The PGA Tour visits its most raucous venue of the season this week when a full field of elite players tee off in the 2023 WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. The WM Phoenix Open is one 17 events on the PGA Tour schedule that will have elevated purses and guaranteed appearances by the Tour's top players. This year's tournament features 22 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking and a purse of $20 million.
Rory McIlroy, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, and Jon Rahm (No. 3) are the co-favorites to lead after the first round at +1800 from Caesars Sportsbook. Scottie Scheffler (+2500), Xander Schauffele (+2800) and Collin Morikawa (+2800) round out the top five choices. Before you lock in your WM Phoenix Open first round leader picks, you need to see what SportsLine PGA expert Sia Nejad has to say.
Nejad is a golf and NFL betting and DFS expert who has had incredible success in the first-round leader market. While those markets tend to be highly volatile, Nejad managed to hit six first-round leaders in a 12-week span last year. He utilizes the inherent volatility in the market to identify value with golfers more likely to spike in one round versus a full tournament. He maintains that proper bankroll management is centered upon head-to-head matchups and the top 20 and top 40 markets but has been exceptional in spiking bankrolls via first-round leader cashes.
In 2022, his first-round leader hits included Danny Lee (150-1 at the American Express), Kevin Na (40-1, Sony), Tom Hoge (80-1, Players), KH Lee (85-1, Phoenix), Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Hadwin (70-1 and 100-1, Valspar). He also hit a handful of outrights and live outrights, including Cameron Smith (28-1, Tournament of Champions) and Sam Burns (80-1 after Round 1, Charles Schwab Challenge).
Now Nejad has studied the 2023 WM Phoenix Open field, weather, and tee times has identified his first-round leader picks. You can only see his picks and PGA Tour predictions at SportsLine.
Top 2023 WM Phoenix Open first-round leader picks
One shocker: Nejad is high on the chances of Sungjae Im (+3500) to lead after the first round. A 24-year-old from South Korea, Im has won twice on the PGA Tour and won more than $18.6 million in earnings. This season he has played in seven events with two top 10 finishes.
In three previous appearances at the Phoenix Open, he has made the cut all three times and finished in the top 10 once. His last round at TPC Scottsdale was his best, a six-under 65 in the fourth round of 2021. "He is no stranger to elite first rounds, and he also has good recent form and good course history," Nejad told SportsLine. You can see who else to back in the first round of the WM Phoenix Open here.
How to make 2023 WM Phoenix Open first-round leader picks
However, Nejad also likes an even bigger longshot who "is no stranger to getting hot in the first round." He also is high on an enormous 100-1 longshot who's on an "upward trajectory." He's only sharing who it is and the rest of his PGA Tour analysis at SportsLine.
So what golfers offer the best value to lead after the first round of the 2023 WM Phoenix Open? And what massive longshot is a must-back? Visit SportsLine to see Nejad's picks for the WM Phoenix Open 2023, all from the expert who has been red-hot on first round PGA Tour betting, and find out.