2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open pre-tournament notes
Dates: January 26-February 1, 2015
Where: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Courses: TPC Scottsdale (Par/Yards: 71/7,266)
Field size: 132
2014 champion: Kevin Stadler
Purse: $6,300,000 ($1,134,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
The “Greenest Show on Grass” enters its 2015 event with a tremendous momentum:
- Arguably best field in tournament history with notables such as Tiger Woods (first start at TPC Scottsdale since 2001), Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and defending FedExCup champion Billy Horschel.
- The tournament is opposite the Super Bowl in the same city for the first time since 2008—Phoenix promises to be the epicenter of the sports world all week.
- Now in its 80th year, the event is pace to surpass $100 million in all-time charitable giving, making them the third PGA TOUR event to achieve this historic milestone, along with the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
- 2014 PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year (shared with BMW Championship).
- In 2014, Waste Management signed a 10-year contract extension that begins in 2016.How Kevin Stadler won the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open
- Last year, Kevin Stadler entered the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open trailing two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson by two strokes, before his 3-under 68 Sunday ended in a one-stroke victory at 16-under 268 over Watson and Canada’s Graham DeLaet.
- The victory was Stadler’s first on the PGA TOUR.
- Stadler will be unable to defend his Waste Management Phoenix Open title due to a left wrist injury. He withdrew from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions due to the same injury after 36 holes.
- The last player unable to start in a title defense due to injury was Tiger Woods last year at THE PLAYERS Championship. Gary Woodland did not defend his Barracuda Championship last year as he was eligible for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and Henrik Stenson did not qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.Tiger Woods to begin 2014-15 PGA TOUR Season at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
- For the first time since 2001, and fourth time overall, 79-time PGA TOUR champion Tiger Woods is poised to compete at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
- Woods is in search of his first TOUR title since the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
- In his three previous starts at TPC Scottsdale, Woods finished T18 in 1997, third in 1999 and T5 in 2001.
- En route to his T18 in 1997, Woods aced the par-3 16th hole in the third round, an indelible moment which continues to be shown in virtually every golf highlight reel on television and the internet.
- Of the 12 competitive rounds played at the par-71 TPC Scottsdale, Woods has posted just two over-par scores; 72/R4/1997, 73/R2/2001. His lowest score in the event is 6-under 65; R1, R4/2001.
- Woods was limited to just seven official events in 2013-14 with his best finish being T25 at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. He took nearly four months off from the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship until the Quicken Loans National after having microdiscectomy surgery on his back in late March. Woods returned to action at the Quicken Loans National, where he missed the cut. He withdrew during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational after straining a different area in his back.
- Woods’ start this week marks his first official money start since missing the cut at the 2014 PGA Championship. Woods competed at the Hero World Challenge in December, finishing T17 in the 18-man
Three-time Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Phil Mickelson returns for 25th consecutive start
- In search of his first PGA TOUR win, and 43rd overall, Arizona State University alum Phil Mickelson will make his 26th start at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Mickelson’s last win came at the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.
- Last season marked just the fourth since turning pro that Mickelson went without at least one win. His only top 10 in 2014 was a runner-up finish at the PGA Championship.
- Through 90 rounds at TPC Scottsdale, Mickelson is 68/90 at par-or-better and 59/90 for sub-par rounds.
- Mickelson has twice posted an 11-under 60 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open; R1/2013, R2/2005. His highest score at TPC Scottsdale is a 9-over 80 in the final round of 1999 (finished 61st).
- Mickelson won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 1996, 2005 and 2013. In 1996, he never held a lead/co-lead after any of the first three rounds. In 2005, he overcame an opening-round, 2-over 73 with a 60 in round two and was T1 at day’s end. After the third round, he led by four strokes.
- En route to his 2013 victory at TPC Scottsdale, Mickelson played the par-3s in 9-under par, the par-4s in 10-under par and the par-5s in 9-under par.
- Mickelson’s average winning margin of victory in his three wins at the Waste Management Phoenix Open is 3.667 strokes (5 strokes/1996, Playoff/2006, 6 strokes/2013).
- Since 1989, Mickelson has played in the event each year, with the exception of 1990 (26 total).
- Other notables in the field
- Seventeen of the top 20 in the current FedExCup standings (Jimmy Walker, Tim Clark and Shawn Stefani).
