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Phoenix Open Tips & Predictions: Chow down on Daniel in the desert

Daniel Berger features in our Phoenix Open tips & predictions.
Daniel Berger features in our Phoenix Open tips & predictions.

Golf tipster Russell Palmer is back with another three picks from the PGA Tour this week coming from TPC Scottsdale for the Phoenix Open in Arizona..

Having lucked out last week at Torrey Pines, Marc Leishman my best finish at T18; I'm dipping back in with another three selections this week at a very different from usual Phoenix Open.

Not only will there be limited crowds at the venue, a course usually synonymous with the rather boisterous amphitheatre of the 16th hole, there's also some big names missing, lured to Saudi Arabia for this week's European Tour event.

I've gone two events without a return now but I was buoyed by the performance of a couple of players I highlighted last week for the US Open, which will be played at Torrey Pines later in the year.

I put up Viktor Hovland for the US Open at 50/1 prior to last week where he'd finish in a tie for second. The Norweigan is now as short as 28/1 for the 2021 US Open whilst Xander Schauffele, who I put up for the US Open at the start of the year at 16/1 was also tied for second at Torrey Pines and is as short at 12/1 for the season's third major with some bookmakers.

Add to that Leishman's renaissance in 2021, with three top 20 finishes in his last three starts including a T4 in Hawaii, the Aussie is now 66/1 in places for the Masters which I like him for in April.

You can check out my ante-post portfolio on the golf betting tips page.

Market Leaders

Whilst Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau plus another seven PGA Tour players might be teeing it up in Saudi Arabia this week, we still have a strong field assembled at Scottsdale, including five of the world's top ten players.

Jon Rahm heads the betting at 13/2 and the Spanish number two in the world is joined by the 3rd and 4th best on the planet at the moment, Justin Thomas (8/1) and Xander Schauffele (11/1). Rory McIlroy is also an 11/1 chance this week, making a rare appearance in this event.

There might be a smidge of value in Rory this week given his play so far in 2021, but I'm going to dip a bit further down the betting for my three selections, with featured groups available from as early at 14:30 on Thursday we should get a good look.

Golf Odds
Phoenix Open at a glance
Phoenix Open at a glance
Daniel Berger each-way (8 places)
Odds correct as of 2021-02-01 20:25 Odds subject to change.

I've dived just below the top tier for my first selection this week in the shape of Daniel Berger at 20/1 paying eight places at William Hill.

The 27-year-old has been ultra consistent since coming back from the COVID enforced break last year, winning the first tournament back in the shape of the Charles Schwab Challenge and seven top tens in total last season.

He's started hot in 2021 with two consecutive top ten finishes, tied seventh last time out at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

The American has had a couple of weeks off and returns to a course where he's had three top tens in his last six visits including a 9th last year.

Berger ranks 25th for shots gained putting on the PGA Tour and 10th in this week's field and I see the world number 13 having a big chance at Scottsdale.

US Masters Betting
Ryan Palmer each-way (8 places)
Odds correct as of 2021-02-01 20:30 Odds subject to change.

I'm dipping back into the Ryan Palmer again this week at odds of 45/1 with Paddy Power paying eight places.

The 44-year-old has firmly established himself as a top 50 player (currently 28th) and I think he's consistently undervalued by the market.

Palmer ranks inside the top 25 for greens in regulation on the PGA Tour (72.86%) and tied third for par 4 scoring. To play well at Scottsdale you need to get your approach right and take advantage on the greens. Palmer ranks in the top 50 for shots gained putting and 25th for shots gained in total, making him a really viable option at the prices this week.

A second place last week at Torrey Pines, he's in good form with his second top-5 in three starts and has some good course form to pull on too, 2nd and 5th here in 2014 and 2012 respectively.  


Henrik Norlander each-way (7 places)
Odds correct as of 2021-02-01 20:30 Odds subject to change.

There were a few I liked at bigger prices this week but I'm taking a chance on Henrik Norlander at 90/1 with Betfred paying seven places.

The 33-year-old has been a bit of a slow starter in his career but it's his recent form which has put me on to him this week.

Missing the cut in the Sony Open in Hawaii despite a first round 65, the Swede has found that consistency in his last two outings finishing 12th in the American Express before tying for 2nd last week at Torrey Pines.

This will be his first look at TPC Scottsdale but his solid tee to green game puts him in with a chance here with his confidence high.

Ranking in the top 35 for many of the key metrics, really it's just his short game which is his achilles heel, hence his price.

13th on the PGA Tour this season for GIR (74.01%), I'm hoping he gives himself plenty of chances this week.

Best of the rest

Like I say, there's quite a few that I think can go well here at big prices based on their stats, you're just hoping for either an upturn in recent form or there's some disappointing historical course form which prevents me from pulling the trigger.

Russell Henley (66/1) ranks 1st on the PGA Tour for par 4 scoring and 16th for greens in regulation, but only has a 50% strike rate at Scottsdale in his last eight visits and missed the cut on his last start two weeks ago.

Sam Burns (80/1) is another who trends well at the stats but has missed the cut on his two previous visits here, whilst James Hahn is someone I might be persuaded to have a few quid on at 200/1 with Betfred.

As ever, good luck with your bets if you're following and please gamble responsibly. I'm going to keep showing my record post lockdown for a few weeks until we have some 2021 results to show.

Follow me at Twitter @rustyboy75.

Post-lockdown form:


  • Tyrrell Hatton - BMW PGA Championship - advised at 16/1
  • John Catlin - Irish Open - advised at 40/1
  • Jon Rahm - BMW Championship - advised at 14/1
  • Dustin Johnson - Northern Trust - advised at 20/1
  • Justin Thomas - WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 12/1
  • Webb Simpson - RBC Heritage - advised at 30/1


  • Colin Morikawa - T7 Sony Open In Hawaii - advised at 14/1
  • Xander Schauffele - T5 Sentry Tournament of Champions - advised at 10/1
  • Laurie Canter - 2nd Italian Open - advised at 45/1
  • Kristoffer Ventura - T6 Sanderson Farms Championship - advised at 80/1
  • Xander Schauffele - 5th US Open - advised at 16/1
  • Kristoffer Ventura - T7 Safeway Open - advised at 80/1
  • Laurie Canter - 2nd Portugal Masters - advised at 66/1
  • Si Woo Kim - T3 Wyndham Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Jason Day - T4 USPGA Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Phil Mickelson - 2nd WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 110/1
  • Viktor Hovland - 3rd Workday Charity Open - advised at 25/1
  • Kevin Streelman - T7 Workday Charity Open - advised at 60/1
  • Tyrrell Hatton - T4 Rocket Mortgage Classic - advised at 16/1
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