Sleeper picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open

January 29, 2013

WASTE MANAGEMENT: Field | First Look | Power Rankings | Wild Card


Troy Matteson: Given that both of his PGA TOUR victories occurred in the Southwest -- TPC Summerlin (2006 and Grayhawk Golf Club (2009 -- he'll forever be associated with having a comfort zone on desert tracks. Now, that hasn't translated in the long-term at TPC Scottsdale where he's 4-for-7 with one top-30 finish (T14, 2007), but he hasn't been synonymous with consistency throughout his career. Yet, now in his eighth season, he's doing something right, and you can't rule him out where cacti double as aim points.


Kevin Streelman: The Scottsdale resident took a week off following a T10 at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Thanks to an active run of seven straight rounds in the 60s, he's sixth on TOUR in adjusted scoring, ninth in greens hit and 13th in the all-around. And dating back to last year's Greenbrier Classic, he's survived 10 consecutive cuts. In five appearances at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, he's fared no better than a T35 in 2009.


Marc Leishman: Sneaks into town after having missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open on the heels of a T9 at Waialae two weeks prior. Par or better in his last eight rounds at TPC Scottsdale where he finished T19 in 2012. That week, he led the field in par breakers on par 4s and ranked second in birdie average. He also placed T18 in greens in regulation but failed to save par in 11 of the 21 times he was scrambling.


William McGirt: Making just his second start of the season. In his only previous appearance at TPC Scottsdale, he tied for 22nd in 2011. That week he ranked T20 in greens in regulation and 17th in strokes gained-putting. While he's logged only four rounds (en route to a T56 at the Humana Challenge), he's currently 15th on TOUR in GIR, 26th in strokes gained-putting and 28th in the all-around. Those splits require a greater sample size to warrant legitimacy and they aren't indicative of his career curve, but they're certainly better than the alternative.


Dicky Pride: Returns to TPC Scottsdale after a 12-year hiatus. He's started 2013 with seven consecutive rounds under par but has survived just one cut. That speaks to the kind of crazy start to the year we've witnessed. Tied for ninth at the Sony Open in Hawaii where he ranked inside the top 10 in fairways hit, greens in regulation and strokes gained-putting.