33/134.00 Matsuyama looks ready to win again
45/146.00 Campillo can crack the Doha code
66/167.00 Jamieson can start strongly in Qatar
Waste Management Phoenix Open Tips and Predictions
Steve Rawlings: "As demonstrated by Scottie Scheffler 12 months ago, length off the tee has proved slightly more important than accuracy at TPC Scottsdale.
"The defending champion ranked 26th for Driving Distance and only 47th for Driving Accuracy when defending the title and the eight winners before him averaged 16.6 for DD and 21.1 for DA so neither metric is crucial.
"Up until 2010 putting was the most important stat but as Justin Ray's tweet below from two years ago demonstrates, accurate iron play has been the been the key here for the last decade or so and Scottie demonstrated that perfectly 12 months ago. He ranked third for Greens In Regulation and first for both Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and SG: Approach.
"Strong putting might not be as crucial as it once was here, but it never hurts. The first three home last year ranked 13th, first and ninth for Putting Average and 12th, fourth and seventh and when he won the title for the first time in 2022, Scheffler ranked number one for PA and second for SG: Putting."
Dave Tindall: "Hideki Matsuyama was fourth and second on his first two visits in 2014 and 2015 before winning the 2016 and 2017 editions. He's since added three more top 16s including eighth in 2022. Clearly, his elite iron game is a great fit for this 7,250-yard par 71.
"The big question is whether he's ready to win again after the vicious cycle of injury and poor form. He didn't have a good week at Pebble but at the Farmers Insurance Open, the 2021 Masters winner ranked fifth for SG: Tee To Green and 11th for Approach.
"That followed a top 30 in the Sony Open while he'd rounded 2023 off with a top 10 in his home Dunlop Phoenix Tournament. In other words, he's left enough clues to suggest a third win in Phoenix wouldn't exactly be coming out of left field."
Matt Cooper: "Tom Hoge ranked sixth for Strokes Gained Approach last week when also sixth on the leaderboard in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The was also sixth for Approach in The American Express and eighth in The Sentry.
"It's following on from the end of last year when he ranked fourth in the BMW PGA Championship and fifth in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
"He's got a decent record in the desert too, with four top 25 finishes in his last six starts at TPC Summerlin (including fourth and seventh) and he's been second and sixth in The American Express in Palm Springs (and closed with a pair of 65s last month).
"At first glance he's only got two top 25s, and a best of T14th, from six visits to TPC Scottsdale. But in four of his last five starts he has been inside the top 12 on the leaderboard at some stage in the week (after round one, two or three)."
Andy Swales: "Big-hitters have generally thrived here, although not exclusively. Weiskopf returned to undertake an upgrade in 2014 when, among other things, he planted around 250 trees. This $12m renovation also involved the resurfacing of greens and re-building of bunkers;
"Water is a threat on no more than six holes, and mainly on the back nine. The putting surfaces are slightly larger than the Tour average and the tournament is normally one of the best-attended events on the PGA Tour schedule...
"World No 1 Scottie Scheffler 5/1 is chasing a hat-trick of Scottsdale titles this week. The two-time defending champ is rarely off the pace nowadays and, in last week's weather-affected event at Pebble Beach, finished in a tie-for-sixth.
"Other big name pros to offer a strong Stadium Course history include Xander Schauffele 10/1, Jordan Spieth 16/1 and Justin Thomas 10/1."
Qatar Masters Tips and Predictions
Steve Rawlings: "Doha winners, Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els and Paul Lawrie have all won the Open Championship and Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn and Adam Scott arguably all should have done.
"Given he shot the first 62 in major championship history at the Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017, Grace boosts the links angle-in too and so does the 2016 second, Thorbjorn Olesen, the 2015 runner-up, Marc Warren, and the 2018 winner, Pepperell.
"Grace has also won at the Fancourt Links in South Africa and like past Qatar Masters winners, Lawrie and Karlsson, Grace and Olesen are both former winners of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Grace and Warren have also both lost a playoff at the Scottish Open at the Castle Stuart Links and Pepperell was denied only by a ridiculous 60 in round four of the 2018 Scottish Open at the Gullane Links by South Africa's Brandon Stone.
"Many fine links exponents have performed well here, and I suspect it's the wide-open feel of the course and the fact that the wind often blows - mirroring the sort of conditions encountered on the links."
Matt Cooper: "Jorge Campillo's record in the Qatar Masters is just very good in recent years. Here at Doha he was T20th in 2016, T13th in 2017, second in 2019 and was only defeated in a play-off last October.
"True, he was T65th in 2022 but back in that 2017 edition he shared the halfway lead so in his last four course starts he's been the co-36-hole leader, the second best 72-hole scorer and the joint best 72-hole scorer.
"He was also the tournament winner at Education City in 2020 (and T28th on defence) and he's also got a couple of top 10s on the Earth Course.
"A weekend off might have been no bad thing because otherwise he'd be a little fatigued and I'm happy to give him another go at cracking the Doha code having come so close so often."
Dave Tindall: "Jamieson hasn't always delivered his best stuff at Doha GC but he certainly found his mojo there last year.
"His final position of third in that October edition was hugely important as it secured playing privileges for 2024. But just as key for this market was that a 65 gave him the first-round lead.
"In 2022, the Florida-based Jamieson was also first-round leader of two other desert events: the Abu Dhabi Championship and the Ras al Khaimah Championship.
"As for latest form, he was 16th in Bahrain last week after sitting eighth after day one thanks to a 67. That's more boxes ticked.
"Back at a venue that gave him such a high just over three months ago, let's hope Jamieson can flourish from his 11.20 (local) tee time."
Andy Swales: "If conditions are calm, the sport's longer-drivers will have the opportunity to play all-out attacking golf. However, if the breeze picks up, the course is a totally different animal and must be handled with care, while demanding a deft touch around the greens. Those with morning tee times tend to enjoy more benign playing conditions;
"The course, which is laid out six miles north of Doha city centre, has water in play on five holes and plenty of desert scrubland. In 2021, the venue underwent a largescale renovation. The putting surfaces at nine and 18 were enlarged, while all the greens were sown with Paspallum grass, replacing the previous Bermuda. Many greens were also re-constructed, resulting in a change of slope and elevation...
"A number of Spaniards have posted solid performances at Doha in recent years. These include Pablo Larrazabal 40/1, Jorge Campillo 40/1, Adrian Otaegui 70/1 and Nacho Elvira 100/1. Elvira's last five starts here include a trio of top-six finishes. Larrazabal, meanwhile, tied-fourth in the Rolex Series event at Emirates three weeks ago."