Expert Picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open

January 31, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same.
SLEEPER PICKS: Who might surprise at the Waste Management Phoenix Open? Our fantasy expert, Rob Bolton, selects his favorite dark horses. Click for Sleepers

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Expert picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Pick order Player selected
BILL HAAS. I almost went right back to the well with Phil Mickelson but don't know what to make of last week's missed cut. The reigning FedExCup champ is coming off a tie for fourth at Torrey Pines and is already looking good for 2012.
MATT KUCHAR. My original pick, Nick Watney, withdrew Tuesday. This is just Kuchar's second start of the year, and his game sets up well here, where he tied for sixth in 2009. Must get putter going; he struggled on the greens two weeks ago at Humana.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Haas
PHIL MICKELSON. I'll take him at his word that his game is closer than it appears. Every time Lefty hits one of these walls, he seems to knock it down. With much nicer weather than last year in the forecast, hopefully Mickelson pleasantly surprises us in Scottsdale.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Mickelson
RICKIE FOWLER. He's coming off a solid week at Torrey Pines, where he made his season debut and tied for 13th. He's also a California kid who plays well out West and in the desert, tying for 13th in Phoenix a year ago, and second the year before that.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Fowler
WEBB SIMPSON. I think he's a solid pick just about any week he's available. Kicked off his 2012 season with a T3 at the Hyundai. Came close here last year with a T8. No reason why he shouldn't play just as well this year.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Simpson
BRANDT SNEDEKER. I'm surprised he lasted this long. Sunday's win should be a huge confidence boost as Snedeker goes for his third straight top-10 of the season. He's got two at TPC Scottsdale, too, including a tie for eighth last year.
If Ross had the top pick ... Snedeker
JOHNSON WAGNER. He leads the PGA TOUR this year in FedExCup points, money, top-10 finishes and facial hair (mustache category only). Yes, his TPC Scottsdale record is unimpressive. No, I don't think it matters, considering the hot streak he's on.
If McAllister the top pick ... Haas
MARK WILSON. How could I not pick the defending champ who has already won once this season? The fans at the PGA TOUR's biggest party might witness back-to-back wins from Wilson, who is making his first start since his victory at Humana.
If Deason had the top pick ... Haas
MARTIN LAIRD. Quietly one of the steadiest guys out there, already with a runner-up this year at the Hyundai and another top-15 at Humana. He was T3 at TPC Scottsdale last year and there's no reason why the Scot can't come through the wild 16th late on Sunday.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Haas
JASON DUFNER. I am sure by now that everyone has probably seen "Moneyball." Well, Dufner is one of the most undervalued players on TOUR. He came close here last year in just his second start at TPC Scottsdale, and he'll only get tougher with experience.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Haas
Standings after Week 4
LAST WEEK: A mixed week from our panel with three top-10 finishes. Ryan Smithson had winner Brandt Snedeker last week with an early pick, but Chris Dunham retained the No. 1 spot despite a poor week by Nick Watney.
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 1 2 2 0 618.25
2 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
1 1 1 1 0 568.50
3 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
0 1 1 2 0 355.55
4 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
0 0 2 2 2 345.75
5 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
0 0 1 1 2 329.50
6 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
0 0 1 2 0 204.55
7 John Schwarb
Site Producer
0 0 1 2 0 202.00
8 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
0 0 1 1 2 187.55
9 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
0 0 0 2 0 183.00
10 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 0 0 2 0 153.50

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the fifth event of the 2012 season. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders: