A star-studded field at The Waste Management Phoenix Open this week will only add to the chaos in Arizona. On a regular Phoenix Open week, Phoenix can be wild considering this tournament is known as the biggest party on tour all year. Then add the largest sporting event of the year to the mix. Let’s just say the raucous 16th hole will be the craziest we have seen it in a long time.
This year’s field has seen the addition of Tiger Woods, his first appearance in this tournament since 2001. Big names also in the field include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler.
The host course this week is TPC Scottsdale and is known for its par-3 16th hole. Sitting at around 160 yards, the 16th is completely enclosed by grandstands and corporate boxes making it the biggest party on grass. Over the years there have been caddy races, players throwing out merch, many cheers and boos, and MANY beverages consumed (probably adding to the boos/cheers). In ’97, the hole saw a hole-in-one from Tiger which led to an explosion from the crowd with beers being thrown across the hole in celebration!
As far as my picks for this week go, I’m listing around 10 names that you should see around the top of the leader board this week. Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Pat Perez, Ryan Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, and Kevin Streelman.
All of these players are known for stringing a lot of birdies together and at TPC Scottsdale scores will be low. As far as my winning pick, I’m going with Matt Kuchar. He has a 3rd and 2nd place finish so far this year and this week will be his redemption from a few poor collapses in Hawaii and California.
Everyone will be looking at Tiger this week (mainly because the telecast won’t leave his face). I’m predicting he will make the cut but finish middle of the pack around 30th. His new swing needs some ironing out and more tournament experience under pressure. I would look for him to start contending around Arnold Palmer‘s tournament and The Masters.
All eyes will be on Phoenix this week and I can’t wait to see what each event will bring.
P.S- I’m taking the Seahawks 30-27
Photo credit: Hunter Martin