Hideki Matsuyama for three-peat in Phoenix


Everything is ready for WM Phoenix Open, “elevated event” of the circuit now in its 85th edition and scheduled from February 9 to 12 on the famous TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course in the city from which the club takes its name in Arizona. Defending title is World Ranking number two Scottie Scheffler in a big-time field featuring 17 players in the top 20 in the world rankings, including eight from the top ten. Attendance to which the super jackpot of 20 million dollars is no stranger. (8.2 million last year) with first coin of 3.6 million dollars.

WM Phoenix Open, schedule

Guaranteed show, therefore, with in particular Rory McIlroy, number 1, Jon Rahm, number 3, Patrick Cantlay (n. 5), Xander Schauffele (n. 6), Collin Morikawa (n. 7), Justin Thomas (n. 9 ) and Matt Fitzpatrick (#10), plus Scheffler of course. But watch out for Viktor Hovland (n. 11), Tony Finau (n. 12) and Tom Kim (n. 14) capable of turning the tables on the table.

The struggle for the world throne is also interesting. Scheffler and Rahm want to replace McIlroy, but the former has failed the attack several times in recent weeks in extremely favorable conditions and in the absence of the number 1, while the Spaniard appeared more concrete and climbed up to third position with victories. You compete on the edge of the cents and every little step forward can be a success, even if with McIlroy in the field for the pursuers things get a lot more complicated.

In addition to Scheffler, there will be five other past winners of which two can aspire to the treble, the prerogative of only four players (Arnold Palmer, the only one with three titles in a row, Gene Littler, Mark Calcavecchia and Phil Michelson). I’m J.B. Holmes (2006-2008) and the Japanese Hideki Matsuyama (2016-2017), the fourth to have scored consecutive doubles after Ben Hogan. Jimmy Demaret and Johnny Miller. Instead, they can try to give an encore Webb Simpson (2020), Rickie Fowler (2019), and Gary Woodland (2018). A curiosity: Matsuyama is one of the two foreigners who have prevented the Americans from succeeding since 2000. The other is the Australian Aaron Baddeley (2007) who was absent on the occasion.

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