|Waste Management Phoenix Open - February 22, 2010
WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
Par: 35-36—71 Yards: 7,216
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $6,000,000 Winner: $1,080,000
2009 Champion: Kenny Perry (270, -14)
Perry Goes for PGA TOUR Win No. 15;
Defends at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Kenny Perry had to wait a couple of extra weeks to defend his 2009 Waste Management Phoenix Open title. A year ago, the event at TPC Scottsdale ended on Feb. 1, with Perry defeating Charley Hoffman in a playoff. This week, Perry goes for two victories in a row outside Phoenix.
For the 24th consecutive year, TPC Scottsdale is hosting the tournament that dates to 1932 when Ralph Guldahl won at Phoenix Country Club. This marks the first year for Waste Management as the tournament’s title sponsor.
Perry has played two PGA TOUR events this season — tying for sixth at the season-opening SBS Championship and losing in the first round of last week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. Perry is ranked No. 14 in the Official World Golf Ranking despite being less than six months from his 50th birthday, making him eligible for the Champions Tour.
Waste Management Phoenix Open Notes
At 48 years, 3 months, 21 days, Kenny Perry became the oldest winner in Waste Management Phoenix Open history when he defeated Charley Hoffman in a playoff in 2009. The previous oldest winner was Julius Boros (1967) at age 46 years, 11 months, 9 days. Perry’s win came in his 22nd start at the FBR Open, and he now has six top-10s and 12 top-25s and 17 cuts made.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Spain’s Alvaro Quiros, who both played in last week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, will be making their first appearances at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Kaymer is ranked eighth in the Official World Golf Ranking, while Quiros is 31st. Several notable
The only two players to finish with wins at last week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship were champion Ian Poulter (a 4-and-2 winner over Paul Casey) and Camilo Villegas, who defeated Sergio Garcia in the consolation match. Both Poulter and Villegas are in the field this week.
Phil Mickelson, a two-time Waste Management Phoenix Open champion and former Arizona State All-American, will make his 21st start in this event. Mickelson captured three titles in 2009 (Northern Trust Open, World Golf Championships-CA Championship and THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola).
Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, returns to TPC Scottsdale for the fifth consecutive year. He has yet to miss a cut in the previous four starts and holds a pair of ties for 20th as his best performances—in 2006 and 2007.
Zach Johnson, six-time PGA TOUR champion, including the 2007 Masters, returns for a fifth start at TPC Scottsdale. This week, he hopes to improve on his tie for 12th from 2009.
Michael Sim, an Australia native who lives in Scottsdale, won three times in his first 12 starts on the Nationwide Tour last year en route to that Tour’s Player of the Year honor. Sim tied for second at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January for his first top-10 of the 2010 campaign. Besides Sim, others playing this week who live in Scottsdale are Michael Allen, Aaron Baddeley, Mathew Goggin, Matt Jones, Martin Laird, Billy Mayfair, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez, Jeff Quinney and Chez Reavie. That group has combined for 11 PGA TOUR wins and one Champions Tour victory. Allen won the 2009 Senior PGA Championship.
Fred Couples, who won The ACE Group Classic two weeks ago for his first Champions Tour title, is also playing this week. Couples’ best finish in Scottsdale was a runner-up showing in 1988 when he lost in a playoff to Sandy Lyle.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
Phil Mickelson is always a good person to watch in Phoenix as he has won the Waste Management Phoenix Open twice and finished in the Top 10 on nine occasions.
Mark Calcavecchia has won the Waste Management Phoenix Open three times—all in different decades (1989, 1992, 2001). A victory this week would give him a win in four decades. The only players in TOUR history to win in four different decades are Sam Snead and Raymond Floyd. Snead is the only one to win the same event in four different decades.
More on Calcavecchia: He loves the TPC Scottsdale. He not only has nine Top10s on the course, he also has shot 11 rounds of 65 or better, including a course-record equaling 60 in 2001.
With a victory this week, Ian Poulter would be the first player to win in Tucson and Phoenix in the same season since Phil Mickelson in 1996. It’s actually been done fairly frequently with Johnny Miller turning the trick in both 1974 and 1975 while Bruce Crampton (1973), George Knudson (1968) and Gene Littler (1959) each did it once.
Another player with a great Phoenix record is Rocco Mediate. Mediate won the tournament in 1999 and was second in both 2000 and 2001. He has six Top 10s and has made the cut in 16 of 20 starts in Phoenix.
A total of 17 different World Golf Hall of Fame members have won 27 times in Phoenix over the first 71 playings of the event.
This week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open is the last event before the first reshuffle of the season for players coming out of the Nationwide Tour/Q-School category. The top rookie to date has been Alex Prugh who is 17th in the FedExCup standings with Rickie Fowler (45th) and Brian Stuard (47th) next.
There were 29 “upsets” last week out of the 64 matches at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. That equates to 45% of the matches being won by the lower seed.
Bernhard Langer’s last two wins on the Champions Tour--last week’s Allianz Championship and last year’s 3M Championship--both came by virtue of holing out from off the green for eagle. He won the Allianz Championship holing a bunker shot on the first playoff hole and claimed the 3M Championship when he chipped in for eagle on the final hole.
Newcomers Fred Couples and Tommy Armour III have made quite an impression on the Champions Tour in the early stages of the season. Couples leads both the Charles Schwab Cup points list and the money list while Armour is fourth in the Schwab Cup and sixth in money.
He’s only played twice, but take a look at the stats of Fred Couples. He’s first in All-Around, Driving Distance and Sand Saves. He’s second in Scoring Average and Eagles, third in Greens in Regulation, Putting and Birdie Average and fourth in Total Driving.
The Nationwide Tour heads to Panama this week for the seventh annual Panama CLARO Championship. If history repeats itself, don’t look for a low winning score this week. Three times in the previous six years, the Panama Golf Club has ranked as the most difficult course on the Tour, including last year.
The Nationwide Tour announced last Friday a new event to be played at the TPC River’s Bend outside of Cincinnati. The Chiquita Classic will be held the week of July 12-18 and it increases the Tour schedule to 29 tournaments this year.
The victory last week by Cameron Beckman at the Mayakoba Classic was the 265th by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR and the fifth this season.