PGA Picks: Matsuyama looks strong to defend title in desert

One of the most entertaining tournaments on the PGA Tour is upon us, as the players head to Arizona this week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The tournament is famous for the raucous crowd, and with Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Phil Mickelson in the field, there’s plenty of star power in the desert.

Last week we cashed huge with a 50/1 win on Jon Rahm’s victory at Torrey Pines, so let’s keep the money train rolling with this week’s picks.

Favorite to watch (Odds less than 25/1)

Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki Matsuyama may be from Japan, but he has been so successful in Scottsdale that it must feel like home to him. He has played the Waste Management Phoenix Open three times, and never finished outside the top four. After finishing second in 2015, Matsuyama took home the trophy last season and is poised for another good run in this year’s edition. The 24-year-old has won four of this last eight starts around the globe, and could make it five this weekend.

Odds to win: 10/1
Top-5 odds: 2/1

2nd Tier (Odds greater than 25/1)

Patrick Reed

Perhaps nobody is better suited for the raucous crowd of the Waste Management Phoenix Open than Patrick Reed. The Ryder Cup superstar thrives in loud environments, and there’s none bigger than the patrons in Arizona. The 26-year-old has three straight top-12 finishes coming in, and should be in contention this weekend in the desert.

Odds to win: 33/1
Top-5 odds: 7/1

Long shot (Odds greater than 40/1)

Harris English

Harris English is certainly comfortable with the track this weekend, posting a solid third-place finish in last year’s event, and comes in off a 14th-place showing at Torrey Pines last weekend. While the 27-year-old missed three straight cuts before last weekend, his game should fit well this weekend to contend.

Odds to win: 40/1
Top-5 odds: 9/1

Super long shot (Odds greater than 80/1)

Adam Hadwin

One of the hottest golfers in the world is listed at 80/1 at a course very close to his home? Sign me up. Hadwin lit the golf world on fire with a blazing 59 two weeks ago, and was in contention last weekend before fading with a 72-76 finish. The comfort of home will be huge for the Canadian to recharge for a run in Scottsdale, a tournament he finished 17th in last season.

Odds to win: 80/1
Top-5 odds: 16/1

Hit this bet, buy a car (Odds greater than 125/1)

Bryce Molder

Molder has been a model of consistency as of late, making four straight cuts, but has failed to place in the top 40 in any of those events. He has enjoyed success at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in the past however, finishing in sixth last season. That history in the event is worth a shot at 125/1.

Odds to win: 125/1
Top-5 odds: 25/1

Last week’s picks

Dustin Johnson: MC
Brooks Koepka: MC
Jon Rahm: 1st
Charley Hoffman: T-54
Aaron Wise: T-71

Season Record (Through 4 events)

Wins: 1
Top-5: 3

(Odds courtesy: Paddy Power)

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