THE FIRST LOOK
Storylines from TPC Scottsdale
Everything to know about the Waste Management Phoenix Open
January 29, 2016
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- Phil Mickelson returns home to Scottsdale to play in his 27th Waste Management Phoenix Open. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
• FIELD: Click here to see who's set to tee it up at the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale
• COURSE: TPC Scottsdale (Stadium), 7,266 yards, par 71. The most boisterous venue on the PGA TOUR celebrates its 30th year as the tournament’s home, with more than 400,000 fans coming through the gates every year. More than 20,000 pack the “Coliseum” surrounding the par-3 16th hole, an atmosphere that can be energizing or intimidating to those on the tee. Tiger Woods aced No.16 in his first Phoenix Open in 1997, one of just eight recorded at the hole. Andrew Magee made PGA TOUR history four years later with his ace at No.17 – the first on a par-4. The Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish design got $12 million in upgrades two summers ago. For more on all the courses in the TPC network, visit TPC.com.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: Thunderbirds Charities, which last year topped the $100 million mark in charitable giving since the host organization was formed in 1937. The 2015 event produced more than $9 million for Arizona charities, with money sprinkled among some 200 outlets in recent years.
• FIELD WATCH: Rickie Fowler, now No.4 in the world after victory at Abu Dhabi, and three-time champion Phil Mickelson highlight a lineup that boasts nine of the top 25 in the World Ranking. … World No.5 Bubba Watson, a former Scottsdale resident, returns after sharing runner-up honors each of the past two years. … FedExCup leader Kevin Kisner heads a group of seven winners from the season’s first 10 events, seeking to become the first multiple winner of 2015-16. … Jack Maguire, a former Florida State standout who turned pro in January, makes his professional debut on a sponsor exemption.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 256, Mark Calcavecchia (2001), Phil Mickelson (2013).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Grant Waite (4th round, 1996), Mark Calcavecchia (2nd round, 2001), Phil Mickelson (2nd round, 2005, and 1st round, 2013).
• LAST YEAR: Brooks Koepka parlayed a Sunday 66 into his first PGA TOUR victory, grabbing the lead with an eagle at No. 15 and surviving a few nervous moments to hold off Ryan Palmer, Bubba Watson and Hideki Matsuyama. Koepka leapfrogged four players into the lead with his 51-foot eagle putt from the edge of the 15th green, then flirted with water at No. 17 while his pursuers missed opportunities. Martin Laird missed an 8-foot par save, and then found the water at No. 18. Matsuyama cooled off after playing the front side in 4-under par, while Palmer and Watson couldn’t make up enough ground with late charges.
• STORYLINES: Mickelson, a “favorite son” going back to his Arizona State days, seeks once again to become Phoenix’s first four-time winner as he tees it up for the 27th time. Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler and Mark Calcavecchia also have won three in Phoenix. … Fowler plays his third consecutive week in a run that began with a victory at the Abu Dhabi Championship on the other side of the globe. He owns four wins worldwide in the past 8 ½ months. … Watson sets out again to win at a place where he’s been tantalizingly close each of the past two years. He bogeyed two of his last three holes in 2014, and last year’s late surge came up just short.
• SHORT CHIPS: A Mickelson win would also break a tie with Johnny Miller for the most TOUR wins in Arizona. Both have six – Mickelson also owns three wins at the old Nortel Open in Tucson; Miller won four times in Tucson and twice in Phoenix. … Last year’s crowds of 564,300 were more than the season attendance for the Arizona Cardinals (513,500) and all but six other NFL teams. … Rascal Flatts and Phoenix native Dierks Bentley are among the concerts scheduled for the tournament’s famed “Birds Nest” pavilion after play this week.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC).
• PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. ET (featured groups), 3-7 p.m. (featured holes).
• RADIO: Thursday-Friday, 1-7 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).
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2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open Preview