The biggest event in the sporting world is set to take place this week in Arizona ... specifically, Scottsdale. Yes, the 2023 WM Phoenix Open will welcome 22 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Rankings as it marks the beginning of a new era on the PGA Tour. Being the first full-field designated event of the new playing schedule, the Phoenix Open will feature a strong field, an elevated prize fund and higher stakes as it is contested in the Arizona desert.
Headlining the action is none other than world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who will be making his first PGA Tour start of 2023. A spot on the calendar he would typically skip, the four-time major champion's inclusion in the field has heightened the importance as a potential two-man battle atop the golf world is stirring.
Winning his last start at the Dubai Desert Classic, McIlroy reminded prognosticators he is still the world's best, but Jon Rahm is certain to have something to say about that this week in his backyard. A Scottsdale resident, Rahm will aim to continue his torrid stretch that already includes two victories in 2023.
However, let us not forget about world No. 2 and defending champion Scottie Scheffler. Arriving at this tournament a season ago winless on the PGA Tour, the Texan's memorable run began at this event. Winning four times over the course of six starts, Scheffler captured world No. 1 status and a major champion after breaking through in Scottsdale.
Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Sahith Theegala will all seek revenge as they fell short to Scheffler in the final round in 2022. Max Homa, fresh off his win at the Farmers Insurance Open, will welcome friends and family to his neighborhood while Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth look to get right at a historically comfortable spot on the calendar.
Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Tom Kim, Tony Finau and many of the game's best round out this star-studded field in what is sure to be a memorable and rowdy week at TPC Scottsdale.
Event: 2023 WM Phoenix Open | Dates: Feb. 9-12
Location: TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) -- Scottsdale, Arizona
Par: 71 | Yardage: 7,261 | Purse: $20,000,000
2023 WM Phoenix Open field, odds
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
- Rory McIlroy (15/2): It's been awhile since we have seen McIlroy on the PGA Tour as his last appearance came at the CJ Cup in October. Ascending to world No. 1 with a victory, the reigning FedEx Cup champion will look to continue his strong play at a golf course he has rarely seen as his lone appearance in 2021 resulted in a T-13 finish. Since his missed cut at the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship, McIlroy has played in eight tournaments across the PGA Tour and DP World Tour finishing no worse than T8 and collecting three trophies along the way.
- Jon Rahm (15/2)
- Scottie Scheffler (14-1): Four times a winner on the PGA Tour, it is hard to believe this week marks Scheffler's first title defense. Blistering the competition in the spring of 2022, Scheffler's third-round 9-under 62 at TPC Scottsdale throttled him into contention. Ultimately getting the better of Cantlay in extra holes, he arrives this season winless since his triumph at the 2022 Masters. He has consistently found his name on the first or second page of the leaderboard but has scuttled down the stretch when looking at his close calls at the Charles Schwab Challenge and Tour Championship.
- Xander Schauffele (14-1)
- Collin Morikawa (20-1)
- Justin Thomas (20-1): Is there cause for concern in the Thomas camp? Without a top-10 finish in a full-field event since the Canadian Open last June, the two-time major champion has struggled (relatively) with his approach play and has often needed to rely on his around-the-green presence to keep him afloat. The good news for Thomas is TPC Scottsdale has historically been a very comfy spot on the calendar for him. A player who thrives amongst the madness of the 16th hole and the general spectacle of the WM Phoenix Open, Thomas's last five results in the Arizona desert read: T8, T13, T3, 3rd, T17.
- Patrick Cantlay (20-1): The 2022 WM Phoenix Open was the start of a disappointing trend for Cantlay. Losing in a playoff to Scheffler, Cantlay added three additional runners-up last season with only one individual win to his name. He began this year high on lists to make substantial waves but has been slow out the gates with finishes of T16 at the Tournament of Champions and T26 at The American Express. While as well-rounded as they come, he remains difficult to get a read on.
- Tony Finau (20-1)
- Max Homa (22-1): Is Homa a top-five player in the world? The argument could certainly be made as all he does is continue to win and enters this week second in the FedEx Cup standings behind only Rahm. While he has done the majority of his winning in the state of California, Homa calls Scottsdale home these days and has a high likelihood to contend in front of family and friends. Over the last 12 months, he ranks ninth in this field in total strokes gained.
- Cameron Young (25-1)
- Tom Kim (25-1)
- Hideki Matsuyama (25-1)
2023 WM Phoenix Open expert picks
|Winner (25-1): Don't be scared that Kim will be making his tournament debut this week as he will have plenty of experience on the bag. His caddie, Joe Skovron, was a winner here alongside Rickie Fowler in 2019. Skovron is a Scottsdale resident and should be able to effectively navigate Kim around TPC Scottsdale. On a course where plodders such as Webb Simpson have won, Kim's skillset will shine through. Over the last six months, the 20-year-old has won twice and ranks first in this field in strokes gained approach, second in terms of proximity from 150-175 yards and fourth in opportunities gained.|
|Contender (30-1): Im was among many to have a chance towards the end of the Farmers Insurance Open but ultimately finished with a T4 effort. Adding to what has been a so-so start to his year, Im ranked second in strokes gained approach and sixth in strokes gained putting at Torrey Pines. Set to make his fourth WM Phoenix Open appearance, Im has previous finishes of T17, T34 and T7 to his credit. The best par-5 scorer in this field over the last six months, the South Korean's off-the-tee presence and hot putting should give him an opportunity to win his third PGA Tour title.|
|Sleeper (100-1): If you are sleeping on Poston, wake up. The two-time PGA Tour winner has shot out the gates in 2023, highlighted by a T6 finish at The American Express. Similar to Im, he has a perfect track record at TPC Scottsdale with finishes of T23 and T11 his last two appearances. A fixture on short, positional golf courses where timely putting can propel him to the top of the leaderboard, Poston was nearly a surprise winner at last year's Travelers Championship. That leaderboard featured Scheffler, Cantlay, Schauffele and Sahith Theegala, all of whom contended in Scottsdale in 2022.|
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