AUTHOR: James Dowen


Xander Schauffele’s tied second last week at Torrey Pines is the latest in a long line of my selections who have placed and have either started poorly and finished with a wet sail, or led on the final day only to fall at the final hurdle. I could and put a brave face on it and tell you that a run pf placings is better than no return at all, but sod that. I’m fed up with these months of placings and I’d trade them all for another win.

This week the tour heads back to the desert for the Phoenix Open. At just a touch over 7,200 yards, the par 71 TPC at Scottsdale is an interesting test of a course. There are opportunities for both the shorter straight drivers and the power bombers here, particularly over the back nine where the short par five fifteenth, the famous par three sixteenth and the driveable par four seventeenth offer a stream of eagle and birdie opportunities and more often than not these three holes determine the winner of the tournament on the Sunday.

Farmers Insurance Open
TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
Thursday 4th February – Sunday 7th February
Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Golf from 2.30pm Thursday

Blue Horseshoe Loves:

Daniel Berger – currently at 18/1 with

Berger’s straight driving game and sharpness around the greens should see him benefit here. He’s short enough odds wise, but I’m still interested enough to make him my top pick.

Si Woo Kim – currently at 60/1 with

Kim played a brilliant, nerveless final round to take out the American Express two weeks ago at the desert venue of La Quinta. Phoenix is another desert environment that demands accuracy to save you from the perils of the native desert and the man made water hazards. I think he’ll go well again here and he’s very good value for his odds.

Xander Schauffele – currently at 10/1 with

I’ve had more place returns than hot dinners on this guy over the last year. At this stage I’m all in on Xander, because if I get off him now he’s going to win and that will prove for once and for all that Titleist, the God of golf, is taking a deep and personal interest in messing with me and I can’t allow that to happen. I jest of course, I just think he finished very well on Sunday to climb up from well back in the field into a share of second, and this course set up suits his game.

Richy Wererinski – currently at 175/1 with

I’ve been really impressed with Wererinski over the last few weeks. He’s been constantly around the top of the leaderboards at every tournament he’s started this year. I think he’s well over priced here and offers stonking each way value.

BACK Xander Schauffele 1.5 pts each/way at 10/1 with
BACK Daniel Berger 1.5 pts each/way at 18/1 with
BACK Si Woo Kim 1 pt each/way at 60/1 with
BACK Richy Werenski 1 pt each/way at 175/1 with

Each way 1/5 odds, 6 places

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