Waste Management Phoenix Open – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) in Scottsdale, Arizona
7,266 yards – Par 71 – TifDwarf Bermudagrass overseeded with Ryegrass and Poa Trivialis
Average Green Size: 6,350 sq. ft.
Tournament Stimpmeter: 12 to 12.5 feet … Faster Greens

Driving Distance (Field Average): 294 yards … Driver-Heavy Course
Fairways Hit (Field Average): 60% … Average Fairway Ease
GIR Pecentage (Field Average): 66% … Easier-to-Hit Greens

Tournament Angles

#1 Driver-Heavy Courses
#2 Cold Weather
#3 Fast Greens

Previous Winners

2016: Hideki Matsuyama -16 over Rickie Fowler in a playoff
2015: Brooks Koepka -15 over Hideki Matsuyama, Ryan Palmer, Bubba Watson -14
2014: Kevin Stadler -16 over Bubba Watson, Graham DeLaet -15
2013: Phil Mickelson -28 over Brandt Snedeker -24
2012: Kyle Stanley -15 over Ben Crane -14
2011: Mark Wilson -18 over Jason Dufner in a playoff
2010: Hunter Mahan -16 over Rickie Fowler -15

54-Hole Leaders

2016: Danny Lee (-13)
2015: Martin Laird (-13)
2014: Bubba Watson (-15)
2013: Phil Mickelsnon (-24)
2012: Spencer Levin (-17)
2011: Tommy Gainey (-17)
2010: Brandt Snedeker (14)

36-Hole Leaders

2016: James Hahn (-10)
2015: Martin Laird (-10)
2014: Bubba Watson, Matt Jones (-12)
2013: Phil Mickelson (-17)
2012: Spencer Levin (-14)
2011: Tommy Gainey (-14)
2010: Camilo Villegas, Mark Wilson (-11)

Important Interview Quotes

Q. You said you haven’t liked this course for 10 years. So it wasn’t the redesign, necessarily?
It’s tough. Well, no, the redesign has made it even tougher. You know, I come here because I have lived here for the last eight years. Every winter I come here. How could you not like the sun? -2016

Q. That said, how do you reconcile the fact that — I mean, this course obviously suits your game, your eye.
Well, you know, it’s kind of like the U.S. Open. Sometimes you get the right bounces. And around here.

I have played well because — you know, we all made the tournament bomb and gouge. If you notice, the big hitters are hitting it hard and hopefully get the right breaks. I just didn’t get the right breaks on 6 and 8.

But over the last couple of years I have made some putts. So far these two days I just haven’t made putts. -2016

Q. How tough was the course today with the wind? And the rough is tough.
Yeah, wind was definitely in play today. It was a little bit different than yesterday. The greens being so firm, you kind of forced to hit driver at tee shot. You want to hit a shorter club on second shot. -2016

Q. Is this as easy as the course is going to play?
Is that as easy as the course is going to play?

That’s hard to say. I mean, I don’t find this golf course easy anymore. You know, it’s long and it’s thick rough and the fairways are extremely tight. It used to be a course where with the dormant rough that we had and the wide fairways, you could really just let it go off the tee and get away with a lot of mishits.

The fairways and landing areas, 8, you know, landing areas like 12, 14 yards wide on the angle off the tee, there is a lot of holes like that where you have to drive it really well here. You can’t get away with anything. -2016

Q. He said he didn’t like the course, didn’t like the changes to it.
Well, it’s certainly longer and harder. It’s a longer and harder golf course than what we had before.

Like some of the holes, like 13, that par-5, where you used to be able to run shots up onto the green, now you have to fly it over that bunker. 15, now that the tee was moved back, playing very long, it’s probably not as exciting of a birdie and eagle opportunity as it was in the past, but it just means that the scores won’t be as low. -2016

Q. Talk about how you live in the area. I believe you played in practice out here up until recently. Did you feel the need to even play a practice round out here? How comfortable out here are you?
Very comfortable. I didn’t have an opportunity to play a practice round. I finished late Monday at the Farmers Insurance Open. When I got in on — let’s see, I think I flew in Monday night. Tuesday I was just beat. I wanted to rest. I wasn’t in the Pro-Am Wednesday, so the fact I got that one extra rest day, I feel comfortable not having a practice round.

I have played this course a hundred times. The only thing different about the course today, as any other day, is the greens are better. The rough is not as high as some of the days out here throughout the year, so with those few things, you can just grip it, hit it anywhere you want, and try to make as many birdies as you can.