- Nine of this season’s10 winners: Seung-Yul Noh (Frys.com Open), Ben Martin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), Robert Streb (The McGladrey Classic), Ryan Moore (CIMB Classic), Bubba Watson (WGC-HSBC Champions), Nick Taylor (Sanderson Farms Championship), Charley Hoffman (OHL Classic at Mayakoba), Patrick Reed (Hyundai Tournament of Champions) and Bill Haas (Humana
- Each Waste Management Phoenix Open winner in the last 10 years, with the exception of defending champion Kevin Stadler: Phil Mickelson (2005, 2013), J.B. Holmes (2006, 2008), Aaron Baddeley (2007), Kenny Perry (2009), Hunter Mahan (2010), Mark Wilson (2011) and Kyle Stanley (2012).
- Rickie Fowler is poised to make his seventh consecutive start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Fowler missed the cut in 2013 and 2014, but finished solo-second in 2010. Of his last 16 rounds in the event, his only over-par score at TPC Scottsdale is a 1-over 72 in last year’s second round. Fowler enjoyed a banner year in the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season, collecting top-5 finishes in each of the four majors (T5/Masters, T2/U.S. Open, T2/Open Championship and T3/PGA Championship). Additionally, he finished inside the top 10 in three of the four FedExCup Playoffs events (T9/The Barclays, T4/BMW Championship and 8th/TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola). Fowler comes to this year’s event in search of his second career PGA TOUR win (2012 Wells Fargo Championship). In his only other start this season, Fowler finished T3 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
- Jordan Spieth is scheduled to make his first start at this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. In his rookie year of 2013, Spieth claimed his first career PGA TOUR win at the John Deere Classic en route to a spot on the American team for the Presidents Cup. In his sophomore season on TOUR last year, Spieth amassed eight top-10 finishes, including T2 honors at the Masters and a T4 finish at The PLAYERS Championship. He followed a rookie-year appearance on the Presidents Cup team with a sophomore spot on the American squad for the Ryder Cup. In December, Spieth blistered the field at the Hero World Challenge at Isleworth G&CC by 10 strokes (unofficial money). In his only start of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR Season, Spieth finished T35 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
- 2013-14 FedExCup champion Billy Horschel will make his third consecutive start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (MC/2014, T11/2013). En route to his FedExCup title last season, Horschel ended the season with T2 honors at the Deutsche Bank Championship and victories at the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in successive weeks in the FedExCup Playoffs. He played each of his last 12 rounds of the season with scores in the 60s. Horschel will be making his fifth start of the season this week, with T37 honors at the CIMB Classic his best showing in full-field events. Most recently, he finished T22 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in the 34-man field.
- Scottsdale resident and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson returns to TPC Scottsdale this week for a ninth-consecutive appearance in the event. In the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season, Watson claimed his fifth career PGA TOUR win at the Northern Trust Open. Four starts later, he added a second Green Jacket (2012 his first) to his resume. Additionally, he claimed solo-second at the BMW Championship in the FedExCup Playoffs and a share of second at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. He also finished third at the Memorial Tournament, before finishing fifth in FedExCup points. In two starts this season, he claimed his seventh TOUR title in dramatic fashion at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and most recently finished 10th at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (34-man field).
Waste Management Phoenix Open notes
- Following a seven-month renovation project, TPC Scottsdale reopened its Stadium Course for play on
November 14. Tom Weiskopf, who was a part of the layout’s original1986 design, led the project. Renovations include the relocation of four greens, resurfacing of all greens, reshaping and re-grassing of all tee complexes, relocation and reshaping of all bunker complexes, replacement of cart paths and relandscaping of desert areas. Additionally, a clubhouse renovation includes additional locker room and meeting space, as well as interior upgrades to the entire facility.
- Once again this year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open will be contested at TPC Scottsdale the same week Phoenix is hosting the Super Bowl. The last two times the two events overlapped in the area was in 1996 (Phil Mickelson/Dallas Cowboys) and 2008 (J.B. Holmes/New York Giants).
- 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).
- Since 2000, the only players to have made their Waste Management Phoenix Open win their career first were Kevin Stadler (2014), Kyle Stanley (2012), J.B. Holmes (2006) and Jonathan Kaye (2004).
- Since 1980, only two players have won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a first attempt: Jeff Mitchell (1980) and Kyle Stanley (2012).SOURCE: PGA TOUR