Waste Management Phoenix Open Preview – 2018

Waste Management Phoenix Open PreviewWaste Management Phoenix Open Preview

Dates: January 29 – February 4, 2018
Where: Scottsdale, Arizona
Course: TPC Scottsdale (Par/Yards: 71/7,266)
Field size: 132
2017 champion: Hideki Matsuyama
Purse: $6,900,000 ($1,242,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Facebook: facebook.com/WMPhoenixOpen
Twitter: @WMPhoenixOpen

The “Greenest Show on Grass” poised for another outstanding week

  • Once again, the Waste Management Phoenix Open features a top-notch field that includes 23 of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings.
  • Record crowds are once again anticipated at the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Last year, more than 200,000 fans came out to TPC Scottsdale for Saturday’s third round, setting a weekly attendance record at 655,434.
  • With massive crowds once again expected in 2018, the tournament has asked fans to be ambassadors for “their” event with an overall theme of respect to ensure an enjoyable experience for all. The tagline is: Respect the game. Respect the players. Respect the fans.
  • Now in its 83rd 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.
  • The Waste Management Phoenix Open has done something that no other sporting event, municipality, or company in the world has ever done – Zero Waste – for five straight years.
  • The Waste Management Phoenix Open was named the 2015 PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year and last year was honored for “Best Title Sponsor Integration” at the 2017 year-end PGA TOUR tournament meetings.
  • First of a 10-year contract extension with Waste Management began in 2016
  • 2016 and 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion and World No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama set to defend

How Hideki Matsuyama won the 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open

  • Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who began last year’s final round trailing by four at 12-under 201, birdied the 72nd hole to post a 5-under 66 and force sudden death with Webb Simpson.
  • With a birdie on the fourth extra hole, No. 17, Matsuyama claimed his fourth career PGA TOUR title.
  • At the 2016 event, he also came from behind in the final round (three strokes) and won on the fourth hole of sudden death.
  • Following his win in Scottsdale last year, Matsuyama went on to claim a T2 finish at the U.S. Open, before collecting his second win of the season and fifth overall, at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
  • He also represented the International Team in the Presidents Cup (1-2-1). Matsuyama is off to a strong start this season, having posted top-5 finishes at the CIMB Classic (T5) and Sentry Tournament of Champions (T4).

Field Highlights

  • Twenty-three of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by No. 1 Patton Kizzire.
  • Five of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking led by World No. 2 and Arizona State University product Jon Rahm.
  • Six past Waste Management Phoenix Open champions: Hideki Matsuyama (2016, 2017), Phil Mickelson (1996, 2005, 2013), Kyle Stanley (2012), Hunter Mahan (2010), J.B. Holmes (2006, 2008) and Aaron Baddeley (2007).
  • Six of this season’s winners on the PGA TOUR: Patton Kizzire (OHL Classic at Mayakoba, Sony Open in Hawaii), Brendan Steele (Safeway Open), Justin Thomas (THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES), Ryan Armour (Sanderson Farms Championship), Austin Cook (The RSM Classic), Jon Rahm (CareerBuilder Challenge).

Race for the FedExCup

  • Eight of the 11 winners of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in the FedExCup era (2007-present) have qualified for the FedExCup finale, the TOUR Championship: Aaron Baddeley (2007), Kenny Perry 2009), Hunter Mahan (2010), Mark Wilson (2011), Phil Mickelson (2013), Brooks Koepka (2015) and Hideki Matsuyama (2016, 2017).
  • Twenty-three of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by No. 1 Patton Kizzire, the first two time winner in 2017-18 (OHL Classic at Mayakoba/Sony Open in Hawaii).
  • Five of the 10 different FedExCup champions: Bill Haas (2011), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Billy Horschel (2014), Jordan Spieth (2015), Justin Thomas (2017).

