By Swing Man Golf Staff
Stop us if you’ve heard this before – Hideki Matsuyama has won a golf tournament. That is not exactly breaking news these days, as the Japanese star has now won five out of his last nine starts worldwide. Clearly establishing himself as one of the best players in the world, Matsuyama will be a player to watch when the majors roll around in 2017.
His latest win, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, was a repeat of a win he recorded last year as well. This time, it took four extra holes against Webb Simpson, who tied Matsuyama at the top at -17 after 72 holes of competition. The first three playoff holes were all tied with pars, but Matsuyama claimed the title for himself with a birdie on the par four 17th. Just missing out on the playoff were Louis Oosthuizen at -16, and Rickie Fowler and J.J. Spaun at -15.
Great Field as Usual
As is typically the case with the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the 2017 playing of this event was quite popular with many of the best in the world. A long list of the world’s top players were present for this tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona, obviously starting with Matsuyama at the top of the leaderboard. Other notable finishes include Jordan Spieth in a tie for ninth at -12, Zach Johnson a stroke behind Spieth at -11, Phil Mickelson at -10, and J.B. Holmes at -9.
With the annual Arizona stop finished up, the PGA Tour heads back to California for the final two events of the West Coast Swing. First up, it is iconic Pebble Beach. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is one of the top events on the Tour each year, attracting many notable celebrities and athletes to the stunning California coastline. Plenty of golf fans enjoy seeing these amateur players tee it up with the pros, and the views from Pebble Beach certainly never disappoint.
The final stop on the West Coast for 2017 will be the Genesis Open, played at historic Riviera CC near Los Angeles. This event is expected to feature a top-notch field, including Tiger Woods – assuming he is fit to play after his withdrawal from his last tournament in Dubai. Many players on the PGA Tour include Riviera CC in their list of favorite courses, so this event always draws a top field year in and year out. Bubba Watson is the defending champion, and he will need to hold off a talented field if he is to repeat.