Waste Management Phoenix Open. Hideki Retains Title.

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Hideki Matsuyama retains his Waste Management Phoenix Open title, in the same manner as last year, a four hole play-off, at TPC Scottsdale. This year it was against Webb Simpson.

Waste Management Phoenix Open - Final Round : News Photo

Repeat Champion Hideki 

Hideki and Webb were tied at the top of the Waste Management Phoenix Open after four rounds with -17 under par totals.

Hideki shot a last round -5 under 66, but Webb caught him at the top with a -7 under par 64.

Hideki was thrilled to become the first player to defend his title at TPC Scottsdale, with a birdie at the fourth play-off hole the 17th, with good putting;

“I don’t know if I played that well, but I won.”

“It’s been a good run. I’m going to ride it as long as I can.”

“I really didn’t think I could do it, and it was a struggle all the way around.”

 “But I’m just thrilled to win.”

“That putt at 18 [in regulation], I don’t know how it stayed out.”

 “But during the playoff, I did hit some good putts. Just the line wasn’t there, and so, you know, up and down.”

“But I didn’t lose confidence. I just kept grinding and had patience.”

Webb was gracious in defeat, and said his putter is the key for him, the anchoring rule hurt bad ;

“My hat’s off to him, he’s a great player.”

“I knew he’d be a tough competitor in the playoff,  he’s a great champion.”

“Putting has always been my thing, if I putt well I seem to play well. I’m thankful that I’ve found a method that has been working.”

 “I feel like if any change, just mentally with my putting, is just tried to simplify it. Don’t take too much time and just be thankful. I’m thankful that I made some putts and I had a chance to win the golf tournament.”

Louis Oosthuizen was third, at -16 under par, a final round -6 under par 65 giving that position on his own.

Leader at the start of play Ben An, fell away carding five bogey’s in his last round, and his chance was gone, finishing with a last round +2 over par 73, for sixth place alone.

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Byeong Hun An Has 54 Hole Lead.

 

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Byeong Hun An, from South Korea has the 54 hole lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

An leads Waste Management Phoenix Open

Byeong / getty

Byeong, who is known on Tour as Ben, had a bogey free third round -6 under par 65 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open, by just one shot at -16 under par,

“Bogey-free again today. I think that was pretty big.”

“I don’t care how many shots’ lead I have in the final round, I’m just happy with today’s round.”

“My goal will be bogey-free again and just play smart.”

“It was crazy,”  last couple holes, that many people around the course is insane. Sixteen, obviously, but 17 and 18, when you walk to the green, it was absolutely packed around the green, left and right of the green, everywhere.”

Martin Laird, born in Scotland, but who is a resident of Scottsdale, holds second place on his own, he also carded a  third round -6 under 65, for a tournament total of -15 under par. Martin said had had putted really nicely again today;

“I played really nicely all day really today, tee to green.”

“I putted really nicely again.”

” It felt good to be out there today. I felt like I had control of my golf ball today.”

John Peterson, U.S.A.-8 under 63 today, Graeme DeLaet, Canada, -6 under 65, Michael Kim, U.S.A. -5 under 66, and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, Japan, -5 under 66, all share third place at -12 under par.

John carded the low round of the week so far, making some good putts along the way

“I got on a little bit of a heater there and really wasn’t in jeopardy of making bogey after that.”

“It was a lot of good ball-striking and I made a couple good putts, too.”

Graeme is playing well, and looking for birdies;

“I just need to keep making birdies, I’m playing well. I believe in it.”

“But you’ve got to just keep the pedal down out here.”

Waste Management Open. Brendan Steele and Byeong Hun An Lead

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Brendan Steele and Byeong Hun An sit on top of the Waste Management Open leaderboard after round two at TPC Scottsdale.

Steele charges to the top

Brendan / getty

Brendan shot -4 under par 67 and Byeong -5 under 66 to share the  Waste Management Open lead at -10 under par.

Byeong had a good finish to his round;

“I look forward to playing those holes, 16, 17, 18, great finishing holes.”

“I love people making noise. I really don’t mind, as long as they don’t make sudden noise.”

Brendan has had good results here before, and feels good;

“I played well the last few weeks.”