Players of Note

Jon Rahm

  • No. 2 in the FedExCup standings, 2016 Arizona State University grad collected his second career PGA TOUR win two weeks ago at the CareerBuilder Challenge, following a four-hole sudden death playoff with Andrew Landry.
  • Rahm was in defense of his first TOUR title at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open (T29). With a win at Torrey Pines, Rahm could have overtaken Dustin Johnson for the World’s No. 1 spot.
  • Going into last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, Rahm was ranked No. 137 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • Rahm was a four-time All-American at ASU and is the only player to win multiple Ben Hogan Awards (2015 and 2016), given to the NCAA’s top collegiate male golfer.
  • Rahm will be making his third start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week (T5/2015, T16/2017). He finished T5 as an amateur in 2015.

Justin Thomas

  • 2016-17 FedExCup Champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year Justin Thomas is poised to make his fourth start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open (T17/2015, MC/2016, MC/2017).
  • En route to 2016-17 FedExCup title and Player of the Year honors, collected five wins, including his first major championship title; CIMB Classic, Sentry Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii, PGA Championship and Dell Technologies Championship.
  • In five starts in 2017-18 season, won the inaugural CJ CUP & NINE BRIDGES and finished no worse than T22 (Sentry Tournament of Champions).

Xander Schauffele

  • 2017 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year will be making his first start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  • En route to Rookie of the Year honors, claimed wins at The Greenbrier Classic and TOUR Championship. In doing so, became the only rookie to win the FedExCup Playoffs finale.
  • Finished the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season ranked third in the FedExCup standings.
  • Best finish in six starts this season on the PGA TOUR is a T3 at the CIMB Classic in his first start.

Jordan Spieth

  • 2015-16 FedExCup champion returns to TPC Scottsdale for a third time (T7/2015, T9/2017).
  • Will be making his third start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season (9/Sentry Tournament of Champions, T18/Sony Open in Hawaii).
  • Searching for his 12th career PGA TOUR win and first since the 2017 Open Championship.
  • Highlighted by three victories last season (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Travelers Championship, The Open Championship), collected top-10 finishes in 12 of 23 starts.

Phil Mickelson

  • With this week’s start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, World Golf Hall of Fame member will tie the record of 29 shared by Gene Littler, Jim Ferrier and Jerry Barber.
  • Is a three-time winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (1996, 2005, 2013).
  • Average winning margin of victory in his three wins at the Waste Management Phoenix Open is three strokes (playoff/1996, 5 strokes/2005, 4 strokes/2013).
  • Since 1989, Mickelson has played in the event each year, with the exception of 1990 (28 total).
  • In search of his first PGA TOUR win since the 2013 Open Championship, and 43rd overall, Arizona State University alum owns a total of 10 top-10 finishes in the Scottsdale event.
  • Will be making his fifth start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season, with a T3 finish at the Safeway Open his lone top-10 finish. Comes to Scottsdale following a T45 finish at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
  • Has twice posted 11-under 60 in the event; R1/2013, R2/2005.

Rickie Fowler

  • Four-time PGA TOUR winner and 2015 PLAYERS Championship titleholder has finished runner-up (2016) and T4 (2017) in his last two starts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  • In three official starts in 2017-18, Fowler finished runner-up (OHL Classic at Mayakoba), T4 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions before missing the cut at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
  • Fowler also won the unofficial Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods in December.
  • 19th in current FedExCup standings.

Alex Noren

  • Coming off last week’s 6-hole playoff loss to Jason Day at the Farmers Insurance Open, Sweden native is poised to make his first start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  • In only other PGA TOUR start this season, finished T31 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
  • Comes to TPC Scottsdale ranked No. 16 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • Won last year’s BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, his most recent of eight titles on that TOUR.
  • Will be making his 37th start on the PGA TOUR.
  • Claimed three top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR in the 2016-17 season, highlighted by a T5 at the World Golf Championships-Match Play Championship.

Waste Management Phoenix Open Random Notes

  • Eight of the 11 winners of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in the FedExCup era (2007-present) have qualified for the FedExCup finale, the TOUR Championship: Aaron Baddeley (2007), Kenny Perry 2009), Hunter Mahan (2010), Mark Wilson (2011), Phil Mickelson (2013), Brooks Koepka (2015) and Hideki Matsuyama (2016, 2017).
  • Since 1980, only four players have won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a first attempt: Jeff Mitchell (1980), J.B. Holmes (2006), Kyle Stanley (2012) and Brooks Koepka (2015).
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