninth last week in Qatar. He looks to be almost back to his best, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he announced his arrival on the PGA Tour in style.
Robert Garrigus, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, is an attractive prospect this week. The big-hitting American has made a good start to the 2013 season, notching a tied 16th finish at the Humana Challenge and finishing sixth last week at the Farmers Insurance. Garrigus is currently ranked fifth on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance and third in Greens in Regulation.
Jimmy Walker, at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, is one to keep an eye on this week. The American has improved in every event he’s played this season, starting with a tie for 26th at the Sony Open. Since then, he’s finished 23rd at the Humana Challenge and fourth at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. He admitted on Twitter earlier this week he was feeling good about him game, and it could be this week that he records his first PGA Tour victory.
Kyle Stanley, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, is hard to ignore this week, even though he isn’t in the best of form. Granted, he’s missed the last two cuts, but he’s played some good rounds of golf this year and you can never write off a defending champion.
Stewart Cink, at 125/1 with Ladbrokes, is someone to keep an eye on this week. Since winning the Open he’s only recorded five top tens on the PGA Tour, but one of them came two weeks ago at the Humana Challenge, where he was in contention for the title on Sunday. Cink is a former major champion and, what’s more, he has a decent past record at the Phoenix Open.
Waste Management Phoenix Open advised bets:
2pts each way on Martin Kaymer at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Robert Garrigus at 33/1 with Labrokes
2pts each way on Jimmy Walker at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Kyle Stanley at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Stewart Cink at 125/1 with Ladbrokes