Former WM Phoenix Open Champs Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler Commit to Play in “The People’s Open”, World No. 40 Matt Kuchar also added to Field
FIELD INCLUDES LAST SIX WM PHOENIX OPEN WINNERS, 14 OF TOP-50 IN OFFICIAL WORLD GOLF RANKINGS.
Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins announced today World No. 12 Brooks Koepka and five-time PGA TOUR winner Rickie Fowler, both former Waste Management Phoenix Open champions, committed to play in the 2021 edition of “The People’s Open”, which will tee it up February 1-7 at TPC Scottsdale. Additionally, nine-time PGA TOUR winner and 40th ranked player in the world Matt Kuchar also committed to play.
With Koepka committing, who has not played in Scottsdale since 2017, all WM Phoenix Open winners from the last six years are currently in the field (Koepka 2015, Hideki Matsuyama 2016 and 2017, Gary Woodland 2018, Fowler 2019 and Webb Simpson 2020).
“We are absolutely thrilled to bring back two of our most celebrated champions,” Jenkins said. “Rickie and Brooks are incredible players and wonderful ambassadors of our event, and Kuch is one of the most consistent and successful players on the PGA TOUR. We’re excited to have them back in 2021.”
Koepka has four Major championship wins under his belt and put together arguably one of the finest 36-month stretches in golf history by winning or finishing in the Top-5 in six of 12-straight major championships between 2017 and 2019. He won six times including back-to-back U.S. Open titles (2017, 2018), back-to-back PGA Championship titles (2018, 2019), as well as a victory at the 2018 CJ Cup which propelled him into the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Rankings. During that run he also was named the PGA of America Player of the Year (2018, 2019), the PGA TOUR Player of the Year (2018) and was the 2019 PGA TOUR leading money winner. Koepka is making his fourth start at TPC Scottsdale where he carded his first PGA TOUR victory in 2015.
No stranger to “The People’s Open”, WM Phoenix Open fan favorite Rickie Fowler will make his 13th-straight career start at TPC Scottsdale, where he has carded four Top-10 finishes that include his win in 2019 and two runner-up finishes to sit third on the WM Phoenix Open money list with $3.2 million in winnings. He has four additional PGA TOUR victories to his name including the 2015 PLAYERS Championship, he has been a teammate on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams (2010, 2014, 2016, 2018) and was named the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in 2010.
Kuchar has racked up nine PGA TOUR victories over his 20-year professional career including the 2012 PLAYERS Championship and the World Golf Classic-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2013. He was the leading money winner on the PGA TOUR in 2010 when he notched 11 Top-10 finishes and a victory at the Barclays on his way to a runner-up finish in the FedExCup standings. Kuchar has finished in the Top-10 at TPC Scottsdale four times in 11 starts, with Top-5 outings in 2018 and 2019.
Currently the field has 14 players ranked in the Top-50 of the Official World Golf Rankings, led by Jon Rahm who sits second in the standings. The rest of the top-ranked players include Xander Schauffele (8), Webb Simpson (8), Koepka (12), Matthew Wolff (15), Sungjae Im (18), Hideki Matsuyama (21), Louis Oosthuizen (23), Ryan Palmer (25), Jason Kokrak (27), Cameron Smith (29), Scottie Scheffler (32), Kuchar (40) and Bubba Watson (47).
The field also includes 19 of the Top-30 in the current FedExCup standings, along with nine players who finished in the Top-25 in last year’s FedExCup race.
A field of 132 players will vie for the $7.3 million purse, the $1,314,000 first-place check and 500 FedExCup points. PGA TOUR members have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, to commit to play in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Eligible players are assigned one of 34 PGA TOUR priority ranking categories based on their past performance on TOUR. The field will continue to change as players with higher priority rankings commit to play in the Open.
The 2021 WM Phoenix Open will be held at TPC Scottsdale February 1-7. “The People’s Open” was named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR four times in the past six years (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) to acknowledge the tournament’s legendary status as one the most unique events in golf. The 2021 edition will mark the 86th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 12th as the WM Phoenix Open.
The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 280 “life” members. The Thunderbirds raised a record $14 million for charity from proceeds from the 2020 WM Phoenix Open and have eclipsed $161 million in charitable giving since its inception in 1932. For more information on The Thunderbirds, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.