2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open pre-tournament notes
Dates: February 1-7, 2016
Where: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Courses: TPC Scottsdale (Par/Yards: 71/7,266)
Field size: 132
2014 champion: Brooks Koepka
Purse: $6,500,000 ($1,170,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
The “Greenest Show on Grass” poised for another remarkable week:
- Once again, the Waste Management Phoenix Open features a stellar field of FedExCup champions, major championship winners, current-year winners and former champions of the event.
- Now in its 81 st year, the event surpassed the $100 million in all-time charitable giving in 2015, making it the third PGA TOUR event to achieve the historic milestone, along with the AT&T Byron Nelson and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
- 2015 PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year.
- First of a 10-year contract extension with Waste Management begins in 2016.
On Brooks Koepka and the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open
- Last year, Brooks Koepka improved on an even-par 71 in round one with scores of 68-64-66 to win by a stroke over Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryan Palmer. Koepka began the final round three strokes behind Martin Laird’s 54-hole lead.
- Koepka claimed his first career win on the PGA TOUR in his first start in the event, a feat previously achieved by Kyle Stanley (2012) and J.B. Holmes (2006).
- Following his win in Scottsdale last year, Koepka would go on to claim five more top-10 finishes, totaling eight for the season, which took him all the way through all four FedExCup Playoffs events.
- After the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Koepka would end the 2014-15 PGA TOUR Season ranked 24th in the FedExCup standings. Koepka will be making his fifth start of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season this week, with a T3 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions being his best finish.
Three-time WMPO champion Phil Mickelson returns for 27 th start
- In search of his first PGA TOUR win since the 2013 Open Championship, and 43rd overall, Arizona State University alum Phil Mickelson will make his 27 th career start at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. He is a three-time winner of the event (1996, 2005, 2013).
- Mickelson has twice posted an 11-under 60 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open; R1/2013, R2/2005.
- Mickelson’s average winning margin of victory in his three wins at the Waste Management Phoenix Open is 3.667 strokes (playoff/1996, 5 strokes/2005, 4 strokes/2013).
- Since 1989, Mickelson has played in the event each year, with the exception of 1990 (26 total).
- Mickelson, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, finished T3 in his first start of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season two weeks ago at the CareerBuilder Challenge. The top-5 showing came in his first start after taking on new coach Andrew Getson. At last week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the San Diego native missed the cut for the second-straight season at Torrey Pines.
- Mickelson missed last year’s cut at TPC Scottsdale, following a second-round, 5-over 76.
A glance at the field
- Twenty-three of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by No. 1 Kevin Kisner.
- Brandt Snedeker won last week’s weather-marred Farmers Insurance Open, finishing Sunday with a 3- under-par 69 when the field average was 77.901, with several TOUR professionals claiming the round of 69 was as good as they’d ever seen. The six-stroke comeback was the second time Snedeker had overcome such a deficit in the final round to win the Farmers Insurance Open (2012).
- Eight of this season’s 11 winners: Brandt Snedeker (Farmers Insurance Open), Jason Dufner (CareerBuilder Challenge), Fabian Gomez (Sony Open in Hawaii), Emiliano Grillo (Frys.com Open), Smylie Kaufman (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), Kevin Kisner (The RSM Classic), Peter Malnati (Sanderson Farms Championship), Justin Thomas (CIMB Classic).
- Seven past Waste Management Phoenix Open champions: Brooks Koepka (2015), Phil Mickelson (2005, 2013), Kyle Stanley (2012), Mark Wilson (2011), Hunter Mahan (2010), J.B. Holmes (2006, 2008) and Aaron Baddeley (2007).
- Three rookies are among the top 30 in the FedExCup standings: Smylie Kaufman (No. 5); Emilano Grillo (No. 10) and 2015 Web.com Tour Player of the Year Patton Kizzire (No. 23).
- Two weeks removed from his win at the Abu Dhabi Championship, Rickie Fowler is poised to make his eighth consecutive start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
- Fowler’s one top-10 finish in the event, 2nd, came in 2010.
- Fowler enjoyed a banner year in the 2014-15 PGA TOUR Season, collecting PGA TOUR wins at THE PLAYERS Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship.
- Additionally, he finished inside the top 10 at the Quicken Loans National (2nd), World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (T3), BMW Championship (T4), WGC-Dell Match Play Championship (T9) and WGCBridgestone Invitational (T10).
- Fowler comes to this year’s event in search of his fourth career PGA TOUR win (2012 Wells Fargo Championship).
- Fowler is making his fifth start of the TOUR season this week, with a fifth-place finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions his best showing. Fowler is coming off a missed cut at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
- Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson returns to TPC Scottsdale this week for a 10th -consecutive appearance in the event.
- In his previous nine starts, he has collected three top-10 finishes, including a pair of T2s in 2014 and 2015. In his first start in Scottsdale, he finished T8 in 2007.
- In the 2014-15 PGA TOUR Season, Watson won the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and Travelers Championship, both via playoffs.
- In addition to the wins, he amassed six top-5 finishes. Watson, who is making his third start of the season this week, is in search of his ninth career PGA TOUR win.
- Reigning Open Championship winner Zach Johnson will be making his seventh start in this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
- Last year’s T10 at TPC Scottsdale marked his first start in the event since 2010 and first top-10 finish.
- So far this season, Johnson has collected one top-10 finish (T9/Sony Open in Hawaii) in four starts.
- He most recently missed the cut in the CareerBuilder Challenge two weeks ago. Johnson comes to TPC Scottsdale in search of his 13th career win on the PGA TOUR and first since last year’s Open Championship.
- In his first three starts of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season, Kevin Na lost in a playoff at the Frys.com Open, finished T2 a week later at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and T3 a week after that at the CIMB Classic.
- Two weeks ago, in his sixth start of the season, he T3 at the CareerBuilder Challenge, thanks largely to a third-round, 10-under 62.
- Na will be making his 11th start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, where he has collected top-10 finishes in 2005 (T2), 2009 (3rd) and 2012 (T5).
- Na remains in search of his second career win on the PGA TOUR (2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) and sits fourth in the current FedExCup standings.
- 2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Daniel Berger is poised to make his second start in this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, after finishing T10 at TPC Scottsdale in 2015.
- Last season, the Florida native claimed six top-10 finishes, including a playoff loss to Padraig Harrington at The Honda Classic and solo-second-place honors at the BMW Championship.
- Berger remains in search of his first career win on the PGA TOUR.
Waste Management Phoenix Open notes
- Since 2000, only five players have followed a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with another victory the same year.
- The most recent was Phil Mickelson in 2013, who won The Open Championship after his win in Scottsdale. The others: Kenny Perry (2009); Mickelson (2005); and Vijay Singh (2003).
- Three of the last four winners of the Waste Management Phoenix Open made their win in Scottsadle their first on the PGA TOUR; Brooks Koepka (2015), Kevin Stadler (2014) and Kyle Stanley (2012). The others since 2000 were J.B. Holmes (2006) and Jonathan Kaye (2004).
- Since 1980, only three players have won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a first attempt: Jeff Mitchell (1980), Kyle Stanley (2012) and Brooks Koepka (2015).
SOURCE: PGA TOUR