Sports Network Selections
- Pick To Win:
- Bubba Watson
- Charley Hoffman
- Last Week's Pick To Win - Matt Kuchar
- Finished tied for 2nd
- Last Week's Darkhorse - Scott Piercy
One of the players' favorite stops on tour takes place this week, as four of
the top 11 players in the world and seven former champions compete for the
coveted Waste Management Phoenix Open title in the Arizona desert.
Tiger Woods will make his season debut this week. This will be Woods' first
official event since missing the cut at the PGA Championship in August. He did
play at the Hero World Challenge in December in a limited-field event, where
he finished tied for 17th in an 18-player field, 26 shots back of champion
Jordan Spieth. Woods has not played in this tournament since finishing tied
for fifth in 2001.
Bubba Watson is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 4 in the world.
He is joined by Spieth (9), Matt Kuchar (10) and Rickie Fowler (11). Spieth
is playing for the first time since blitzing the field at the Hero World
Challenge in December. He finished that event at 26-under par and won by 11
TPC Scottsdale has been the site of this event for the past 28 years. Prior to
TPC Scottsdale, the tournament was held at Phoenix Country Club and Arizona
Last year, Kevin Stadler carded rounds of 65-68-67-68 to claim a 1-stroke
victory over Graham DeLaet and Watson, who had a chance to force a playoff
with a 5-foot par putt at the 18th, but could not convert. Stadler, who was
making his 239th career start on tour, finished the tournament at 16-under-par
268 for his first PGA Tour title. With the win, Stadler and his father, Craig,
became the ninth father-son duo to win on the PGA Tour. Stadler will not be on
hand to defend his title this week, due to a hairline fracture in his left
In 2013, Phil Mickelson was dominant in a wire-to-wire victory. Mickelson, who
also won this event in 1996 and 2005, came within a horse-shoed putt of
shooting 59 in the first round and never relented. The left-hander carded a 65
on Friday, matched the tournament's 54-hole scoring mark with a 64 on
Saturday, and tallied five birdies during the final round to finish at 28-
under 256, which tied for the second-lowest score in a 72-hole PGA Tour event.
It was the 41st career PGA Tour win for Mickelson. He joined Arnold Palmer,
Mark Calcavecchia and Gene Littler as the only three-time winners of this
event. In 25 appearances, Mickelson has three wins and 10 top-10 finishes.
In 2012, Kyle Stanley fired a 6-under 65 in the final round to come from eight
shots back to win by one stroke over Ben Crane. Stanley finished his
first tour win at 15-under-par 269. It was the largest comeback in tournament
history. Stanley lost an 8-stroke lead in the final round the week before at
the Farmers Insurance Open.
Kenny Perry holed a 23-foot birdie putt from just off the green to win a
playoff in 2009, collecting his 13th PGA Tour win at the age of 48. Perry and
Charley Hoffman needed three extra holes to decide the tournament, with Perry
finally ending things at the TPC Scottsdale's 17th hole. The players ended
regulation tied at 14-under-par 270. Perry became the oldest champion in
tournament history at 48 years, three months and 21 days old. The previous
oldest winner was Julius Boros, when he won in 1967 at 46 years, 11 months and
nine days old.
J.B. Holmes birdied the 18th hole in regulation in 2008 to shoot a final-
round, even-par 71 and force a playoff with Mickelson. Holmes, the 2006
winner, followed that closing birdie with a birdie on the first playoff hole,
No. 18, to win for the second time on the PGA Tour.
In 2007, Aaron Baddeley capitalized on a late collapse by Jeff Quinney to win
by a shot. Trailing by three strokes with four holes to play, Baddeley made
three consecutive birdies from No. 15 and walked away with his second career
PGA Tour victory. He shot his second straight 7-under 64 in the final round
for the lowest weekend score in tournament history.
Holmes, then a 23-year-old PGA Tour rookie in 2006, won in only his fourth
start as a professional. Holmes fired a 5-under 66 in the final round to
cruise to a 7-shot win. He finished at 21-under-par 263 and delighted a record
weekend crowd of over 536,000. Holmes became the first player to win the PGA
Tour Qualifying Tournament and then win on the PGA Tour the next season since
Mike Weir won the 1998 Q-School and the 1999 Air Canada Championship.
In 2005, Mickelson posted a 3-under 68 in the final round to cruise to a 5-
shot win. Mickelson finished at 17-under-par 267. He posted a career low and
tied the course record by firing a 60 in the second round. Mickelson's
previous best round was a 61 at the 2001 Greater Hartford Open, which he also
Mickelson is the all-time leader in earnings at this event with $3,715,863.
Holmes is second with $2,288,545. With his win in 2008, Holmes joined a select
group of 14 multiple champions at this event, which includes Ben Hogan, Byron
Nelson, Palmer, Johnny Miller, Vijay Singh and Mickelson. When Miller won the
1975 Phoenix Open, he posted the largest margin of victory at this event with
a 14-shot win over Jerry Heard. Singh's final-round 63 in 2003 tied the lowest
final round by a champion, equaling the mark set by Mark Calcavecchia in 1992.
The PGA Tour moves to California next week for the Farmers Insurance Open in
San Diego, where Scott Stallings won in 2014.
01/27 16:43:22 ET