Phoenix Open 2017

Round 4 - Byeong Hun An wins in a playoff

February 6, 2017

Hideki Matsuyama won the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the fourth hole of a playoff for the second straight year, outlasting Webb Simpson on Sunday at TPC Scottsdale.

Matsuyama won with a 10-foot birdie putt on the short par-4 17th, the same hole where the 24-year-old Japanese star finished off Rickie Fowler a year ago.

Matsuyama closed with a 5-under 66, parring the final three holes to match Simpson at 17-under 267. Simpson birdied three of the last four for a 64, the best round of the day.

The tournament drew an estimated 58,654 fans Sunday to shatter the weekly record with 655,434. The previous mark of 618,365 was set last year. A record 204,906 packed the grounds Saturday.

Matsuyama took advantage of third-round leader Byeong Hun An's back-nine collapse. Three strokes ahead of Matsuyama, An bogeyed the first two holes on the back nine and closed with two more. The South Korean player had a 73 to finish sixth at 14 under.

Matsuyama won his second PGA Tour title of the season and fourth overall. He has won five worldwide events in the last 3 1/2 months, also taking the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, two events in Japan and Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge.

He's the sixth player to successfully defend a title in the event and the first to do it at TPC Scottsdale. The other five are Hall of Famers Ben Hogan (1946-47), Jimmy Demaret (1949-50), Lloyd Mangrum (1952-53), Arnold Palmer (1961-63) and Johnny Miller (1974-75). The Japanese player also is the first to win a playoff in an event two straight years since Ernie Els in the Sony Open in Hawaii in 2003-04.

Matsuyama and Simpson matched pars on the first three extra holes, playing the par-4 18th twice and the par-4 10th before heading to 17. Simpson's drive on 332-yard hole ended up on the right edge of the green, with a bunker blocking his path to the hole. Instead of trying to hit a wedge over the bunker, he putted and left himself a 25-footer that burned the right edge.

Simpson and Matsuyama each eagled the par-5 third, with Simpson hitting a 272-yard shot to 5 feet, and Matsuyama a 254-yarder to 2 1/2 feet.

Louis Oosthuizen finished a stroke back after a 65. The South African birdied Nos. 14, 15 and 17, then hit in the right bunker on 18 and scrambled to save par.

Fowler also shot a 65 to match J.J. Spaun (67) at 15 under.

Phil Mickelson tied for 16th at 10 under after a 71. He made a run with four front-nine birdies, then played the back nine in 4 over with a double bogey on 17, four bogeys and two birdies. The 46-year-old former Arizona State star played his 100th round in the event he won in 1996, 2005 and 2013.

Fellow former Sun Devils player Jon Rahm had a 70 to also finish at 10 under. Last week, the Spaniard won at Torrey Pines for his first PGA Tour victory.

Round 3 - Byeong Hun An edges ahead

February 5, 2017

The first few thousand fans rushed to fill the general admission seats on the stadium 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale when the gates opened at 7 a.m. Saturday. Hours and about 30 degrees later, the Waste Management Phoenix Open had attracted a golf-record crowd of 204,906.

Byeong Hun An led the way inside the ropes in his first appearance at the game's biggest party, shooting a 6-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Martin Laird.

''Bogey-free again today. I think that was pretty big,'' An said. ''I don't care how many shots' lead I have in the final round, I'm just happy with today's round. My goal will be bogey-free again and just play smart.''

An estimated 596,780 fans have attended the event the first six days. With 70,000 to 90,000 expected Sunday in perfect warm conditions, the event will shatter the overall record of 618,365 set last year.

''It was crazy,'' An said. ''Last couple holes, that many people around the course is insane. Sixteen, obviously, but 17 and 18, when you walk to the green, it was absolutely packed around the green, left and right of the green, everywhere.''

Known as Ben, An had a 16-under 197 total. The 25-year-old South Korean player opened with consecutive 66s to share the second-round lead with Brendan Steele.

Laird, a Scot who lives in Scottsdale, made an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 65.

