By Paul Myers
The title of the ‘Best Tournament’ on the PGA Tour is certainly up for debate, as everyone has their own favorite courses and locations. However, the title of ‘loudest’ golf tournament on the PGA Tour is not in doubt, and it has not been in doubt for some time. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is an incredible party, highlighted by the wild scene on the par-three 16th. Fans from throughout the Phoenix area descend on TPC Scottsdale each winter to yell for their favorite players – and maybe hand out a few well-intentioned boos along the way.
This year, the quality of the golf certainly lived up to the quality of the crowds. In the end, it was Hideki Matsuyama who survived a four-hole playoff against Rickie Fowler to claim the crown. To this point in his career, Matsuyama has been unfairly overshadowed by some of the other young guns on Tour, but that may not last much longer. At just 23 years old, Matsuyama is a player with a ton of game and the potential to play at an elite level for a long time. With the win, he is now ranked 12th in the world – and the top ten seems like an inevitability at this point.
Everyone loves to keep track of who wins events on the PGA Tour, and certainly wins are important. However, it is just as important to be consistent, as consistency will provide a player with plenty of chances – and usually one or two of those chances will turn into wins. In terms of consistency, it is hard to perform much better than Matsuyama during his young PGA Tour career. Out of a total 65 events so far, he has managed to make an impressive 55 cuts. That is a rate that is not often seen, even among the best players. Included in those 55 made cuts are 17 top-ten finishes, with two wins. With the ability to show up week after week with a quality game, the sky is the limit for this young star.
More Quality from Fowler
Although he didn’t win, Rickie Fowler proved yet again why he is one of the very best players on the planet. Now ranked 4th in the World Golf Rankings, Fowler nearly managed to capture the Waste Management Phoenix Open title, only to be outdone by a tremendous performance from Matsuyama. Fowler was understandably disappointed after he came up just short, but those feelings shouldn’t last long – there is a great schedule of big events ahead in 2016. He is in great position to qualify for the Olympics as a member of the United States team, and he will certainly be representing his country in the Ryder Cup. Add in those two events to the other four majors, and Fowler has plenty of exciting golf to prepare for in the months ahead.
This week, the Tour moves north and back out to the coast for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Pebble Beach is obviously one of the most-famous venues in all of the world for golf, and both players and celebrities alike will be on display throughout the week of this fun event.