Star-Studded List of PGA TOUR Players Among Early Commitments to 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open
DEFENDING CHAMPION RICKIE FOWLER , WORLD #3 JON RAHM AND 2018 CHAMP GARY WOODLAND AMONG FIRST TO COMMIT
Tournament Chairman Tim Woods announced at the December 3 Tee-Off Luncheon that the Waste Management Phoenix Open has already received commitments from three high-profile PGA TOUR players who will tee it up at “The People’s Open” Jan. 27 – Feb. 2 at TPC Scottsdale. Those among the first to commit include defending champion Rickie Fowler, World No. 3 golfer and recently named 2019 European Tour Golfer of the Year Jon Rahm, and 2018 WM Phoenix Open champion Gary Woodland.
“We take tremendous pride in the strength of our field each year, and we expect that to be true again for 2020,” Woods said. “As the field starts to take shape, we’re thrilled the early commitments include some of the most talented and popular players on TOUR and especially proud to have early commitments from our past two defending champions as well as one of the top-ranked golfers in the world who was just named the European Tour Golfer of the Year.”
A perennial fan favorite, Rickie Fowler will return to TPC Scottsdale to defend his title in 2020. Fowler has played extremely well at The People’s Open throughout his career carding runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2016 before finally sealing the deal in 2019 despite a roller coaster final round in the rain. His 2019 campaign that included his WM Phoenix victory included 6 Top-10 and 11 Top-25 finishes on his way to a ranking of 19th in the final Fed Ex Cup standings. Fowler has five career PGA TOUR wins under his belt and is currently ranked 22 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
“Of course, we’re absolutely thrilled to have our defending champion in the 2020 field, he’s a great champion and friend of our tournament,” Woods said. “Rickie is one of the most popular players in the world, and has become a definite fan favorite here in Scottsdale so we are excited to have him back at The People’s Open.”
Rahm is coming off a stellar 2019 PGA TOUR season where he carded 12 Top-10 finishes in 20 appearances, missing the cut only twice, and winning the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas for his third PGA TOUR victory. He also earned three victories in 2019 on the European Tour, helping him win the Race to Dubai trophy and earn European Tour Golfer of the Year honors. Rahm will be making his fifth WM Phoenix Open appearance and has played well at TPC Scottsdale, finishing in the Top-16 in his four starts, including a T5 in 2015 (as an amateur) and T10 last year.
“Jon is a tremendously gifted player and really seems to step it up when he comes to Scottsdale,” Woods said. “We always love welcoming him back, as do all of the fans, especially those loyal ASU fans and alums who we know will be rooting him on.”
Woodland will return to TPC Scottsdale in 2020 after a career changing victory at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Outside of his first career Major victory, Woodland had a solid 2019 campaign, finishing 2nd at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, T3 at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges and four additional Top-10 finishes. Woodland is currently ranked No. 18 in the OWGR.
“Gary is an excellent ambassador for our tournament and a great former champion,” said Woods. “We’re thrilled for him following his U.S. Open victory and we can’t wait to see him back in action at the 2020 WM Phoenix Open.”
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 or the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com.