The final leaderboard for the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona is in. Hideki Matsuyama won the tournament in a playoff with runner-up Rickie Fowler to claim his second PGA Tour title. As an interesting observation, Boo Weekley was the best finisher this week not in his 20s. Below is the truncated top-10 leaderboard and the playoff result:
(1) Hideki Matsuyama (-14)
(2) Rickie Fowler (-14)
(3) Harris English (-12)
(4) Danny Lee (-11)
(5) Boo Weekley (-10)
(T6) Will Wilcox (-9)
(T6) Shane Lowry (-9)
(T6) J.B. Holmes (-9)
(T6) John Huh (-9)
(T6) Bryce Molder (-9)
Here are my thoughts and a few statistics on the champion and some notable golfers near the top of the leaderboard:
Winner: Hideki Matsuyama (-14) – This is the young 23 year old’s second PGA Tour win, his first one being at the 2014 Memorial Tournament. He has 6 Japan Tour wins under his belt. During the 2015-2016 season and prior to this week he missed two cuts (including last week at the Farmers) and had one solo fifth finish. He has an excellent record at TPC Scottsdale, with a T2 last year in 2015 and a T4 in 2014 — he was trending up and this looks like a continuation of his course form. Matsuyama is a great talent and I expect him win many many more times in his career. Perhaps it’s his time to contend in a major.
Today: 4 birdies for a bogey-free 4-under 67. Scores over four rounds: 65, 70, 68, 67 (270).
Rickie Fowler (-14) – This would have been 27-year-old Fowler’s fifth worldwide win in nine months had he been able to put it away. He has 3 PGA Tour wins (including the 2015 PLAYERS) and 2 European Tour wins. Like Matsuyama, he missed the cut last week at the Farmers, but he finished fifth alone at the Hyundai in early January. His history at the Waste Management has been a mixed bag, with several missed cuts in recent years and a solo-second finish back in 2010. Fowler is definitely someone to watch this season, especially in the majors which he has yet to conquer.
Today: 5 birdies and 1 bogey for a 4-under 67. Scores over four rounds: 65, 68, 70, 67 (270). Fowler hit balls into the water twice on the 17th hole — once in regulation and again on the fourth playoff hole. Those mistakes together proved fatal for his chances.
Danny Lee (-11) – Another player in his 20s, Lee’s lone win on the PGA Tour came at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic where he won in a 4-man playoff; he also has European and Nationwide Tour wins. He previous three finishes on the Tour were a T15 at the Hyundai, a T33 at the Sony Open and a T58 at the Farmers. He missed the cut in all of his three previous starts at the Phoenix Open (2015, 2014 and 2012).
Today: 3 birdies and 5 bogeys for a 2-over 73. Scores over four rounds: 67, 66, 67, 73 (273). Lee went into the final round with a three-shot lead, but backed up with 3 bogeys on the front nine and couldn’t gain any momentum on the back.