Q. Do you play this course quite a bit?
I play every year, but I never play between. I practice a lot every year, but I get a lot of rounds of golf. I’m a member 10 minutes up the road so I end up playing there more than anything. -2016

Q. What was it about this course that fits you?
I just like it. It’s a great event. The golf course is really nice. I like playing on firm greens. -2016

Q. Was the cold a problem to get started? Because it was, you know, a 45-, 50-minute delay. It was pretty chilly out here.
It was, it was. Just not a real problem, though. It’s just something you’re not used to. I live in Florida now, and you come out, and last week just to the end of the week and this week, it’s just taking a little bit of getting used to and just gotta warm up a little longer, take a little care of my body. -2016

Q. You split your time between here and Charlotte. Had you played out here since the redo?
I played the back 9 one day and front 9 one day, and that was all I did before I went over to Humana, and then I played Tuesday, played all of them. I had seen it twice, so to speak. You know, it’s basically the same golf course, just, you know, just gotta really figure out maybe 3, 4, and 14. Apart from that, they are all kind of the same, you know. Some of the tee shots are a little tighter now, which I think is good. Needed a little, to be toughened up a little, but I really like the changes, and I think everyone I’ve talked to likes the changes. -2015

Q. Over the years, how has this course set up for you and your game? And do you like it better now or the way it was before?
In the past it’s been better for me, I think, because there is a lot of shots that, a lot of draw ball tee shots. A lot of greens set up for me, as well, depending on where the pin is obviously. I was able to kind of attack the golf course with the length I have. From what it is now to what it used to be, it’s definitely longer, for sure. I used to hit a lot of wedges, sand wedges, and we are not doing that anymore. But I like what they did from tee to green. -2015

Q. What caused you to skip this tournament the last few years and what brought you back this year?
You know, there were a number of reasons. I don’t think it was anything consistent. I think part of it was just the scheduling, the way the schedule laid out. Fortunately I have been able to play Hawaii and Hawaii. Sony is a good one usually for me. Then I got really used to playing Palm Springs. This one was always a question mark. It was one of those — you know, you got match play usually in Tucson. Now that’s changed fortunately, and I think — you know, I don’t want to say I completely, 100% try to avoid poa annua, but that’s somewhat accurate. These are not. I mean, I usually — I kind of like these greens more so than poa annua. -2015

Q. You mentioned how much you enjoy hitting a driver on a lot of holes. Do you wish there were more courses on tour like that?
Yes, I feel for all this talk how long everybody is getting, I consistently hit less and less drivers on courses, especially in majors. I feel as though a lot of US Opens you don’t hit a lot of drivers anymore, and I love coming out to a course like this where you can pound driver. There is a bunker out there that if you want to challenge it, you can hit it over or lay short. It’s a nice change of pace. I have been shocked with how many irons and hybrids and stuff like that I have been hitting off tees the last couple of years, so this is a nice change. -2015

Q. They made several changes to the course in part to deal with longer hitters and their primary landing areas. How much difference does it make in how you play this course?
It’s just a different mindset, different — I mean, when you’re adding length to a golf course you still have to hit driver. But it’s funny to me how they add length and then shorten the landing zone. They make it skinnier. They don’t want you to hit it any farther but they want to stretch the course out. It’s funny to me. It makes this golf course a lot different and tougher. Today I hit my driver nicely. I think I missed two fairways, which is pretty good for me. G30 worked out today. But, yeah, for me today it was about the driver. Around this golf course my driver stays in play. My irons are pretty decent. So now it’s a driving golf course. -2015

Q. Where do you play most of your golf here in Phoenix?
I’m a member at Estancia, just up the road. I practice out here quite a bit, too. If I’m going to hit balls, I will come out here and go to the back of the range and get some work done. It’s a great spot to come practice and I live five minutes away. If I’m going to play, that’s where I play at.

Q. 1-under 70 in the second round. How does the course play different today besides obviously the rain?
Completely different. Not any roll. Greens were holding. I mean, that was the positives. Just very difficult. Hit a couple good shots off the tee. Like hitting a water ball, even if your face was dry at address. It’s just one of those you have to be patient and persevere, take the cuts when you can. Not an easy day. I mean, it was just very difficult, as a whole. -2015

Q. The risk reward factor coming down the course, especially at 15, 17, how much fun is that for a golfer?
It’s unbelievable. That hole, 15, 16, 17 is just I think an unbelievable finish. There is so much risk reward, like you said. And if you hit a couple of quality golf shots, you can really make a move, whereas, you know, the opposite, you hit one bad one, and you can run up a number pretty quick. Luckily I was able to pull some shots off. -2015

All quotes from ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.

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