2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open
(The 12th of 45 events in the PGA TOUR Season)
Scottsdale, Ariz. Feb. 2-5, 2017
TPC Scottsdale Par/Yards: 35-36—71/7,266 yards 500 FedExCup points to winner
Second-Round Notes – Friday, February 3, 2017
Weather: Sunny, with a high of 74 degrees. Winds SW 4-8 mph.
36-hole cut: 75 players at 1-under 141 from a field of 132 professionals.
|Byeong Hun An||66-66 (-10)|
|Brendan Steele||65-67 (-10)|
|Hideki Matsuyama||65-68 (-9)|
|Martin Laird||67-66 (-9)|
|Sung Kang||68-65 (-9)|
|Matt Kuchar||64-69 (-9)|
Byeong Hun An
South Korea’s Byeong Hun An matched his opening round 5-under 66 to hold a share of the lead at 10-under heading into the weekend. In 31 prior starts on the PGA TOUR, An has never held or shared the 36-hole lead.
An made an impressive 112’8” of putts in round two and ranks seventh in Strokes Gained: Putting through two rounds.
Through two rounds at TPC Scottsdale, An has hit 29 of 36 greens despite hitting just 14 of 28 fairways. He ranks ninth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and eighth in Strokes Gained: Approach The Green.
An owns an impressive record at events played in the desert on the European Tour. In eight starts from 2015 to 2017 in Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, he owns four top-five finishes and has never finished outside the top-15.
On the strength of a runner-up finish in a playoff at the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, An joined the PGA TOUR as a Special Temporary Member for the 2015-16 season earned enough Non-Member FedExCup points to secure his PGA TOUR card for the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season.
With his win at the 2009 U.S. Amateur, An became the tournament’s youngest-ever champion at 17 years, 11 months and 13 days.
An owns three professional victories, coming at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship (European Tour), 2014 Rolex Trophy (Challenge Tour) and 2015 Shinan Donghae Open (Korean Tour).
Brendan Steele followed up an opening 65 with a second round 67 to share the lead heading into the weekend. Steele has held at least a share of the lead through two rounds twice in his PGA TOUR career, having converted victory at the 2011 Valero Texas Open, his maiden PGA TOUR win.
Steele owns a strong track record at TPC Scottsdale, having finished T5, T6 and T6 from 2012-14, respectively. The only event on the PGA TOUR in which he has more top-10 finishes is the Barracuda Championship (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016).
The 33-year old has struck the ball effectively through two rounds, leading the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and hitting 30 of 36 greens.
Steele claimed his second career PGA TOUR win in the first event of the 2016-17 season in October at the Safeway Open. In addition to the win in Napa Valley, Steele also posted top-10 finishes this season at the SBS Tournament of Champions (T6) and CareerBuilder Challenge (T6).
Steele, who has just three over-par scores in 25 rounds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is now 70-under-par.
Second-Round Lead Notes
Since 2000, second-round leaders/co-leaders of the event have held on for the win five times: Tom
Lehman (2000), Mark Calcavecchia (2001), Phil Mickelson (2005, 2013) and J.B. Holmes (2008).
Last year, James Hahn held a one-stroke lead after 36 holes at 10-under-par. Eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama was three strokes back.
Through 11 events in the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season, seven players have managed to convert a 36-hole lead/co-lead into victory, most recently with Hudson Swafford two weeks ago at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
10-under has been the leading score through 36 holes for each of the past three years at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Defending Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Hideki Matsuyama bogeyed the 18th hole to record a second round 68 and enter the weekend one stroke off the lead.
Last year at TPC Scottsdale, Matsuyama opened with rounds of 65-70 and was three shots of the lead before going on to defeat Rickie Fowler in a playoff.
Matsuyama is making his fourth-consecutive start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he has yet to finish outside the top five. He finished T4 in 2014, T2 in 2015 and won in 2016. Interestingly, he has finished at 14-under 270 each year.
With FedExCup points leader Justin Thomas missing the cut, Matsuyama can surpass Thomas for first place in the season-long standings with a victory this week.
Matsuyama is making his sixth start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season this week. Among his previous five finishes was a victory at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and runner-up showings at the CIMB Classic and SBS Tournament of Champions.
On the Japan Golf Tour late last season, he won the Japan Open Golf Championship and Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo. Those two victories came in a four-week stretch where he claimed his win on the PGA TOUR at the WGC-HSBC Champions and finished second at the CIMB Classic.
In three starts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open coming into this week, Matsuyama has earned $1,913,200. By comparison, Phil Mickelson, who has won the event three times in 27 starts (before this week), has collected $3,865,363.
