PGA Tour Expert Picks: Phoenix Open

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The PGA Tour west coast swing heads east (kind of).

Here's a little Q&A on what to expect from this week's Phoenix Open.

What is it?

The Phoenix Open is probably the biggest party on tour all year (unless you count the Ryder Cup post-match celebration). It is the first tournament of the new year outside of Hawaii or California.

Where is it?

TPC of Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Isn't that where...

Yep. Phil Mickelson went around the world last year for a 59 and Jim "Bones" Mackay went to the turf like he'd been shot.

When is it?

January 30 - February 2, 2014

What is the purse?

$6.2 million

How can I watch it?

Online (here)

Thursday thru Sunday -- Featured holes
Thursday and Friday, Jan. 30-31 -- 10 AM - 7:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1-2 -- 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM


Thursday and Friday, Jan. 30-31 -- 3-7 PM on Golf Channel
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1-2 -- 1-2:30 PM on Golf Channel and 3-6 PM on CBS 

All times Eastern

Who's playing?

Who isn't playing? Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson, Bill Haas, and Harris English.

Wait, this Mickelson guy, is he playing? I thought he had that back thing?

It looks like Lefty is going to give it a go despite pulling out of the Farmers Insurance Open with a bad back and worried about messing up his swing.

He said earlier this week he would have pulled out if it was any other tournament but Phoenix means too much to him. Plus he has a title to defend.

"If it was any other tournament I'd skip it, but I'm defending, it's my second hometown and I love the event," said Mickelson.

Who are the former champions?

2013 -- Phil Mickelson
2012 -- Kyle Stanley
2011 -- Mark Wilson
2010 -- Hunter Mahan
2009 -- Kenny Perry

So who are you picking?


Graham DeLaet (28-1) -- He's so close to winning his first PGA Tour tournament right now. DeLaet has finished second, sixth, and seventh in his last three events so yeah, it's coming soon.

He'll need to go low (28 under won here last year) but he's more than capable (19th on tour in birdie average right now). 

Lock for top 10

Brendan Steele (66-1) -- Steele has top six finishes his last two times out in Phoenix. I'm concerned that he missed the Humana cut but he played well at Torrey Pines and I trust him at this course. 


Ben Crane (80-1) -- It would be fitting if one of the most gregarious golfers on tour won golf's most affable tournament.

Crane has three top 20s (including a second) in his last three starts here and finished ninth at the Humana Challenge a few weeks ago at 21 under so he knows how to go low. He'll need that and maybe more this week in Phoenix.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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