“Obviously, the win a couple months ago, and then I’ve got good results on this course before. Everything feels pretty good.”

Matt Kuchar -2 under 69 today, defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, -3 under 68, Martin Laird, -5 under 66 and Sung Kang, -6 under 65, all share third place at -9 under par.

Local boy Matt feels the pressure of playing at home;

“It’s one thing to play at home and feel pretty good about your game.”

“It’s another thing to come out on the PGA TOUR and compete in a tournament. I come with little expectations.”

Hideki made bogey on the last;

“I thought I could go for the pin and came up a little short”

 “Little disappointing, but I played well all day.

Martin was bogey free, good putting a major factor;

“It was a clean card in terms of bogeys, but my golf game wasn’t very clean.”

“I struggled a little bit with my irons all day, but my putting was probably the best I’ve putted in a long time.”

Crowd favorite Phil Mickelson tried to pull off some impossible shots, they did not work, -1 under today proof of that, he is back at -4 under for the tournament;

“I didn’t really have much, I was trying to get something that would cut it. It was sitting in the rough.”

“The only play was to pitch out, but that’s not really, you know, what I like to do.”

“It sucks, finishing with two bogeys.”.

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Matt Kuchar Leads.

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Matt Kuchar leads the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, before play was suspended due to darkness at TPC Scottsdale.

Kuchar heats up, leads by 1

Matt / getty

Matt shot  an opening bogey free round of -7 under 64 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by one stroke;

“I drove the ball well, which you have to do around here,  from there, I just played good, steady golf.”

Defending Champion Hideki Matsuyama is tied in second place with Brendan Steele, both with rounds of -6 under 65.

Hideki does not know why he plays so well at  this venue;

“I have had such good success here and played well here, I wish I knew why I play well here.”

Sharing fourth place, at -5 under par are, John Peterson, Robert Garrigus, Scott Brown, Chris Kirk and Byeong  Hun An.

In the large group at -4 under par is last years play-off loser Rickie Fowler;

“Little bit of everything. I’ve played well in the desert since I was a junior golfer.”

“Being here, I like the golf course. It’s fun to play. If you get it going and drive it well you can make a lot of birdies.”

“The energy here, the crowds, the amount of people that come out, especially tomorrow and Saturday, it’s fun.”

Jon Rahm, last weeks winner had a conservative start to this competition, -1 under par 70;

 “It’s a lot different than having people that are not with me. It’s always helpful.”

“It’s great when you hit a shot, and even if you’re not happy with it, when people clap for you, they appreciate it, it always brings you up.”

 

 

 

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Danny Lee Leads, By Three Shots.

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Danny Lee, from New Zealand has a three shot lead after 54 holes in the  Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale.

Danny Lee carded a 4-under 67 and leads by 3 shots heading into Sunday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Danny Lee / Getty Images

Danny carded a third round -4 under par 67 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by three shots at -13 under par. He spoke a about a great putting day, and is looking for another good day tomorrow. Danny’s “good friend” Ha Na Jang has just won the Coats Golf Championship in Florida, this could be an omen;

“It was a really good putting day.”

I’ve been putting it really well, I am very confident with my putting.”

“Obviously I have never been in this situation before, but I am not going to think about it that much.”

I’m just going to go out there and have another best day tomorrow.”

Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler are tied in second place, those three shots back at -10 under par. Hideki -3 under 68 today and Rickie seemed to struggle for his -1 under par 70;

“I just didn’t get much out of the round.”

“Just kind of managed it well and played with what I had to get around.”

Through a translator Hideki said he had struggled with his putting;

“I didn’t putt very well today.”

“I didn’t drive the ball very well, but I did get it around. I’m happy with that.”

Boo Weekly and Bryce Molder are tied in fourth spot, both at -9 under par for the tournament. Boo with a very nice -6 under 65 and Bryce one better, -7 under 64.

Crowd favorite Phil Mickelson is alone in sixth place at -8 under par, -6 under 65 today lifting the super star up the leaderboard. Some Mickelson magic tomorrow could work wonders. Something like the spell he cast on the par five 15th today, where made a very unlikely birdie,  his hybrid approach from 255 yards went so far right that it crossed the lake and ended up in the 11th fairway. He recovered by hitting a wedge to 15 feet and then made the putt;

“It was the worst shot of the year and I ended up making a birdie.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open. James Hahn Leads Suspended Round 2

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The second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open may have been suspended, but it wont change the top of the leaderboard, where James Hahn sits alone at TPC Scottsdale.

