PGA Tour Picks: WM Phoenix Open



For those who enjoy stadium-type golf, the 72nd WM Pheonix Open this week on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale in the tournament to watch, an event called “The Greatest Show on Grass.”

That’s because the par-3, 163-yard 16th hole which is completely surrounded by stands like a football stadium and is known as “The Coliseum,” was set up as the first stadium-type course hole on the PGA Tour, and can seat nearly 20,000 fans who cheer and even the shots of the golfers.

“(Hole 16) is  pretty wild,” said  two-time PGA Justin Thomas, who has finished third twice at TPC Scottsdale. “It seems like every year it gets crazier and crazier. But it’s so hard to control your adrenaline, you have so many juices pumping and your hands are kind of like tingling and it’s a little shaky.

“It’s just, it’s a great atmosphere, and every hole it’s a great hole. The fans are unbelievable, they are what makes this event what it is. You have to play your very best all the way around just to be in contention.”

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler is the two-time defending champion in the WM Phoenix Open, beating Nick Taylor of Canada by two strokes last season and defeating Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA with a birdie on the third playoff hole.

Scheffler will try to become the first player to in the tournament three straight times since Arnold Palmer in 1961-62-63.

“Obviously, I enjoy this course and it’d been great to win here the last two years,” said Scheffler, the 2022 Masters champion. “And I really enjoy the atmosphere on the 16th hole, as it’s one of the best in golf.

“I love the environment here. It’s a lot of fun to play. I think the firmness of the golf course really suits me. Having the ability to play a lot of different shots. Hit it high, hit it low. It’s simply a great place to play.”

Even though fourth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway and fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego have with drawn from the field, the WM Phoenix Open still  has a strong cast this week.

Included are sixth-ranked Wyndham Clark, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week, eight-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal, ninth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England, 10th-ranked Brian Harman, Tom Kim of South Korea, Jordan Spieth, Sam Burns and Thomas.

Other winners of the tournament in its long history include Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Johnny Miller, Billy Casper, Gene Littler, Jimmy Demaret, Harry “Lighthorse” Cooper, Ralph Guldahl, Cary Middlecoff, Lloyd Mangrum, Miller Barber, Bruce Crampton, Ben Crenshaw, Lanny Wadkins, Hal Sutton, Paul Azinger, Tommy Armour III, Vijay Singh, Tom Lehman, Brooks Koepka, Kenny Perry, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland.

The WM Phoenix Open figures to be another outstanding tournament this week, and as always, it will be fun and games on No. 16.  


1. Scottie Scheffler, United States – The top-ranked player in the world has claimed two of his six PGA Tour victories in the WM Phoenix Open, winning each of the last two seasons, and also tied for seventh in 2021. The 2022 Masters champion has tied for fifth in The Sentry, tied for sixth in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and tied for 17th in The Amex to start this season.     

2. Justin Thomas, United States – The two-time PGA champion has not won since his 15th PGA Tour victory almost two years ago, but seems back on track with a tie for third in The AmEx and a tie for sixth at Pebble Beach this season. Thomas has four top-10 finishes in the WM Phoenix Open in the last five years, including third in 2019 and 2020, and fourth last season.   

3. Max Homa, United States – The eighth-ranked Homa, who has claimed three of his six PGA Tour victories in the last two seasons, tied for 14th in The Sentry and tied for 13 th in the Farmers to start the season, but will try to bounce back from a tie for 66th last week at Pebble Beach. He tied for sixth in the 2020 WM Phoenix Open and tied for 14th two years ago.       

4. Min Woo Lee, Australia – After claiming his third professional victory in the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship and finishing third in the ISPS Australian Open, Lee tied for 21st in The American Express recently on the PGA Tour after starting 65-66. He has risen 33 spots to No. 39 in the world this season and is making his debut in the WM Phoenix Open this week.  

5. Wyndham Clark, United States – Having risen four positions to No. 6 in the World Golf Rankings this week after his third PGA Tour victory at Pebble Beach after shooting 60, Clark is looking for more in the WM Phoenix Open. The reigning United States Open champion had his best finish in five appearances at TPC Scottsdale last season, when he wound up in a tie for 10th.

6. Hideki Matsuyama, Japan – Two of Matsuyama’s 17 pro victories came in the WM Phoenix Open, both in playoffs in 2016 and 2017, while he also tied for second in 2015, tied for fourth in 2014 and tied for eighth in 2022. The 2021 Masters champion’s best finish in the new season was a tie for 13th in the Farmers Insurance Open, when opened with 66 and closed with 67.  

7. Sam Burns, United States – With his five victories on the PGA Tour having come since 2021, including the WGC-Dell Technologies title last year, Burns has risen to No. 20 in the World Golf Rankings. He has tied for sixth in The Amex and tied for 10th at Pebble Beach this season, and his best result in the WM Phoenix was a tie for sixth last season, when he closed with 64-68.

8. Byeong Hun An, South Korea – Although none of his four pro victories have come on the PGA Tour, An has come close by losing three times in playoffs. One of those was this season, when he fell to Grayson Murray at the Sony Open in Hawaii. An also was solo fourth the Sony Open this season. He was solo sixth in the 2017 WM Phoenix Open and tied for ninth in 2020.

9. Matt Fitzpatrick, England – The 2022 U.S. Open champion’s best result in three starts this season was a tie for 14th in the opener in Hawaii at the Sentry. The ninth-ranked Fitzpatrick, who also won the 2023 RBC Heritage for his 10th victory as a professional, is making this third start in the WM Phoenix Open, and he tied for 10th in 2022 before tying for 29th last season.    

10. J.T. Poston, United States – A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Poston has started the season strong with a solo sixth at the Sony Open in Hawaii, a tie for fifth in The Sentry, a tie for 11th in The AmEx and a tie for 20th in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. His best finish in the WM Phoenix Open was a tie for 11th in 2021, and he also tied for 23rd the following year.

OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sungjae Im, South Korea; Eric Cole, United States; Adam Hadwin, Canada; Tom Kim, South Korea; Rickie Fowler, United States; Si Woo Kim, South Korea; Adam Scott, Australia; Brian Harman, United States; Thomas Detry, Belgium; Corey Conners, Canada, Jordan Spieth, United States.


1. Justin Suh, United States – Winner of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Championship also tied for sixth in the 2023 Players Championship. Suh is making his debut in the WM Phoenix Open.

2. Alexander Bjork, Sweden – A five-time winner as a pro in Europe, Bjork recently tied for 11th in The American Express on the PGA Tour, opening with 64. WM Phoenix Open debut.  

3. Garrick Higgo, South Africa – Has won seven times as a pro, including the 2021 Palmetto Championship. Higgo finished T-21 in his WM Phoenix Open debut two seasons ago.

4. Carl Yuan, China – Yuan is a two-time winner as a pro, including in the 2022 Louisiana Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour. He tied for fourth in the 2024 Sony Open in Hawaii.  

5. Dylan Wu, United States – Claimed his lone professional victory in the 2021 Price Cutter Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour and tied for fifth in the 2023 3M Open on the PGA Tour.   

For first-round tee times and complete results once the tournament starts, visit:

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