Tournament Chairman Chance Cozby announced today at the Tee-Off Luncheon that the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community has already received commitments from six high-profile PGA TOUR players who will tee it up at “The People’s Open” Jan. 28 – Feb. 3 at TPC Scottsdale. Those early commits include Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Gary Woodland, Charley Hoffman and Cameron Champ.
“This group includes some of the most talented and beloved players in professional golf and is an outstanding start to what we expect to be an incredible field this year,” Cozby said. “We take pride in the strength of our competition each year and are looking forward to finalizing a world-class field as we get closer to The People’s Open.”
Mickelson, who has won three WM Phoenix Open titles and is the all-time leading money winner in tournament history, will be making his record 30th appearance at TPC Scottsdale (he is currently tied at 29 appearances with Gene Littler, Jerry Barber, Jim Ferrier). He has 43 career PGA TOUR wins, including five Major Championships, and currently ranks 32 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Last year, at the age of 48, he recorded six Top-10s that included a win at the WGC-Mexico Championship, a runner-up at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a third-place finish at the Safeway Open and a T5 at the WM Phoenix Open.
“Phil is a fan favorite, a three-time champion of our tournament and a great ambassador for the game of golf, not just locally, but all over the world,” Cozby said. “Each year that he comes back is special and we can’t wait to see him make his 30th appearance here in Scottsdale.”
Another fan favorite, Fowler has four career PGA TOUR wins and has been extremely successful at TPC Scottsdale, earning three Top-5s that included runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2016. He currently stands ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“Rickie is a great friend of the tournament and has been widely successful here, so it’s always great to have him back and we expect him to be in contention every year that he tees it up.”
Watson has made 12 appearances at the WM Phoenix Open, earning four Top-10s including runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015; while Gary Woodland looks to defend his title after winning the 2018 WM Phoenix Open in a playoff for his third career victory. Watson currently ranks 17 in the OWGR, while Woodland stands at 31.
“Gary is a great champion and had a great year following his win here, we look forward to having him back to defend his title,” Cozby said. “Bubba is another fan favorite and great friend of our tournament, and as a player who has had so much success here it wouldn’t be a shock at all to see him win in 2019.”
PGA TOUR veteran and Waste Management Ambassador Charley Hoffman has four PGA TOUR victories and 12 WM Phoenix Open appearances that included a runner-up finish in 2009; He currently ranks 54 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“Charley is not only an outstanding PGA TOUR professional, but a great partner of our tournament and our title sponsor Waste Management, and it’s impressive to witness what he does on and off the golf course,” Cozby said.
Rookie phenom Cameron Champ is off to a hot start, recording three Top-10 finishes so far in 2019, including his first PGA TOUR victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He leads the PGA TOUR in driving distance (328.2) and currently sits 6th in the FedEx Cup standings.
“Cameron Champ is a rising star on the PGA TOUR and we are thrilled he will play his first WM Phoenix Open this year,” Cozby said. “As a rookie Champ won his second event on TOUR and he produces must watch golf – he will be a force on the TOUR for years to come.”
A field of 132 players will vie for the $7.1 million purse, the $1,278,000 first-place check and 500 FedExCup points. PGA TOUR members have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, 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 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by the Ak-Chin Indian Community will be held at TPC Scottsdale January 28 – February 3, 2019. “The People’s Open” is the best-attended golf tournament in the world and has gained legendary status for being the most unique stop on the PGA TOUR. The 2019 edition will mark the 84th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 10th 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 250 “life” members. In 2018 The Thunderbirds raised a record $12.2 million for charity from proceeds from last year’s tournament and have eclipsed $134 million in charitable giving since its inception in 1932. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com.