Prior to his bogey at the 18th hole on Friday, Matusyama was the only player in the field without a bogey.
Scottsdale resident Martin Laird opened with rounds of 67-66 to sit one stroke off the lead.
Laird owns two career top-five finishes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, including a T3 in 2011 and a T5 in 2015, when he held the 54-hole lead by three strokes but finished bogey-double bogey to miss out on a playoff by three strokes.
Laird has made the cut in all five of his starts this season and ranks 36th in the FedExCup thanks to two top-10 finishes.
South Korea’s Sung Kang finished up his first round on Friday morning with a bogey on the 18th hole for a 3-under 68, then went back out and shot a 6-under 65 in round two to sit one shot off the lead.
In 2015, Kang had Mike “Fluff” Cowan as his caddie when he shot a course-record, and career-low 60 at Monterey Peninsula CC during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Kang is making just his second career start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Previously, he finished T40 in 2012.
First round leader Matt Kuchar followed an opening 7-under 64 with a second round 2-under 69.
Kuchar, a seven-time TOUR winner, is in search of his first win since the 2014 RBC Heritage. He is also in search of his second win in the state of Arizona. In 2013, Kuchar beat 2010 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Hunter Mahan in the Championship Match of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play at Dove Mountain in Tucson.
Kuchar’s best finish in the Waste Management Phoenix Open is a T6 in 2009.
Kuchar is making his fourth start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season and first of the New Year. He has missed two cuts and finished T21 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
In his ninth start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and a year removed from his playoff loss at TPC Scottsdale, Rickie Fowler opened with rounds of 67-68 to sit T7. He also finished second in 2010.
Fowler, a three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is in search of his first win since the 2015 Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston. Prior to that, he won the 2015 PLAYERS Championship and 2012 Wells Fargo Championship.
Last year, Fowler opened with rounds of 65-68 and was one stroke back through two rounds.
Phil Mickelson is making his 28th start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one start away from the record for most all-time at the event. Mickelson made the cut with rounds of 68-70 and sits T28 headed to the weekend.
En route to his three wins at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Mickelson held a four-stroke lead after 36 holes in 2013 after opening with rounds of 60-65 and was tied for the lead in 2005 after opening with rounds of 73-60. He was four strokes behind in 1996 before going on to win in a playoff.
Mickelson is making his fourth start of the season, with a T8 at the Safeway Open his best showing. He is in search of his 43rd career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2013 Open Championship.
Last week’s winner of the Farmers Insurance Open Jon Rahm opened with rounds of 70-69 in his second start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. In 2015, the Arizona State graduate finished T5 as an amateur.
Two-time Waste Management Phoenix Open champion J.B. Holmes opened with rounds of 67-70 to sit T21.
Former Scottsdale resident Bubba Watson shot a 3-over 74 on Friday, just his second over-par score in 40 rounds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Watson missed the cut for just the second time in 11 starts.
After finishing T2 at the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Graham DeLaet reached a career-high world ranking of 26th but comes into the week ranked 212th in the world. DeLaet opened with rounds of 67-69 to sit T11.
FedExCup points leader Justin Thomas shot rounds of 69-73 to miss the cut for the first time this season and for the second consecutive year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Coming off his first career PGA TOUR top-10 finish last week at the Farmers Insurance Open (T9), former Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year J.J. Spaun recorded a 7-under 64 in round two to sit T7.
Past Waste Management Phoenix Open champions: Hideki Matsuyama/2016 (65-68, T3), Brooks Koepka/2015 (67-73, T48), Phil Mickelson/2005, 2013 (68-70, T28), Kyle Stanley/2012 (72-69, T61), Mark Wilson/2011 (70-72, MC), Hunter Mahan/2010 (71-70, T61), J.B. Holmes/2006, 2008 (67-70, T21) and Aaron Baddeley/2007 (74-68, MC).
First-round Scoring Averages
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
35.298 35.641 70.939 —
34.710 35.405 70.115 70.527
Bogey-free rounds at TPC Scottsdale:
R1: Byeong Hun An (66), Ryo Ishikawa (68), Chris Kirk (66), Matt Kuchar (64), Marc Leishman (68), Hideki Matsuyama (65), William McGirt (69), Phil Mickelson (68), Geoff Ogilvy (70), John Peterson (66).
R2: Scott Piercy (65), Martin Laird (66), Luke List (66), Brendan Steele (67), Morgan Hoffmann (67), Jason Bohn (68).