WASTED Management Phoenix Open
With almost all of the focus on the Super Bowl this upcoming weekend, people might be forgetting about a different sporting event. The Waste Management Phoenix Open or I should say WASTED. This golf tournament, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, is home to one of the biggest outdoor social events of the year. Over 700,000 fans typically attend each year but this year with the COVID restrictions, they are only allowing 5,000 fans per day. That’s a massive hit but you can bet your ass that those 5,000 fans will continue the tradition of getting shitfaced and having the time of their lives. You better get there early because lines pile up like it’s Black Friday at Costco. I’ll get to picks in a bit, but we gotta talk about 16 first.
The 16th HoleThe “Greatest Show on Grass” is the 16th hole, a Par-3 that is completely surrounded by 20,000 drunken crazy fans. In 1997, Tiger Woods hit a hole-in-one, which might have put this tournament in such a national spotlight. Now, golfers let loose and encourage fans to get as loud as possible during their tee shot. The place is a fucking zoo but it is one of the coolest things you’ll ever get to watch. On the tee box, you may have Jon Rahm’s frumpy ass rocking a Pat Tillman jersey, Tony Finau paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, or maybe Rickie Fowler blowing kisses and signing all the single women’s boobs there like he’s Happy Gilmore. In a sport where there are so many rules and sophomaniacs, it’s fun to see the best golfers in the world say “fuck it” and interact with the fans.
That’s not all that goes down on the 16th hole. The fans surround the 16th hole like a football stadium and as you can imagine, when you’ve been drinking since 6 am, shit gets pretty wild. People are dressed up like idiots in Pokemon and elf costumes, you’d think it was Halloween. I wish I could write a blog just sharing videos of the drunks at the tourney because there are countless viral videos of people walking around like Bambi on ice because they can’t see straight after they drank fourteen mango White Claws. Cocktails and beers flow like the Mississippi River and there is more to see than just the golf. Women flashing their sweater puppies at the golfers while they’re trying to putt (NSFW Tweet below).
The FieldAlthough we won’t be seeing Dustin Johnson or Bryson DeChambeau this weekend, this field is fucking stacked. Webb Simpson comes in as the defending champ. Justin Thomas looks to bounce after upsetting the “PC” crowd and losing his frat boy Ralph Lauren sponsor. Rory McIlroy tees it up for the first time ever at the WMPO, which also will be his 9th event in the last 12 weeks. Jon Rahm, the goofy Arizona State alum, will try and make it five straight Top 10 finishes and maybe even pull this one off with a win. Will Brooks Koepka miss another cut? Will Xander Schauffele breakthrough with a W after finishing top 20 in his last 3 times at this course?
Fortunately, we won’t have to watch Patrick Reed (check his page) cheat his way around the course this week as he’s done throughout his career, but make sure you follow @usegolfFacts on Twitter for updated tweets from Reed’s burner account. Lastly, the tourney will be missing one of the fan favorites and another Arizona State alum in Phil Mickelson. Phil has won here 3 separate times but won’t get a chance at a 4th this time around. After the top tier of talent, we are still loaded with notable guys like Scottie Scheffler, Si Woo Kim, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff and so many more.(Fast-forward to 1:15 in the video below for your viewing pleasures)
Xander Schauffele (+850). The X-man hasn’t missed a cut in over a year. He has finished top-20 in all three tries in the WMPO. He hasn’t won a tourney since the beginning of 2019 but he’s as due as anyone. He’s as hot as anyone with five top-5 finishes in his last seven events played. Especially if you are playing DFS, you’re going to want the guy with arguably the highest floor in golf.
Jon Rahm (+650). Well, duh. Rahm has had 4 straight top-7 finishes and he’s absolutely lethal on this course. Rahm is top 5 in this week’s field of players who have the most total strokes gained at TPC Scottsdale since 2015. He is built like a sack of laundry and he looks fucking stupid with his flat-bill hats and high-top Jordan’s, but the man can shoot the lights out. If I were a betting man, which I am, Jon Rahm deserves a little sprinkle, despite the heavy odds.Will Zalatoris (+4500). Real golf fans know. For a guy who looks like the kid that caddied for Happy Gilmore, Zalatoris turned out to be pretty good himself. A rising star in the game, this will be his first appearance here. Only 3 newcomers have won this tourney for their first time out since 2000 (Koepka, Stanley, Holmes) so while it is slim, there is definitely a chance. Last year it was the likes of Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff, and Viktor Hovland who took the tour by the balls. Now it’s Zalatoris’ chance to do the same.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2200). You’re probably thinking I’m a dipshit to hate a guy that has won this event twice in the last 5 years. Well, I hate to break it to you but Hideki is a broken man. He may be the worst putter on tour and I personally don’t know if it is even close. For the 2021 season, he’s 199th in strokes gained putting. “Oh but that’s a small sample size!” Fine, he was 170th in that category last year, so fuck off. Matsuyama is screwed this weekend.
Brooks Koepka (+5000). Another previous winner of this tournament. I just don’t love where Brooks’ game is at right now. He’s missed three straight cuts and unless it’s a major, it’s hard to project how Brooks will play outside of the four Major tournaments. He hasn’t played here in the last 3 years and since his win at TPC Scottsdale in 2015, he’s only finished T41 and T42 here. This is a good course for him to get back on track to make the cut, but I think he’s still a few weeks away from returning to “Big Dick Brooks” form.
As you can see, I went with the top 3 guys I love and then filled in from there. Getting Rahm and Schauffele was a must for me and the value of Zalatoris allows that to work. I love the potential of Conners and Frittelli being able to make the cut and possibly get a Top-20 or Top-15 finish under their belt here at TPC Scottsdale. As for Davis Riley, I just said fuck it and rolled with a young stud. You might not have ever heard of him but you soon will. The Crimson Tide product and Korn Ferry star will be dicing this course apart, as well as many others this season. Roll this team in a small tourney. Mine is in the $7 entry, which sends $30K to the 1st place prize.
Enjoy the exciting sports weekend of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl. Get a little too drunk on Sunday Funday. Roll into work Monday like this guy strolling around at the 2017 WMPO.