Schauffele, Watson and Two-Time Champion Matsuyama Among Early Commitments to 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open
COMMITS ALSO INCLUDE WORLD #22 OOUSTHUIZEN, CHARLEY HOFFMAN AND CHEZ REAVIE
Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins announced today the Waste Management Phoenix Open has already received commitments from a number of high profile PGA TOUR players who will tee it up at “The People’s Open” February 1-7 at TPC Scottsdale. Those among the first to commit include two-time WM Phoenix Open champion Hideki Matsuyama, World #8 golfer Xander Schauffele, 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen and two-time MASTERS champion Bubba Watson.
Additionally, Top-50 players Jason Kokrak (26), Cameron Smith (27) and Ryan Palmer (30) committed to play, along with Waste Management ambassador Charley Hoffman and 2018 WM Phoenix Open runner up and local favorite Chez Reavie.
“As plans for the tournament are starting to ramp up we are thrilled the early commitments include some of the most talented and popular players on TOUR,” said Jenkins. “We always have a strong field of players and with ‘The People’s Open’ just 45 days away, we expect this impressive list of commitments to include many more big names as we get closer to the tournament.”
Hideki Matsuyama has five career PGA TOUR victories to his name including back-to-back WM Phoenix Open titles in 2016 and 2017 – the only player in tournament history to successfully defend their title since the event moved to TPC Scottsdale in 1987. Matsuyama is coming off a solid 2020 campaign, carding five Top-10 finishes including a runner up at the ZOZO Championship and a third-place finish at the BMW Championship – good enough for a 15th-place finish in FedExCup standings. This will be Matsuyama’s eighth WM Phoenix Open appearance.
California native Xander Schauffele – currently ranked No. 8 in the Official World Golf Rankings – will make his fourth appearance at the WM Phoenix Open in 2021. He has never finished outside the Top-25 in his previous three appearances at TPC Scottsdale, with his best finish (10) coming in 2019. Schauffele has four career PGA TOUR wins including an impressive victory at the 2017 TOUR Championship. He also was a member of the victorious U.S. Presidents Cup team in 2019.
Louis Oosthuizen, ranked 22nd in the world, will return to TPC Scottsdale for the second time in 2021, with his lone appearance a third-place finish in 2017. The South African has nine European Tour titles to his name to go along with a major championship victory at the 2010 Open Championship held at the Old Course, where he defeated Lee Westwood by seven shots.
Perennial WM Phoenix Open fan favorite and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson is no stranger to TPC Scottsdale, carding six Top-10 finishes – including two runner-up finishes – in 14 starts at “The People’s Open.” Despite never winning at the WM Phoenix Open, Watson is sixth in all-time money, taking home nearly $2.5 million for his efforts.
The field currently has seven players in the current Official World Golf Rankings, led by Schauffele (8). The other five include Matsuyama (21), Oosthuizen (22), Kokrak (26), Cameron Smith (27), Ryan Palmer (30) and Bubba Watson (44).
A field of 132 players will vie for the $7.5 million purse, the $1,350,000 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.