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Analysis of The Saudi International and The Waste Management Phoenix Open – February 4 to 7.

Hello again,

Sunday did not pan out well for us and we had our worst losing week since the service first started in another guise in 2018 . We lost 15 points and our struggles in 2021 continue . My plan now, up to the end of March is to stake less pre tournament and more in play . Thereby I hope that we can be healthily in profit by the first of April .

At the Saudi International

Dustin Johnson won here again by two strokes despite not putting well. He just outclassed the field in reality despite not being at his best . Our mistake was thinking that the 5/1 pre tournament was too skinny .

Our selections – Bryson DeChambeau informed the press that he had been feeling unwell lately on Thursday and had not able to work out . He did play as he was due a large appearance fee for doing so . He was all over the place off the tee. Even this course was not wide enough for him! The rest of his game was not much better and he finished in a tie for eighteenth .

Laurie Canter was in position to place going into the final round but carded a 71 to tie for twenty first place . I was disappointed that he could not go lower when placed to do so in the tournament .

Tyrrell Hatton was our in play bet . He got off to a poor start on Sunday and so he could not make a run at the leader . He carded a 69 and finished tied sixth.

Others to note – Justin Rose had a good week for once to finish tied second . Let’s see if he is back to form when he returns to the USPGA tour? Victor Perez had a going week and tied with Rose . He did challenge DJ on the opening nine holes on Sunday but fell back on the closing holes. Tony Finau finished third. He faded again when it came time to challenge DJ.

Young Rasmus Hojgaard finished with a 62 and tied for sixth with Ryan Fox, Viktor Hovland and Hatton. Paul Casey played well enough in a tie for twelfth following on from last weeks win. Tommy Fleetwood underwhelmed again, only achieving 26th place. Andy Sullivan, a desert rat based on past successes, was going well but hit the buffers with a final round 76. Bernd Wiesberger had a good first two days but went backwards over the weekend to finish outside the top fifty. Abraham Ancer and Patrick Reed, a winner last week, both completed four rounds but were well back in the field.

Those of note who missed the cut – Matt Wallace and Henrik Stenson.


Waste Management Phoenix Open

Brooks Koepka (pictured above) came back to form with a vengeance here to win by one stroke from a number of golfers who spent Sunday going backwards. His closing round 65 was enough to get it done.

Tied in second were the joint overnight leader Xander Schauffele and the Korean Kyoung Hoon Lee. Xander failed to get it done again. only managing a closing 71. Lee was consistent across the four rounds and may be another Korean to contest, along with Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim? Rory McIlroy finished with a 64 to finish a never nearer joint fourth.

Carlos Ortiz finished with a 64 to place joint fourth with the evergreen Steve Stricker and joint overnight leader Jordan Speith. Speith was always going to regress after his third round 61 and could only manage a 72 on Sunday. Ortiz has been good in recent months but cannot maintain top form week in and week out.

Of our selections – Justin Thomas was only four strokes off the lead going into the final round despite an opening round of 70. He had a good chance here with the leaders failing but could only muster a weak 72 on Sunday. One to avoid at short odds until he sorts his best game out I think?

Will Zalatoris was only six strokes off the lead going into the final round, but a 71 dropped him down in to a tie for seventeenth.

Webb Simpson never got it going this week and opened with a 73. He finished tied in forty second.

Others to note – Jon Rahm was solid but unspectacular in finishing six strokes off of Koepka. Rahm is still not at A1 in 2021 yet.

Golfers who missed the cut included – Daniel Berger, Jason Day, Gary Woodland and Sebastian Munoz, who finished last.


Stay safe Martin