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Scott Piercy (B): He’s five-for-five on the Stadium course including a closing round 61 last year to claim solo third. #HiYa. In 20 rounds here only two of them have been above par. After WD at Mayakoba in November, he’s began 2014 with MCs at Sony and Humana.
Matt Every (B): He’s teed it up here twice and has finished T8 in 2010 and T9 last year. To put in perspective how good Mickelson was last year, Every is a combined 28-under in those two events. He’s five-for-five in the 2013-14 season and is coming off T8 at Sony and T13 at Humana. When course form meets current form…Oh, and he’s 13th in scoring average. Works for me.
Brendan Steele (C): In the last three years he’s finished T53, T5 and T6. He made only three bogeys in his last two rounds on the South Course last week and made only two bogeys in his final 54 holes here last year. Nothing wrong with avoiding bogeys!
J.B. Holmes (C): The 2006 and 2008 champion has suffered through brain surgery and a roller blading injury and has 18 starts remaining to rack up over $526,000 or 306 FedExCup points. His T23 last week was a great start and the Stadium Course is home to his only two wins on TOUR.
Ben Crane (B): In his last six trips to Phoenix, Crane has played the weekend in five of them. His last two starts here saw him finish second in 2012 and T11 last year. He also has a T4 from 2008.
Kevin Na (C): In eight starts he’s hit the top five four times. The only thing that’s missing is a win.
Robert Garrigus (B): If you need an “all-or-nothing” pick this week, Garrigus fits that description. In five events over seven years, the bigger hitter has bookend T11s with three MCs in the middle. His ball-striking and length will carry him but the question is going to be how many putts he’ll hole.
Bryce Molder (B): In the last four years he’s posted T8, T62, T15 and T24 with only one round above par.
The recent form of this bunch must be investigated when assembling this week's roster
Scott Stallings (C): Out of nowhere Stallings stole the FIO last week with an excellent four iron that found the front of the green on the par five No. 18 hole by about three feet. It’s a game of inches. He shot 80 in the second round here in 2012 but there’s no question his confidence is as high as the Senoran Desert sky.
Patrick Reed (A): See above. As well as he played at another easy course in the desert it would be irresponsible to dismiss him this week. His WD last week with a rib injury should for gamers to take a deeper look.
Brian Stuard (B): Another week, another very decent finish, T28, which is his worst finish in his last four events. He’s 10th in scoring average and 15th in birdie average.
Charley Hoffman (C): He’s six-of-six with back-to-back top 10s. He has a solo fourth and T22 as well in that stretch. Those results might make me overlook four MCs from seven and a T76 for Hoffman at WMPO. He did finish solo second back in 2009.
Marc Leishman (A): His solo fifth at Sony and T2 last week should have gamers on their toes. Not a bad way to start 2014. Gamers won’t find many hotter players than that but he’ll need his putter to cooperate to continue to perform at this level.
K.J. Choi (C): In four events since late October the South Korean has not finished outside the top 20. I prefer Choi on courses where ball-striking and par are more valuable as opposed to this week’s putting contest.
Players I’ll watch from a distance
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano: It’s hard to endorse any player coming off an 82 last week.
John Rollins: It’s even harder to endorse a player who shot 83.
Ian Poulter: Only two rounds of eight in the 60s. That’s not low enough to contend here.
Ken Duke: In five starts his best finish is T43, last year.
Brian Davis: Sure he can putt, but he’s missed five weekends from eight events and has only one finish inside the top 30.
Jason Bohn: He’s usually a wonderful sleeper in events where a boatload of birdies are required but his history on the Stadium Course is the exception, not the rule. Since his T11 in 2008 he’s followed up with MC, T68, MC, T62, MC and MC last year. Let someone else break him out of that slump here.
Aaron Baddeley: He’ll be picked because he lives in Scottsdale and he’s a former champion. In six events since that victory, Baddeley’s best finish is T35. Save him for Pebble or Riviera!