I’ve been in bed the last two days but this will at least get you started.
The ball is in the air tomorrow morning.
Waste Management Phoenix Open
The Stadium Course
South Course Cheat Sheet
|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,261|
|Greens:||TifEagle Bermuda; overseeded with Velvet Bentgrass, Poa trivialis and ryegrass; 7,100 square yards.|
|Rough:||Rye, fine fescue and Bermudagrass at 2.5″|
|Architect(s):||Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish (1988); Tom Weiskopf (2014 renovation).|
|Purse:||$7.1 million; $1.278 million, 500 FedExCup points (winner).|
|Defending Champion:||Gary Woodland (-18) 266|
|Notes:||132 players; top 70 and ties play the weekend.|
|Notes II:||The last four 54-hole leaders have NOT sealed the deal.|
Previous Winners (since 2015):
|2018||Gary Woodland||-18||Defeated Chez Reavie on the first playoff hole; Rickie Fowler led by one after 54 holes.|
|2017||Hideki Matsuyama||-17||Defeated Webb Simpson on the fourth playoff hole to defend his title.|
|2016||Hideki Matsuyama||-14||Defeated Fowler on the fourth playoff hole; Danny Lee led by three after 54 holes.|
|2015||Brooks Koepka||-15||Held off four players including Matsuyama to win in his first attempt at TPC Scottsdale.|
|Safeway Open||Kevin Tway**|
|CIMB Classic||Marc Leishman|
|CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES||Brooks Koepka|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Cameron Champ**|
|WGC-HSBC Champions||Xander Schauffele|
|Shriners Hospitals for Children||Bryson DeChambeau|
|Mayakoba Golf Classic||Matt Kuchar|
|The RSM Classic||Charles Howell III|
|Hero World Challenge*||Jon Rahm|
|Sentry TOC||Xander Schauffele (2)|
|Sony Open in Hawaii||Matt Kuchar (2)|
|60th Desert Classic||Adam Long**|
|Farmers Insurance Open||Justin Rose|
(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)
Facts and Figures:
|Tournament Record:||256 (-28); Phil Mickelson (2013).|
|Course Records:||60; Mickelson (2005, 2013).|
|Recent Defending Champion(s):||Matsuyama.|
|Multiple Winners (entered)||Matsuyama, Mickelson and J.B. Holmes.|
|First TOUR Win (last):||Koepka, Stanley (2012) and Holmes (2006).|
|First-time (event):||Koepka and Stanley.|
|Low Round 2018:||64; Woodland, Haas, Kuchar and Hossler.|
|Odd Fact:||Andrew Magee aced the Par-4 17th in 2001. It’s the only ace on a Par-4 hole in TOUR history.|
|Odd Fact II:||Since the renovation, nobody has posted lower than 63 (Matsuyama, 2015; John Peterson 2017).|
The Confidence Factor was the weekly column I wrote for PGATOUR.COM. It has evolved into Horses for Courses. I’ve included the link here for you. It can also be found in The Confidence Factor section at my website. For now. Until I make a new category. Relax.
Inside the ropes
Did you know it’s a party here? Me neither!
Maybe that’s a clue as to why Matsuyama does well here. He hits all the targets, ignores all of the moving ones plus the language barrier probably allows him to tune out all of the other “stuff” that goes along with the golf this week.
Trend or Not a Trend?
|Distance of All Drives||8||10||25||5|
|Greens in Regulation||4||T2||1||T4|
|Proximity to the Hole||13||2||T6||11|
|Putting: Birdie-or-Better %||1st||24||T16||T13|
Hideki Matsuyama: Come on fam, this isn’t that hard.
Jon Rahm: Former ASU player isn’t worried about people on his lawn. Excellent start to 2019 will continue this week.
Phil Mickelson: His 30th start here has him seeking his fourth title. T2 in the Coachella Valley suggests that’s not a ridiculous idea.
Rickie Fowler: The last three years he’s prepared for WMPO by stinking up the joint at Torrey Pines. He’s 41-under at TPC Scottsdale following.
Justin Thomas: Form is temporary, class is permanent. Check the stat predictors in Horses for Courses.
Webb Simpson: Thrives in the desert; closed 65-64 here in 2017.
DFS, Red Herrings, Long Shots, Caution
Tony Finau: Only four of 10 rounds here in the red. Shocking.
Austin Cook: Baby Cookie finally showed up so we’ll see if #NappyFactor or rust kicks in.
Andrew Putnam: I hope his T34 at the Desert Classic throws gamers off the scent. He made the second-most birdies two weeks ago.
Kevin Na: First start back from a broken pinky finds an extremely soft landing spot.
Kyle Stanley: Nothing inside the top 35 since his win on debut in 2012.
Chesson Hadley: Last three on TOUR: MC. Three previous: T2, T73 and T7. He was T5 last year.
Jason Kokrak: He’s sniffed around the top 10 the last two weeks. Strike while the iron is hot.
Trey Mullinax: Hasn’t MC in 2019 and all three are better than the last.
Vaughn Taylor: T7 in the Coachella desert last time and T11 here last year.
Brian Stuard: Never missed in five tries.
Brendan Steele: Never missed in eight tries with four top-10 paydays.
J.J. Spaun: T4 on debut in 2017 but WD last year.
J.T. Poston: Hasn’t MC in 2019 with all T40 or better.
Chris Kirk: He’s WD once but cashed in the other six but nothing better than T11.