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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Waste Management Phoenix Open

Twofer Tuesday leaves rainy California for mostly sunny Arizona and the slimmed down Phoenix Open. As pgatour.com put it, "It’s still 'The People’s Open,' just with fewer peoples."

Defending champion Webb Simpson

TPC Scottsdale is notorious for its madhouse 16th hole, but this year it won't be nearly so raucous. The most well-attended golf tournament in the world is limiting its crowds to 5000 per day, but that's still more fans than players have seen in nearly a year! It will be interesting to see how the players react to the larger but still subdued attendance at the event.

Of course, I don't know that it will have any effect on defending champion Webb Simpson. The man really seems to come alive at this event.

In some ways I think the reduced fan count may help scoring at the Phoenix Open, if for no other reason than the noise level will be reduced as well. We'll see if that actually helps my picks.

  • My first pick is the defending champion. As noted above, Webb Simpson just seems to like this place; he has five Top10s in ten appearances, capped by that win last year where he came from ten back to take the title. He should be rested; he hasn't played since the Sony where he posted a T4.
  • And my other pick is Ryan Palmer. The old man is playing some nice golf this season, and he's coming off a T2 at the Farmers last week. Although his recent form at this event isn't so good -- he MCed last year -- I like him to put up another good score this week.

GC's live coverage starts at 3pm ET Thursday, but it looks like they'll be carrying some early coverage from PGA TOUR LIVE starting around 11am ET. (Or so pgatour.com says.) At any rate, my curiousity is roused to see how the wildest golf party on Earth goes when the party has limited attendance.

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