Waste no time and get with Kaymer

  • By: David John (Twitter: @SLifeDaveJohn)
  • Last Updated: January 31 2013, 14:29 GMT

Martin Kaymer is David John's headline tip for this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Kaymer: Looks a decent price to challenge in Phoenix
Kaymer: Looks a decent price to challenge in Phoenix

I was a bit peeved to see Martin Kaymer not playing in Dubai this week but we might just be able to collect on the German anyway as he tees it up for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

This will be his first event on the PGA Tour since taking up official membership and it seems a very obvious place for him to start.

Kaymer has a residence in Scottsdale where he spends some practice time during the winter and has admitted in a past interview that he feels "very comfortable" in Arizona.

He plays at Whisper Rock - not far north of TPC Scottsdale - so has a decent familiarity with the area and I have little doubt he will improve vastly on his sole appearance in the event when he missed the cut back in 2010.

We are all fully aware that Kaymer is a great exponent of golf in the desert and I see know reason why he can't transfer his proven skills from multiple victories in Abu Dhabi to this tournament.

Remember also that he was a runner-up in Arizona in the Accenture World Match Play two years ago, while he begins this week on the back of two promising efforts on the European Tour in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

The putter went a bit cold over the weekend in the latter where he only managed to shoot two under par for an 11-under total but it looks a nice warm-up nevertheless for him to go really well at 28/1 with a number of firms.

There are plenty of good judges who are already on Rickie Fowler this week and although there is not a huge amount of scope in his price, he can make an impact again.

Fowler has always had an affinity for the event as he picked up a start here back in 2009 as an amateur and is always keen to return to the desert.

He seems to revel in the atmosphere produced by the huge, raucous crowds and endeared himself in particular to them 12 months ago with some clowning around on the final day on the infamous par-three 16th.

The Californian was well below par in the first round at Torrey Pines last week when playing with Tiger Woods and looked really out of sync in a horrible 77 but pulled himself together stoutly over the next three rounds with scores of 65-70-68 to claim an improbable tie for sixth place.

That is some real momentum to take to an event he obviously has a soft spot for and should mean he is a factor - he was runner-up in 2010 and has also posted a round of 62 here.

Jason Dufner has a clear chance after two reasonable weeks on the European Tour in the Middle East and has the course form here as well, while Brandt Snedeker continues to impress in the early weeks of the campaign.

But at bigger odds a couple of slow burners who could be ready to feature at the top of the leaderboard are John Rollins and Ryan Palmer at 80s and 66s respectively.

Rollins is a regular for this event in Phoenix and his last 10 appearances have yielded five top-15 finishes with a top-10 12 months ago.

He misfired in one round with a 75 at Torrey Pines but I am sure he will have been delighted with his three tournaments so far in 2013 as he has shot level or under par at the Sony and Humana Challenge, admitting he was "feeling good" at the latter.

Rollins is not a prolific winner by any stretch of the imagination as his last title was back in 2009 but this event and current form gives us some hope for an end to the drought.

Palmer looked in good nick as well at the Humana Challenge on the way to a T6 and if you delve back into his record to 2006 he played extremely well here to finish T2 with a group of players behind JB Holmes.

He opened 12 months ago with an eight-under 64 before difting off into obscurity but the fact he arrives this time around in far better form is far more encouraging.

The closest he has come to a victory over the last couple of years was going down in a play-off to future major champion Keegan Bradley at the Byron Nelson but there are certainly signs he could add to his victories - perhaps that week has arrived.

  • Preview posted at 1200 GMT on 29/01/2013.