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 fifth of the seven-event “West Coast Swing,” provides yet another opportunity for the players to rack up some early-season FedExCup (and Ryder Cup) points.
The field in Scottsdale, Arizona includes five of the top-10 ranked players in the world, including defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (No. 5).
In addition to Matsuyama, the 132-player field also includes superstars such as Jon Rahm (No. 2), Jordan Spieth (No. 3), Justin Thomas (No. 4), and Rickie Fowler (No. 7).
Waste Management Phoenix Open
Dates: Feb. 1-4, 2018
TV Network: GOLF, CBS
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: $1.24M
FedExCup Points: 500
Defending Champion: Hideki Matsuyama
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.
2010-18 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
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 Hideki Matsuyama, who fired a final-round 66 and beat Webb Simpson on the fourth playoff hole to win his second-straight title in Phoenix.
Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open Champion, nearly pulled off the second-best come-from-behind overtime victory of Super Bowl Sunday. Starting the day in 12th place at the heavily-attended Waste Management Phoenix Open, six-strokes behind 54-hole leader Byeong Hun-An, Simpson was flawless in regulation capping off the round with a furious fourth quarter, posting birdies on three of his final four holes to shoot 7-under 64.
The pride of Japan shot a bogey-free 66 on Sunday, as he and Webb Simpson finished one stroke ahead of Louis Oosthuizen, and two ahead of 2016 runner-up Rickie Fowler and little-known J.J. Spaun.
FINAL TOP 10
1 Hideki Matsuyama -17
2 Webb Simpson -17
3 Louis Oosthuizen -16
4 Rickie Fowler -15
4 J.J. Spaun -15
6 Byeong Hun An -14
7 Daniel Berger -13
7 Martin Laird -13
9 Jordan Spieth -12
9 Matt Kuchar -12
9 Graham DeLeat -12
The field this week in Scottsdale, Arizona is headlined by five of the top-7 ranked players in the world, and 12 of the top 25, including defending champion Matsuyama (No. 5).
Other top-25 ranked players include Jon Rahm (No. 2), Jordan Spieth (No. 3), Justin Thomas (No. 4), Rickie Fowler (No. 7), Marc Leishman (No. 12), Alex Noren (No. 14), Matt Kuchar (No. 19), Francesco Molinari (No. 22), Charley Hoffman (No. 23), Patrick Reed (No. 24), and Xander Schauffele (No. 25).
In addition to Matsuyama, the field at TPC Scottsdale also includes former winners in Phil Mickelson (2013), Kyle Stanley (2012), Hunter Mahan (2010), and J.B. Holmes (2006, 2008).
Major winners Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson, and Webb Simpson are some of the other familiar names.
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images