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15D AGO

Golfbet recap: Nick Taylor tops Charley Hoffman, extends longshot run at WM Phoenix Open

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    Written by Will Gray @GolfBet

    Another week, another longshot cashes on the PGA TOUR.

    Extending what has become a consistently unpredictable trend, Nick Taylor rallied to tie Charley Hoffman at the WM Phoenix Open, then topped the 47-year-old with a pair of birdies to win a playoff.

    Taylor nearly took home the trophy at TPC Scottsdale last year, only to fall short behind Scottie Scheffler. This time around he birdied three of his last four holes in regulation, then added birdies on each of the two holes in overtime. It’s the fourth win of Taylor’s career and first since last summer’s thrilling triumph at the RBC Canadian Open, also in a playoff.


    Nick Taylor makes birdie on the first playoff hole at WM Phoenix Open


    Taylor continues the longshot theme that has been prevalent throughout the 2024 season on TOUR. Despite his close call at this event last year, the Canadian opened at +10000 to start the week and was still +4000 entering Friday at the weather-delayed event before he went on a birdie run that ended in an opening-round 60 that tied the course record. From there, he was among the betting favorites the rest of the weekend but often trailed Scottie Scheffler (T3) and later Hoffman.

    Nick Taylor odds to win WM Phoenix Open (via BetMGM Sportsbook):

    • Pre-tournament: +10000
    • Entering Friday: +4000
    • Entering Saturday: +600
    • Entering Sunday: +450
    • Entering playoff: -125

    Winless since 2016, Hoffman seemed like he would add an even more significant chapter to the longshot tale after starting the week at +30000. The veteran built a three-shot lead with an eagle on No. 15, reaching 21-under and dropping to -1200 odds in live markets in the process. But he failed to birdie his final three holes, leaving the door open for Taylor to catch him, and while he birdied the first playoff hole he couldn’t match Taylor on the second.

    The two men finished three shots clear of the rest of the field, as Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns tied for third. Scheffler notably took the lead with four birdies in the first five holes of his final round, but he played the course in 1-under the rest of the way and failed to keep pace on a day when the leaders played over 30 holes and players were not re-paired for the final round because of significant weather and frost delays.

    Pre-tournament outright picks from Golfbet Experts:

    • Ben Everill: Justin Thomas (+1000) T12
    • Will Gray: Cameron Young (+3300) T8
    • Chris Breece: Matt Fitzpatrick (+3300) T15
    • Matt DelVecchio: Sam Burns (+1600) T3
    • Rob Bolton: Justin Thomas (+1000) T12
    • Mike Glasscott: Justin Thomas (+1000) T12
    • (Honorable mention goes to Ben Everill, who picked Taylor as a longshot in this week’s “Benny and the Bets.”)

    Taylor’s win means each of the first six winners of the new year – Chris Kirk, Grayson Murray, Nick Dunlap, Matthieu Pavon, Wyndham Clark and Taylor – all sported odds above +10000 to start the tournament.

    The scene now shifts west to The Riviera Country Club for The Genesis Invitational, where tournament host Tiger Woods will make his first start of the year. The limited field will include plenty of stars as well as Hoffman, whose play in Scottsdale earned him the last spot in the field. Among the big questions to be answered by oddsmakers Monday morning: Where will Woods stack up against such a strong field – and could his odds possibly be high enough that he could be an option to extend the longshot lore currently sweeping the TOUR?

    Rob Bolton Sleeper Picks and Golfbet Insider results:

    • Kurt Kitayama to win (+6600) T8
    • Min Woo Lee Top 5 (+650) T71
    • Adam Hadwin Top 10 (+375) MC
    • Nate Lashley Top 20 (+400) MC
    • Seamus Power Top 40 (+200) T66
    • Kevin Yu Top 20 (+280) MC
    • Rickie Fowler Top 20 (+200) MC
    • Byeong-Hun An, Sungjae Im and Sahith Theegala all make cut (+140)
    • Akshay Bhatia Top 20 (+230) MC
    • Lucas Glover Top 40 (+140) WD
    • Chesson Hadley Top 40 (+138) MC
    • Brian Harman Top 20 (+225) T60
    • K.H. Lee Top 40 (+150) MC
    • Sam Ryder Top 40 (+150) MC
    • Adam Scott Top 20 (+188) T8
    • Scott Stallings Top 40 (+150) MC
    • Jhonattan Vegas Top 40 (+210) T22

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