Jon Rahm is 6/1 favourite for this week’s Phoenix Open in his adopted home city of Scottsdale – and the fiery Spaniard is desperate to claim his first trophy of 2022.
The Los Angeles Rams will be hoping to become Super Bowl victors on Sunday night – and maybe the Rahm-Rams double will appeal to some punters.
Rahm suffered a near-miss in his opening event of the year, finishing runner-up to Cameron Smith in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, then he bemoaned the set-up of the courses when labouring to 14th place in The American Express next time out.
His third appearance of this year resulted in more anguish – third spot in the Farmers Insurance Open – and that performance was blighted by wild driving.
Perhaps the familiar surroundings of TPC Scottsdale, where he practises regularly and has built solid form figures of 5-16-11-10-9-13 in the Phoenix Open, will be where the US Open champion kickstarts his campaign.
Hovland May Continue Recent Hot Streak
Viktor Hovland has won three of his last five tournaments – the World Wide Technology Championship, the Hero World Challenge and the Dubai Desert Classic – overcoming two top-class fields in the process.
The Norwegian youngster has moved up to third in the world rankings and is looking formidable at the age of just 24.
Market makers are preferring the chances of other players for the Phoenix Open – because Hovland does not have any positive course form in the book – but there seems every chance this class act contends in Phoenix for the first time on Sunday.
Hovland missed the cut by a shot in 2020 – his only previous TPC Scottsdale visit – but he was less than eight months into his professional career at that point. And he had just trekked back from the Dubai Desert Classic, so was probably lacking energy.
This time, with a longer gap between the Desert Classic and Phoenix, Hovland has had the chance to freshen up for this mission. The 16/1 against his name could be a wonderful price, as the course suits him well.
Maiden Scheffler Could Get Off the Mark
PGA Tour maiden Scottie Scheffler can go close to a breakthrough success this week and can be backed at 22/1.
The Texan is 15th in the world rankings and it seems only a matter of time before he starts lifting silverware on the main circuit. He won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019 and has always seemed destined for greatness.
Scheffler enjoyed an excellent Ryder Cup debut last year, defeating Jon Rahm in the Sunday singles at Whistling Straits, and he probably has the self-belief to get the job done if in with a chance at Scottsdale down the stretch.
The 25-year-old was second in the Houston Open in November, then runner-up in the Hero World Challenge in December. Expect Hovland and Scheffler to churn out greens in regulation in Phoenix and threaten the trophy.
*All odds correct at time of writing