The First Look: Waste Management Phoenix Open
January 26, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Rickie Fowler wins at Waste Management
Current FedExCup points leader Justin Thomas returns to the desert for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he’ll face a field full of the PGA TOUR’s big guns – including defending champion Rickie Fowler, 2019 U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, and two-time winner Hideki Matsuyama.
RELATED: FULL FIELD
FIELD NOTES: Matsuyama won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2016 and 2017, becoming the first back-to-back winner since Johnny Miller in 1974 and 75. … Bryson DeChambeau will play his first PGA TOUR event of the 2020 calendar year. DeChambeau’s last TOUR win came at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in the fall of 2018. … Bubba Watson, fresh off a solid showing at the Farmers Insurance Open, will make his second consecutive start in the calendar year. Watson finished fifth in Phoenix a year ago. … ASU alum Jon Rahm will be teeing it up again after finishing T10 a year ago. Rahm was the 54-hole leader at the Farmers Insurance Open before finishing 2nd. … After recently relocating with his family to Arizona, Tony Finau will be in the field in Phoenix. … Speaking of family, Canadian Adam Hadwin, who now calls Scottsdale home, will return to action after becoming a father for the first time on Jan. 9… Full-time PING engineer Marty Jertson earned a spot in the field after winning the Southwest PGA Championship/PPC in nearby Mesa.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points
COURSE: TPC Scottsdale (Stadium), 7,261 yards, par 71. The tournament is one of the best attended on the PGA TOUR every year. Most fans can be found in the massive structure around the par-3 16th. Tiger Woods made an ace on No. 16 in his first Waste Management Phoenix Open and there has been just nine recorded in tournament history on that hole. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish and opened in 1986.
STORYLINES: Thomas will be looking for his third win of the 2019-20 season, having already claimed the CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES last fall and the Sentry Tournament of Champions to start January … Phil Mickelson is not teeing it up this week, so his quest to becoming the winningest Waste Management Phoenix Open champion in history will have to wait another year. He’s tied at three with Arnold Palmer, Mark Calcavecchia and Gene Littler. … Fowler looks to successfully defend a PGA TOUR title for the first time in his career. … Three of the top five golfers in the FedExCup standings are in the field. … Last year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open delivered the feel-good story of the year, as Amy Bockerstette, who has Down syndrome, played the par-3 16th with Woodland during practice and made a par after getting up-and-down from the bunker. Good vibes all around for Woodland, who won the event in 2018 and finished T7 in 2019.
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 TIME: Rickie Fowler won for the fifth time on the PGA TOUR despite a bizarre triple bogey on the par-4 11th in the final round. After getting aggressive with a chip – which ended up in the water – Fowler had to drop. After the drop, and with his back turned, the ball rolled into the water. After consulting with rules officials, Fowler took another penalty shot because the ball was in play. He escaped with a triple and ended up topping Branden Grace by two and Justin Thomas – who was rooming with Fowler that week – by three. The win broke a two-year win drought for Fowler.
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