Joe hit the crossbar last week with Rory McIlroy in Dubai as the Betfair golf team head to Scottsdale for their trio of first round leader selections...
"There aren't many players in this week's field better than Zach with a short iron in his hand, he makes plenty of birdies on par fours especially, and as a former Masters and Open Championship winner we know he can putt brilliantly on his day."
*EW Terms: 1/4 Odds | 5 Places
Adam Baylis says: Back Rickie Fowler @ 22/1
While this feels a tad unoriginal, Fowler's last two finishes at the Phoenix are hard to ignore - T4 in 2017 after losing out in a playoff to Hideki the year prior. I'm happy to ignore the California man's missed cut at The Farmers last week as he's shown himself to be a stand-out candidate when turning up at TPC Scottsdale. Moreover he's put in first round figures of 67 and 65 over the last two years here and was ranked fourth overall for Round 1 scoring average in 2017 returning a figure of 69.20. An early tee time alongside his 2016 adversary Matsuyama should serve to spur Rickie into action on Thursday in Arizona.
Mike Norman says: Back Zach Johnson @ 50/1
With a premium on accurate approach play - players who hit a high percentage of Greens in Regulation always do well at TPC Scottsdale - I'm pinning my hopes on Zach Johnson continuing his decent start to the season with a bold showing in round one. There aren't many players in this week's field better than Zach with a short iron in his hand, he makes plenty of birdies on par fours especially, and as a former Masters and Open Championship winner we know he can putt brilliantly on his day. This is going to be a birdie-fest so we need a man who fits the stats, who we know can go low, and has some recent form and course form in the book. Zach ticks all the boxes having finished 10th, 12th, and 14th here in his last three visits, while he's started 2018 with a par of top-20 finishes. At a joint-industry best 50/1 he's my man for Thursday in Phoenix.
Joe Dyer says: Back Brian Stuard @ 95/1
We complete this week's selections with a solid player in good nick who is available at a big each-way price. Brian Stuard put together some nice results in the early part of the PGA Tour season and then kicked off 2018 with a fourth place at the Sony Open before dropping out of the CareerBuilder Challenge after a third round cut when never in the running. Stuard sits high in the first round scoring rankings through seven tournaments in the calendar year (so the stat is more representative of Stuard's good play than for a few others in the ranking), and most importantly has shown a liking for this course finishing 10th in 2015 and 16th last year. One of the most accurate drivers on tour, he should not find himself in trouble off the tee, and can employ similar straight-hitting from the fairway to set up low scoring and hopefully land us a payout.
2018 Season P/L to date: -£43.50
*£5 e/w per bet