''I played really nicely all day really today, tee to green,'' the three-time tour winner said. ''I putted really nicely again. ... It felt good to be out there today. I felt like I had control of my golf ball today,''

An birdied five of the first 10 holes. He saved par with a 7-foot putt on 16 after going through the green on the rowdy hole that played at only 129 yards, and followed with a 7-foot birdie putt on the short par-4 17th.

''The course, I think, just suits my eyes,'' An said. ''The hole shaping, and there is not much of a dogleg left or right. You basically hit drivers out there and try to carry all the bunkers.''

He made another par save on 18, holing a 10-footer after finding the right fairway bunker and hitting his approach off the back edge.

''It was big,'' An said. ''Seems that my short game is in good position.''

An won the 2009 U.S. Amateur at 17 to become the youngest winner in event history, and took the European Tour's 2015 BMW PGA Championship for his biggest professional victory.

Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama had a 68 to join John Peterson, Canadian Graham DeLaet and Michael Kim at 12 under. Last year, Matsuyama beat Rickie Fowler in a playoff.

Peterson shot a 63 for the best round of the week. He eagled the par-5 13th, and had a double bogey and eight birdies.

''I got on a little bit of a heater there and really wasn't in jeopardy of making bogey after that,'' Peterson said. ''It was a lot of good ball-striking and I made a couple good putts, too.''

DeLaet had a 65, and Kim shot 66.

''I just need to keep making birdies,'' DeLaet said. ''I'm playing well. I believe in it. But you've got to just keep the pedal down out here.''

Steele dropped into a tie for seventh at 11 under after a 70.

Phil Mickelson was six strokes back at 10 under after a 65.

''I'm in a good spot,'' Mickelson said. ''I'm in a spot where nobody's really looking at me. I'm far enough back, but I am within striking distance.''

The 46-year-old former Arizona State star won the event in 1996, 2005 and 2013. He's making his third start in his return from two sports hernia surgeries.

Fellow former Sun Devils player John Rahm was 9 under a week after winning at Torrey Pines for his first PGA Tour victory. He settled for a 65 after playing his first eight holes in 6 under.

''I started off amazing,'' Rahm said. ''That back nine that I played, my first nine, was really, really good golf. I don't play that good often. ''

Wearing a white Arizona State football jersey with the late Pat Tillman's No. 42 and ''Rahmbo'' on the back, the Spaniard made an 8-foot birdie putt on the 16th.

''To be able to hit a close one there for the fans, it was fun,'' Rahm said.

Fowler also was 9 under after a 69.

Jordan Spieth had a 67 to reach 8 under.

''I played with John Peterson today,'' Spieth said. ''Saw a low score with just hitting it point A to point B and driving the ball well. That's what it takes. It is a pure golf course.''

Round 2 - Brendan Steele & Byeong Hun An share halfway lead

February 4, 2017

Brendan Steele and Byeong Hun An shared the lead Friday in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, while Justin Thomas cooled off in the desert.

An made a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 5-under 66, matching Steele at 10-under 132 at TPC Scottsdale. Steele had a 67.

Thomas had a 73 to miss the cut by a stroke. He was coming off a two-week break after sweeping the Hawaii events - and shooting 59 at Waialae - for his second and third victories of the season.

Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama was a stroke back at 9 under along with first-round leader Matt Kuchar, Martin Laird and Sung Kang.

The crowd was estimated at 169,004, breaking the Friday record of 160,415 set last year.

Round 1 - Matt Kuchar leads with opening 64

February 3, 2017

Matt Kuchar eagled the par-5 13th and added two late birdies and a big par save on the rowdy par-3 16th hole Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Kuchar shot a 7-under 64 in perfect afternoon conditions at TPC Scottsdale for a one-stroke lead over defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and Brendan Steele. The crowd was estimated at 103,420 on the fan-friendly stadium layout.

Kuchar made a 20-foot eagle putt on the 13th, and ran in a 6-footer for birdie on the par-5 15th. He got up-and-down for par from the left bunker on the triple-deck stadium 16th, making a 12-foot putt, and chipped to inches from the front fringe on the short par-4 17th to set up his final birdie in the bogey-free round.

Matsuyama had a bogey-free round in the morning. Last year, he beat Rickie Fowler in a playoff.

Scores