Twice a winner who’s made the top ten on five of his last seven Scottsdale appearances, it would be easy to construct a case for backing the favourite. However, all the usual caveats apply with Mickelson, such as a shortish price and a career-long refusal to deliver the goods when carrying my cash! Nor do any of his putting displays to date in 2010 bode well, and taking a family holiday last week might not have been the ideal preparation.
Classy though he is, amazingly Geoff has never bettered 20th here in eight attempts. Perhaps he dislikes the raucous atmosphere?
Perry is defending champion and has made the top-seven at Scottsdale five times. He therefore must rate a strong candidate once again.
Nobody is improving faster than the German, and he certainly has shown a liking for desert golf. Kaymer might be at a slight disadvantage on his course debut, though.
Likewise, the new WGC Match Play champion is making his course debut, and it would be asking an awful lot to instantly reproduce last week’s stellar form having just played seven rounds.
There’s no arguing with Na’s course form, having thrice made the top four already in his short career. Nor is there anything wrong with a couple of top tens this year, or last week’s near-miss against Rory McIlroy. The only downer for me is the 33/1 odds, which are short enough about a player still looking for his first victory.
Despite showing great promise when runner-up on his course debut ten years ago, Allenby hasn’t registered a top ten in six tries since. He is, however, arguably in better form now than at any stage of his career.
Twice a winner here already, and in the top three in his latest two events, Holmes holds an obvious chance.
Crane has already finished fourth on this course, and deserves consideration having won his penultimate event and performed with credit at the WGC Match Play.
With four Scottsdale top tens, twice as runner-up, Leonard has plenty of history here. His recent form, however, leaves much to be desired.
Mahan remains one of the best US prospects, but needs to improve vastly on recent efforts to warrant support.
Despite slipping back in his last couple of events, Moore remains a player to follow closely in 2010. Finished sixth here last year.
Another excellent prospect, yet to show much of a liking for Scottsdale, with a best of just 25th from four tries.
Kim’s best from three here is just 30th, but he does come across as the kind of character to thrive in this raucous atmosphere.
The Sony Open winner rates an interesting outsider having finished runner-up on this course in 2006.
The Spaniard’s massive driving distance could prove a big advantage around this course, where he’s making his debut. He tends to thrive at risk-reward courses too, and might have been a pick were it not for a dismal effort last week.
At his best, Toms would have to make the shortlist as he has four top tens and six top 20s from his last seven visits. Looks to be struggling with the putter right now though.
Scott’s fine short game is always an asset here, as three top sevens this century illustrate. He fits the experienced profile of several former winners, too.