Rising PGA TOUR Stars Hovland, Morikawa and Wolff to Showcase Talent at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open
FORMER NCAA COLLEGIATE STANDOUTS LOOK TO MAKE SPLASH AT “THE PEOPLE’S OPEN”
Tournament Chairman Tim Woods announced today a trio of rising PGA TOUR stars will be joining the field at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, which is set to tee it up Jan. 27 – Feb. 2 at TPC Scottsdale.
Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff, who both earned PGA TOUR wins during their rookie campaigns in 2019, have committed to play, and will be joined by PGA TOUR rookie Viktor Hovland, who was awarded the second of five sponsor exemptions to the 2020 tournament. Wolff and Hovland were All-American teammates at Oklahoma State, while Morikawa was a three-time All-American at Cal.
“Collin, Matthew and Viktor are outstanding players and are already making headlines on the PGA TOUR,” Woods said. “We’re pumped to have this kind of young talent at the 2020 edition of ‘The People’s Open’ and look forward to seeing them compete against a world-class field at TPC Scottsdale.”
Morikawa is one of the PGA TOUR’s rising young stars, turning pro in 2019 at the age of 22 following a solid amateur career at Cal Berkeley where he was a three-time All-American and the 2018 Golfweek Men’s National Player of the Year. He earned his first career PGA TOUR title at the Barracuda Championship (July, 2019) as a Special Temporary Member in just his eighth career start. The victory earned him a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs where he advanced to the BMW Championship to finish 59th in the final FedExCup standings. He was one of only eight rookies to qualify for the Playoffs and just one of five to advance to BMW Championship. His short 2019 campaign included three Top-5 finishes (including his Barracuda Championship win) and he made the cut in all nine starts. His other Top-5’s included a T4 at the John Deere Classic and a runner-up finish to Wolff at the 3M Championship. Morikawa currently ranks 55th in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Wolff played two years at Oklahoma State and earned first-team All-American honors twice, the Phil Mickelson Award (given to the nation’s top freshman), the Fred Haskins Award (most outstanding player), a team national championship and an individual national championship. Wolff won three consecutive times his sophomore year gaining the attention of The Thunderbirds, who offered him a sponsor exemption at the 2019 event – Wolff’s PGA TOUR debut. Wolff turned pro in July of 2019 at age 20 and earned his first PGA TOUR victory within his first month as a professional, taking top honors at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities to become the ninth-youngest winner in PGA TOUR history.
Hovland earned PGA TOUR membership by finishing sixth in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals 25 and enters the 2019-20 season 13th in the final priority ranking. He played three seasons at Oklahoma State, where he was a two-time First-Team All-American and was named the Ben Hogan Award winner during his junior season while reaching the top spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He also won the 2018 U.S. Amateur title to earn invitations to the 2019 Masters and 2019 U.S. Open – he was the low amateur in both events, the first player to do so since Matt Kuchar in 1998.
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. 24, 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 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be held at TPC Scottsdale January 27 – February 2, 2020. “The People’s Open” was recently named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR for 2019, an honor that has been awarded four times in the last six years (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) to help the tournament gain legendary status for being one the most unique events in golf. The 2020 edition will mark the 85th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 11th as the Waste Management 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 $13.2 million for charity from proceeds from the 2019 WM Phoenix Open and have eclipsed $147 million in charitable giving since its inception in 1932. For more information on The Thunderbirds, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.