The PGA Tour moves from the coast of southern California to the desert of Arizona for this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open at the iconic Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale.
The long-running tournament – the 12th of the season, and third of the five-event “West Coast Swing,” provides yet another opportunity for the players to rack up some early-season FedExCup (and world-ranking) points.
The field in Scottsdale, Arizona includes three of the top-10 ranked players in the world, including No. 4 Justin Thomas, who returns after a two-week break, No.6 Jon Rahm, and No. 7 Xander Schauffele.
In addition to that trio, the 132-player field also includes defending champion Gary Woodland, alongside a fivesome of American Ryder Cup stars in Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, and Phil Mickelson.
Waste Management Phoenix Open
Dates: Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2018
TV Network: GOLF, NBC
Where: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Course: TPC Scottsdale (Stadium)
Distance: Par 71/7266 yards
Architect: Tom Weiskopf, Jay Morrish
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Field: 132 players
Winning Share: $1,278,000
FedExCup Points: 500
Defending Champion: Gary Woodland
TV & ONLINE COVERAGE
The origins of the Phoenix Open can be traced back to 1932 at Phoenix Country Club. That inaugural tournament was won by the often forgotten Ralph Guldhal, a 16-time PGA Tour winner who dominated professional golf in the late 30s.
The tournament bounced around a few courses in the Phoenix area over the next few decades until 1987 when the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale became its permanent location.
The Phoenix Open has had a lot of great champions in its history, including Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret, Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, Vijay Singh, and Phil Mickelson. One of Miller’s two victories was by an insane 14 strokes in 1975. Mickelson, Palmer, Gene Littler, and Mark Calcavecchia share the tournament wins records, with three a piece.
In a tournament best known for the enormous crowds it draws, the par-3 16th, “The Coliseum”, is its most famous. Surrounded by a large grandstand and 274 skyboxes, players on the hole are subject to the loudest cheering they will hear all season.
Since 2000, there have been just three aces on the iconic hole: Mike Sposa in 2002, Jarrod Lyle in 2011, and Francesco Molinari in 2015. Tiger Woods also did it in 1997, his rookie year on Tour.
2010-19 Waste Management Phoenix Open
2004-09 FBR Open
1972-03 Phoenix Open
1957-71 Phoenix Open Invitational
1951-56 Phoenix Open
1950-50 Ben Hogan Open
1934-49 Phoenix Open
1932-33 Arizona Open
HISTORY: RECENT CHAMPIONS
2018: Gary Woodland
2017: Hideki Matsuyama
2016: Hideki Matsuyama
2015: Brooks Koepka
2014: Kevin Stadler
2013: Phil Mickelson
2012: Kyle Stanley
2011: Mark Wilson
3 – Phil Mickelson (1996, 2005, 2013)
3 – Mark Calcavecchia (1989, 1992, 2001)
3 – Arnold Palmer (1961, 1962, 1963)
3 – Gene Littler (1955, 1959, 1969)
72-Hole Score: 256 (-28) – Mark Calcavecchia (2001)
18-Hole Score: 60 – Grant Waite, Mark Calcavecchia, Phil Mickelson
The defending champion of the Waste Management Phoenix Open is Gary Woodland, who shot a 7-under 64 on Sunday and then beat Chez Reavie on the first sudden-death playoff hole to capture the 2018 Phoenix title.
Woodland finished his final round with nine birdies against two bogeys en route to a 18-under par four-day total.
The win was the third of Woodland’s PGA Tour career, and earned the American $1,242,000 and 500 FedExCup points, while moving him from No. 38 to No. 5 in the FedExCup standings at the time.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Gary Woodland -18
2 Chez Reavie -18
3 Ollie Schniederjans -15
3 Brendan Steele -15
5 Chesson Hadley -14
5 Matt Kuchar -14
5 Phil Mickelson -14
5 Bryson DeChambeau -14
The field this week in Scottsdale, Arizona is headlined by 13 of the top-30 ranked players in the world, and 10 of the top 25, including defending champion Gary Woodland (No. 24).
Other top stars include five of the top-15 ranked players in Justin Thomas (No. 4), Jon Rahm (No. 6), Xander Schauffele (No. 7), Tony Finau (No. 11), and Rickie Fowler (No. 14).
In addition to Woodland, the field at TPC Scottsdale also includes former winners in Hideki Matsuyama (2017 and 2016), Phil Mickelson (2013), Kyle Stanley (2012), Hunter Mahan (2010), and J.B. Holmes (2006, 2008).
Major winners Keegan Bradley, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Stewart Cink, and Webb Simpson are some of the other familiar names.
THE FIELD: WORLD RANK & ODDS
Waste Management Phoenix Open | Scottsdale, Ariz. | TPC Scottsdale (Stadium) | Jan 31-Feb 3, 2019
Joel Cook contributed to this report.
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images