Power Rankings: WM Phoenix Open
3 Min Read
A strong field meets the TOUR's wildest tournament. See who Rob Bolton thinks will succeed in Scottsdale.
‘Tis the time for Scottie Scheffler to begin defending titles. He cracks opens his four-pack at this week’s WM Phoenix Open.
It’s Scheffler’s season within the season at a stop on the schedule within the schedule. The annual thrill at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course north of Phoenix hosts the second designated event on the PGA TOUR in 2022-23.
As you’d expect, the field is bursting, literally. Continue reading below the projected contenders for an explanation on that, a breakdown of the course and more.
Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland, Jason Day and Cameron Young will be among the notables reviewed in Golfbet Insider.
As if the most-attended golf tournament on the planet doesn’t already ping all the senses, the field, as the saying goes, gives us everything we want as fans. And yet more, somehow.
Due to limited daylight hours at this latitude in early February for a tournament staged on only one course, the field reserves space for just 132 entrants, but because all of the top 125 on the Eligibility Points List last season are guaranteed entry, as of midday Monday, the field was 134 deep. (This includes three open qualifiers that are scheduled to be determined on Monday.) So, more than two golfers would have to withdraw before an alternate is summoned.
Twenty Player Impact Program winners committed. (Among those having agreed to compete in the designated events, only Adam Scott, Tiger Woods and Will Zalatoris are out.) Toss in the Stadium Course that can be set up as fully intended (amid a seasonal winter in these parts), an epic closing stretch highlighted by, what else, the par-3 16th hole a/k/a The Coliseum, and hours of evening entertainment on the eve of every round, and it’s the kind of experience that might make everything surrounding the Super Bowl feel tame. Oh, yeah, that. Perhaps you’ve heard that the 57th edition of the NFL’s championship contest is back in the Valley of the Sun this year.
All-time greatest shots from WM Phoenix Open
Ever since Tom Weiskopf renovated TPC Scottsdale in advance of the 2015 edition, it’s catered to the modern game of power and precision. The ball tends to fly further in the dry, desert air, anyway, and the course can handle it.
Bermuda greens on the par 71 average a little over 7,000 square feet, so they’re sizable, and the primary rough is trimmed to two inches, but it might be a little taller and match last year’s 2½ inches thanks to cooperative weather in advance. Because greens are inviting even from lies off the fairway, there’s incentive to pull the driver more often, but, and of course, the larger hazard on which the course originally was constructed – the Sonoran Desert – awaits the worst efforts off the tee. With no changes to the test, the course tips once again at 7,261 yards.
Daytime highs will land in the 70s, which represents an impressively timed warming pattern in the area, and it’ll be dry all week. Winds will push in from easterly directions until they swing around from the prevailing southwest for the final round, but spots of bother should be minimal.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous perspectives. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
Payouts and Points, Medical Extensions, Qualifiers, Reshuffle
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.