The Tour comes back to the loudest hole in golf at TPC Scottsdale:
The Phoenix Open began 86 years ago in 1932 but was discontinued after the 1935 tournament. The rebirth of the Phoenix Open came in 1939 when Bob Goldwater, Sr. convinced fellow Thunderbirds to help run the event. The Thunderbirds, a prominent civic organization in Phoenix, were not as enthusiastic about running the event as he was, leaving Goldwater, Sr. to do most of the work in getting a golf open started.
What makes the Phoenix Open special is that in general, the course is not well received by the players. Prior to the renovations by Tom Weiskopf the course was often thought of as a bomber’s course that lacked imagination. Weiskopf put in some changes to take the bombers’ clear advantage away, but it’s still not very well received because of the location of waste areas and some really cruel shots.
In fact, the world famous 16th hole is one of the most bland par-3’s you can find on Tour.
But, what makes top Tour players come to Phoenix is the fans. You’ll never get to experience a crowd like the 16th in your life. And the attendance over 4 days is likely to hit close to 500,000. It’s the fans that make this a special experience and it’s the fans at Scottsdale that coronate the beginning of the PGA Tour season.
With the renovations, the course is more about a complete driving performance. The rough is negligible, but the waste areas take something away from the bombers. From there, mid length approach shots will separated the contenders from everybody else.
17 and 18 are excellent finishing holes (both are critical holes on the course) and the 16th has the atmosphere that’s like no other.
Projected Winning Score: -15
Jordan Spieth +800
Hideki Matsuyama +1,000
Rickie Fowler +1,100
Justin Thomas +1,400
Alex Noren +3,300
Tony Finau +3,300
3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS
JB Holmes +4,000
Ryan Palmer +5,500
Kevin Streelman +12,500
Lucas Glover +15,000