James Hahn tallied a 6-under 65 during Round 2 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

James Hahn / Getty Images

James fired a bogey free second round -6 under par 65 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the close of play on the second day, with a -10 under par total.

James said he was having fun making all those birdie putts on perfect greens;

“I’m having fun out there.”

“Making a lot of putts, hitting a lot of fairways, giving myself many opportunities to make birdie.”

“It’s the one week out of the year where you’re allowed to do anything you want and not get fined.”

“It’s good for golf, good for the game, good for the fans that come out here.”

“They support the golf tournament, so might as well give them a show.”

“Sleeping in my own bed this week, live about 10 minutes away, I have played this course a hundred times.”

“The only thing different about the course today, as any other day, is the greens are better.”

Rickie Fowler, and Kiwi Danny Lee are tied in second place, both at -9 under for the tournament, Rickie with -3 under 68 today and Danny -5 under 66.

Sharing fourth position are Shane Lowery, Harris English and Hideki Matsuyama, all on -7 under par.

Bubba Watson, currently T13 at -4 under, has had to apologize to all and sundry, his pre-tournament comments about the course, and his sponsors must have ruffled some high-flying feathers. I wonder who wrote this script for him;

“I used the wrong words, I have nothing against the fans and the tournament.”

“The fans have been great. I love coming here. I’ve lived here every winter for eight years.”

“This is a beautiful place. And the reason why I’m here is because of the excitement around this golf tournament. The fans have been great.”

“I used words that I shouldn’t have used. I didn’t explain myself well. My wife says that too when I go home. I don’t communicate very well.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Martin Laird Loves Scottsdale.

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Martin Laird loves Scottsdale, he leads the Waste Management Phoenix Open after three rounds at TPC Scottsdale.

 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Martin Laird / Getty Images

Martin carded a third round -3 under par 68 and leads the Waste Management Phoenix Open by three shots with a -13 under par tournament total. With all the young players around him Martin said he felt pretty old, and was happy to roll in a few putts;

“I felt like an old man in the group, it’s been a long time since I have been the first one hitting every shot every hole.”

“Today was a little bit of everything, hit some of the best shots I have had all week, and also hit some of the worst shots.”

“It’s always nice when you’re making some putts, and I poured in a few nice ones today.”

“I putted solid the first two days. I didn’t really miss any I felt like I should have made, I just didn’t really make any,”

“I feel like I’ve been putting really well, and it’s one of those things, just keep doing what you’re doing and one day it’s going to get good and go in. That just happened to be today for me.”

“I have been practicing hard and getting ready. I really like this stretch of tournaments I’ve got here, and obviously like playing at home and being here. I was looking forward to this week.”

Three strokes adrift is Hideki Matsuyama at -10 under par for the competition, a magical -8 under par 63 third round elevating him quickly up the leaderboard, and into contention for the title, tied in second place with Zach Johnson and Brooks Koepka.

Zach was full of fighting talk for tomorrow’s final round, especially the finishing holes, the island-green par-5 15th, short par-3, 16th and the easily driveable 332 yard par-4, 17th. They can lead to quick changes on the leaderboard;

“The tournament is not over until you get to that stretch.”

“If there is rough, I like the golf course. If the four to ten footers mean a lot, I like the golf course.”

“I felt like my game was coming and I wanted to kind of end the West Coast on at least a somewhat sweet note rather than a bitter note.”

Brooks is known as a wandering global golfer, he came to this tournament after a short break from his travels;

“I had played so much over the last two years, I got a little tired of golf, tired of the travel. It’s been a long two years, but the break was good for me.”

Hideki won last year’s Memorial Tournament and said it was his biggest win to date;

“I think obviously the Memorial would be my biggest win.”

“I don’t know how that’s going to translate going into Sunday. I don’t know if that’s going to help, but I hope that I can play tomorrow like I did today and have a good day.”