The Waste Management Phoenix Open takes place this weekend. For many golf fans it is one of the most intriguing stops on the PGA Tour because of the stadium-like, hard core cheering that takes place on the 16th hole. The par three has a stadium like atmosphere and the loud cheers in Phoenix might just exceed the cheers during the Super Bowl later in the day in Houston.
One golfer who is red hot at the moment who you should consider for fantasy golf pools is Spain’s John Rahm. At the Farmers Insurance Open last week in San Diego, Rahm shot a fourth round seven-under par 65 to beat American golfers Richy Werenski and Keegan Bradley by three strokes each.
Rahm made headlines a year ago at the RBC Canadian Open at the Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville. He was one of three golfers to finish in second place behind champion Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela. Rahm’s four round score of -11 tied him with U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson of the United States and Martin Laird of Scotland.
Another golfer to consider in fantasy golf pools this week is Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. A year ago in Phoenix, Matsuyama won his second career PGA event when he shot a -14 and beat American Rickie Fowler in a four hole playoff. Matsuyama’s first PGA win also came in a playoff at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio in 2014. Three years ago Matsuyama shot a -13 and beat Kevin Na in the first extra hole.
The fact that Matsuyama can golf under pressure will help him handle the crowd in Phoenix. Don’t forget he was also dominant in his home continent of Asia last year when he beat Daniel Berger and Henrik Stenson to win the World Golf Championship HSBC Champions event in Shanghai by seven strokes this past October.
Another golfer who won by a large margin in 2016 who needs to be considered is American Justin Spieth. Even though his 2016 PGA season was inconsistent after a miraculous 2015 year, Spieth has been very strong so far in 2017 with back-to-back third place finishes in Hawaii. The large margin of victory I am referring to for Spieth in 2016 came at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui where Spieth beat Patrick Reed by eight strokes when he shot a sizzling -30.
Don’t expect to see a -30 this week in Phoenix. But you just might see a -28. That is the four round score that Phil Mickelson posted in 2013 for his third career win in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Mickelson and Mark Calcavecchia in 2001 share the best four round score in tournament history.