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Tour heads to Phoenix

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Tournament: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Date: Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, 2014
Venue: TPC Scottsdale-Stadium Course
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
2013 Winner: Phil Mickelson

The PGA heads to the desert for the biggest party of the season as 43-year-old Arizona State alum Phil Mickelson looks to shake off nagging injuries and defend his title. He finished four shots better than any other golfer in the field in last year, as he held the lead for the entire four days to capture his third Phoenix Open title.

This tournament always gets a lot of press because of its party atmosphere and now famous par-three 16th hole, which features grandstands, booing, drinking and betting on caddies. Let’s take a look at a few golfers who could shine brightest in Scottsdale.

Golfers to Watch

Phil Mickelson (12/1): Mickelson withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open last week due to nagging pain in his lower back but is expected to make his way to Arizona in an attempt to win this tournament for the fourth time in his storied career. Last year, he tied this tournament’s record for lowest four-round score (28-under) and lowest single round (60). “Lefty” has placed in the top-20 in both tournaments that he finished this season, but his back is something of a concern here and should be watched carefully.

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Brandt Snedeker (25/1):
Snedeker is off to a slow start by his standards this season with only one top-15 finish (11th in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions) to go along with two finishes in the 50’s and a missed cut last week. To say that the six-time PGA Tour victor is due would be an understatement, and this is certainly a course he has had success at in the past. Last year, he shot four rounds of 66 or better, eventually placing second behind Mickelson while also placing in the top-9 two other times since 2008.

Marc Leishman (40/1): Leishman is coming off two straight top-5 finishes and nearly holed an eagle last week at 18 which would have forced a playoff against Scott Stallings at Torrey Pines. The Aussie has placed in the top-20 only once over three tries at this tournament, but seems poised to earn his second PGA Tour win with his consistent play as of late.

Pat Perez (50/1): Perez knows this course well as a former member of the Arizona State Sun Devils golf team and is coming off two top-8 finishes over his past three tournaments; including tying for second in last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. He currently resides in the hosting city, Scottsdale, and this would be a fitting place for him to win his first PGA tournament since the Bob Hope Classic in 2009. Perez should be a fan favorite and create quite an uproar on the 16th hole when he gets into the tee box.

J.B. Holmes (80/1): Holmes has only two PGA Tour victories since turning pro back in 2005, and they were both in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2006 and 2008. In 2008, he edged out the favorite, Phil Mickelson, in the first hole of a playoff after a four-round total of 270 (14-under par). Holmes is coming off an ankle injury that caused him to miss nearly the entire 2013 season, but played well last weekend in placing 23rd in the Farmers Insurance Open, marking his first tournament back.

Betting Odds - Provided by Sportsbook.ag

Field (Any Other Golfers) 3/1
Phil Mickelson 12/1
Webb Simpson 15/1
Keegan Bradley 20/1
Graham DeLaet 20/1
Bubba Watson 25/1
Bill Haas 25/1
Brandt Snedeker 25/1
Harris English 25/1
Gary Woodland 30/1
Ryan Palmer 30/1
Billy Horschel 30/1
Chris Kirk 30/1
Ryan Moore 30/1
Hunter Mahan 30/1
Hideki Matsuyama 35/1
Rickie Fowler 40/1
Charley Hoffman 40/1
Marc Leishman 40/1
Matt Every 40/1
Pat Perez 50/1
Charles Howell III 50/1
Ian Poulter 50/1
KJ Choi 50/1
Martin Kaymer 50/1
Brian Stuard 50/1
Scott Piercy 50/1
Nick Watney 50/1
Lee Westwood 50/1
Robert Garrigus 60/1
Brendan Steele 60/1
Patrick Reed 60/1
Kevin Na 60/1
Brendon de Jonge 60/1
Scott Stallings 60/1
Kevin Streelman 60/1
Luke Guthrie 80/1
Rory Sabbatini 80/1
Padraig Harrington 80/1
Nicolas Colsaerts 80/1
JB Holmes 80/1
Bo Van Pelt 80/1
Jason Kokrak 80/1
Brian Gay 80/1
Jeff Overton 80/1
Justin Leonard 80/1
Ben Crane 80/1
Martin Laird 80/1
Matt Jones 80/1
Chris Stroud 100/1

  
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