2023 WM Phoenix Open: A Look at the Course, Purse & Favorites

This week, the PGA Tour visits its most raucous venue of the season when they tee off in the 2023 WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.[0] The tournament features 22 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking and a purse of $20 million.[0] Caesars Sportsbook places Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm as co-favorites to lead after the first round, both at +1800.[1] Coming in behind Bryson DeChambeau (+800) and Jon Rahm (+1200) in the top five picks are Scottie Scheffler (+2500), Xander Schauffele (+[1]

Lee Iacocca, the iconic former president of the Ford Motor Company, once said that executives are often presented with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.[2] Similarly, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is tasked with shaping the PGA Tour schedule – designated events and not – around competing constituencies. Sponsors are given tremendous latitude in deciding how their exemptions are used, and the Phoenix Open's are the customary mix of the welcome, the defensible and the bewildering.[2] Charley Hoffman received a sponsor exemption from WM despite having only one top-20 finish in almost two years, not due to his performance.[2] J.B. Holmes, currently ranked world No. 1,815, has made the cut in only five of his last twenty tournaments, starting from 2020.[2] Ricky Barnes was the last to receive the prize, seemingly only because he was from the local area.[2]

The purpose of specific occasions is not only to bring the most skilled players together more often – that is the explanation visible to the public – but also to guarantee they receive higher pay.[2] This entails distributing the $20 million in fewer accounts.[2] This includes providing competitive compensation to high-performing employees, even if they do not reach the set goals[2] The designated events for next year are currently being discussed in regards to both concepts.[2] Suggest to journeymen players that they may not have as many chances to play if the top tier players are making large amounts of money even if they are not performing well enough to play on the weekend.[2] Insiders have shared that the initial proposal of the top players was to cap the field size for designated events at 70; however, it is projected that the number for next year will be close to 80, similar to the numbers seen in the old World Golf Championships.[2]

TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) measures 7,261 yards and is a par-71 golf course.[3]

0. “WM Phoenix Open memorable moments: Beer showers, Tiger, Phil, Rickie” Golf Channel, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.golfchannel.com/news/wm-phoenix-open-memorable-moments-beer-showers-tiger-phil-rickie

1. “2023 WM Phoenix Open first-round leader odds, picks: Best bets and predictions for opening round from a golf expert – SportsLine.com” SportsLine, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.sportsline.com/insiders/2023-wm-phoenix-open-first-round-leader-odds-picks-best-bets-and-predictions-for-opening-round-from-a-golf-expert

2. “Lynch: Field sizes are a coming flashpoint on the PGA Tour, and the WM Phoenix Open shows why” Golfweek, 7 Feb. 2023, https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2023/02/06/lynch-pga-tour-field-sizes-wm-phoenix-open/

3. “2023 Waste Management Open Odds, Expert Picks: Add Tom Kim, J.T. Poston To Your Card In Phoenix” The Action Network, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.actionnetwork.com/golf/2023-waste-management-open-odds-expert-picks-tom-kim-jt-poston