The PGA Tour returns to TPC Scottsdale this week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. And, whether you love it or hate it, the fully-enclosed par-3 16th hole will once again take centre stage.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: American Rickie Fowler defeated South African Branden Grace by two shots here last year, reaching 17-under-par 267.
COURSE: The Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish-designed Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale has hosted this event since 1987 – and it features one of the most iconic holes in golf. The par-3 16th is fully enclosed by grandstands, which seat up to 20,000 people.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Defending champion Rickie Fowler began his 2020 campaign well, sharing fifth place at the Tournament of Champions and finishing T10 at The American Express. But he missed the cut at Torrey Pines last week, having opened with three-over 75. Fowler was terrific in his opening three rounds here last year, shooting 64, 65 and 64, before closing with 74 in tougher scoring conditions.
Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama has won here twice (2016 & 2017) and finished T4 in 2014 and T2 in 2015. He clearly enjoys it here, and he’s been playing well enough recently to warrant serious consideration.
Jon Rahm has never finished worse than T16 at TPC Scottsdale and returns to Phoenix in superb form, narrowly losing out to Marc Leishman at Torrey Pines last Sunday. The ultra-consistent Spaniard is currently No.3 in the world rankings – and he hasn’t finished worse than T12 on US soil since last May.
72-HOLE RECORD: Phil Mickelson and Mark Calcavecchia shot 28-under-par 256s in 2013 and 2001 respectively.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Aaron Baddeley (2007), David Graham (1981) and Bruce Crampton (1973).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Matt Jones and Cameron Smith.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 7am – 11am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 7am – 11am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 10am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 10am)
*AEDT, check local guides