The Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale is dubbed “The Greatest Show on Grass” and has no problem living up to its name. In addition to playing host to the biggest names in the game, the tournament is the PGA Tour’s best-attended event – drawing nearly 500,000 enthusiastic spectators each year.
Formerly known as The Phoenix Open and FBR Open, the event has been hosted by the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course since 1987. Unlike other tournaments, spectators become central to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, helping to transform the famous 16th hole into “The Coliseum” – the loudest hole in golf.
In 1997 a 21 year old Tiger Woods aced the 16th in what is one of the most famous holes-in-one of all time
In 2014, under the supervision of architect Tom Weiskopf, the City of Scottsdale carried out an extensive renovation of the Stadium Course . The project included;
- the relocation of four greens
- resurfacing of all greens,
- reshaping and re-grassing all tee complexes
- relocation and reshaping of all bunker complexes and re-landscaping of desert areas
The result was a more aesthetically pleasing resort for guests and strategically more challenging for the professionals.
Course knowledge around TPC Scottsdale is a plus and those with solid Event Form should be given due consideration. It is a ball strikers course and all aspects of a player’s game needs to be in tune.
The big hitters will have a slight advantage on the gettable Par-5 15th and the driveable Par-4 17th. However, water is in play on both these holes so errant tee shots will be punished. Hitting plenty Greens in Regulation is key for success.
2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Brooks Koepka
Last year, Brooks Koepka ended an 18-month winless drought to capture his 8th PGA Tour title at the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Florida native started 5 shots back entering the final round. He fired a -6 (65) to finish the tournament on -19 (265), one stroke clear of K.H. Lee and Xander Schauffele. It was his second victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open having captured the title at TPC Scottsdale back in 2015.
“I went through it mentally. I think that’s probably the toughest thing, where you don’t know if you’re ever going to be the same competitor that you were. You go through some real dark places, and it’s not a fun place to be.”
Ball-striking was key to the victory and in particular his approach play. He finished 11th in Strokes Gained Off-The-Tee and 2nd in Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green. Combined, these stats accounted for a gain of 8.727 strokes or nearly three-quarters of his overall gain for the tournament. Other stats for the week include T48 Driving Accuracy, 10th Driving Distance, T1 in GIR and 18th in Strokes Gained Putting.
2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Webb Simpson
In 2020, Webb Simpson captured the Waste Management Phoenix Open for his sixth PGA Tour title and first since the 2018 Players Championship. The North Carolina native birdied the final two holes of regulation play to force a playoff with Tony Finau. A 10-foot birdie on the first playoff hole was enough to secure victory.
Simpson had a superb ball-striking week. He finished the week 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green gaining an impressive 9.474 strokes on the field average. In particular his approach play was eye catching. He finished top of the pile in Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green which yielded a gain of 7.476 strokes. Other stats for the week include T3 for Driving Accuracy, 44th for Driving Distance, T6 for GIR and 12th in Strokes Gained Putting.
2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Rickie Fowler
In 2019, California native, Rickie Fowler secured his 5th PGA Tour victory and first in nearly two years by winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It was a tournament where he was twice beaten in a playoff. A bizarre triple bogey on No. 11 looked to have derailed his chances of securing the elusive victory.
However, Fowler birdied two of his final four holes for a final round +3 (74) which was enough for a two stroke victory over Branden Grace. He finished on a total -17 (267) having preceded the final round with rounds of 64-65-64.
“I didn’t think it would be easy, but the way I was playing this week, I thought it would have been easier, it was kind of grind it out. I had a couple of tough breaks and had to deal with the punches, a couple big ones, but it feels good now”
Fowler’s putter accounted for nearly two-thirds of his strokes gained on the field average topping the pile for the SG:Putting (9.539 strokes) category. His play from the tee box was not too shabby either finishing 3rd for SG:Off-The-Tee (5.639 strokes). Other stats for the week include T3 in Driving Accuracy, 11th for Driving Distance, T13 in GIR and T6 for Putts per GIR.
2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Gary Woodland
The 2018 champion, Gary Woodland, birdied three of the last four holes to finish the week -18 (266) and earn a playoff with fellow Kansas native Chez Reavie. A par on the first hole of a sudden death playoff was enough to get the job done and earn his third PGA Tour victory.
Woodland’s play from the tee and in particular on approach laid the foundation for his win. He averaged nearly a 2-stroke gain on the field average per round in the Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green category. Other stats for the week include T19 in Driving Accuracy, T7 for Driving Distance, 4th in GIR and 16th in Strokes Gained Putting
2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Hideki Matsuyama
In 2017, Hideki Matsuyama prevailed winning his second PGA Tour title of the season and fourth overall. He is the sixth player to successfully defend the title having won the year previous. He won on the fourth hole of a playoff outlasting Webb Simpson with a birdie putt on the short Par-4 17th. Matsuyama finished the week T6 in Driving Accuracy, T19 for Driving Distance, T2 in GIR and a mediocre 47th in Strokes Gained Putting.
2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Hideki Matsuyama
2016 saw Rickie Fowler let a two shot lead slip away on the Par 4 17th hole when he hit a driver through the green and into the water. This opened the door for Hideki Matsuyama who went on to capture the title in a dramatic four hole playoff.
Matsuyama finished the week 35th in Driving Distance, T44 for Driving Accuracy, 1st for GIR and 16th for Scrambling. His ball-striking delivered the lions shared of his strokes gained on the field average finishing 10th in Strokes Gained Driving and 5th in Strokes Gained Approach.
2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open | Brooks Koepka
The 2015 winner, Brooks Koepka, beat Hideki Matsuyama, Bubba Watson and Ryan Palmer by one stroke finishing on a score of -15(269). He finished the week inside the Top 10 for Driving Distance, GIR and Scrambling. He was T18 in Strokes Gained Putting racking up an Eagle and 18 Birdies. He squared only 4 Bogeys for the tournament.
Waste Management Phoenix Open Tips
Please check back on Tuesday 8th February for the PGAgolfbets’ Waste Management Phoenix Open tips & predictions 2022 from TPC Scottsdale, in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Event Form, Current Form and Stats Analysis tables will all be up dated in the week preceding the tournament when the field is finalised for the 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
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