Russell Henley will return to PGA National defend the title that he won last season in a four man playoff. One of the players, Rory McIlroy, will be making his first PGA Tour start of the 2015 season. He has been on the European Tour where he picked up a win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earlier this season.
Players in the field:
Sang- Moon Bae
Last Year’s Top 10:
Last Year’s Notable Finishers:
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Brooks Koepka was able to shoot a 66 en route to winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It was his first tour victory.
Hideki Matsuyama had a chance to send the tourney to a playoff, but missed his left-to-right breaking putt. However, he did record a fairway eagle on the first.
Martin Laird was tied with Koepka after his birdie on the par 5 15th, but he stumbled into the clubhouse as he recorded a bogey on the drivable 17th and he doubled on the 18th after driving into the drink.
The shot of the tournament had to go to Francesco Molinari who recorded an ace on the signature 16th hole.
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One of my favorite tournaments on the PGA Tour is the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. The course is beautiful and quite challenging.
Dustin Johnson returns to the PGA Tour after taking the last five months off because he wanted to seek professional help for personal challenges. He has won at least one event each year since 2008. You may expect him to come out hot but he may some rust to knock off.
Tiger Woods will make his season debut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. This is his first time playing the course since 2001 when happened to ace the par-3 16th in the third round. The last time Tiger played in a competitive tournament was his Hero World Challenge where he came in tied for 17th. He has a new swing consultant and it will be very interesting to see how he performs in his first outing of 2015. Rickie Fowler is making his first start on the PGA Tour in Scottsdale. He played at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship earlier this month. He finished T66 2-under. Darius Rucker will be performing at the Coors Light Birds Nest He will both be performing on January 29th in Scottsdale. You can view the top 10 Darius Rucker songs here.
Welcome back Lefty! Phil Mickelson is making his first appearance of the season at the Humana Challenge. This is his first start since the Ryder Cup. He will be looking to get off to a hot start in 2015 because his 2014 season was awful. Lefty had twelve top 25 finishes. The highest finish he had was second at the PGA Championship to Rory McIlory.
Defending champ, Patrick Reed will look to become the first repeat champion since Johnny Miller did it in 1975-76. At this event last season he became the third player to win this event wire-to-wire.
The 2013 PGA Tour season concluded Sunday at East Lake Golf Course. Henrik Stenson fired four rounds in the 60s en route to the victory. With the win Stenson also won the $10 million Fed Ex Cup prize. He had a great year, but the story is not about him.
This year, Eldrick ”Tiger” Woods won five big tournaments at courses that the previously played well at. Woods always plays well at Torrey Pines, TPC Sawgrass, Firestone Country Club, TPC Blue Monster at Doral, and Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Yes, the five wins are remarkable and they still may win him the 2013 Player of the Year Award. Tiger Woods, however, has made it no secret that he only cares about major championships. Since Tiger was a child he has always had a dream of surpassing Jack Nicklaus record of 18 majors. With 14 majors it appears that Tiger may not catch Jack.
Why has Tiger not passed Jack?
Is it because of Tiger’s alleged cheating scandal?
NO! Tiger won tournaments prior to getting married, and he has won after the divorce, but he has still yet to win a major. He has moved on to Lindsey Vonn. Woods has appears to be happy with his relationship with Vonn. He has been smiling. Too much, well that’s a different story.
Is he to likable now?
Tiger used to be this intimidating figure that scared his opponents. Those days are long gone. Tiger now walks alongside his playing partners and have conversations. Tiger is now a good friend of Rory McIlory, the future of the PGA Tour. He never did this with Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, or even Sergio Garcia. No one is afraid of him.
Did the talent surpass Tiger?
Maybe. Yes, players are better. However, no one can match Tiger.
So, what is the missing piece to the Woods puzzle?
The only thing that makes sense is Steve Williams, Tiger’s former caddie. Steve Williams carried Tiger’s golf clubs from 1999- 2011. In that span Tiger Woods won 14 major championships, which is more than anyone else in that span.
In 2011, Tiger and Steve decided to go there separate ways. It may not be obvious, but Tiger is missing Stevie. Williams kept Tiger focused. He didn’t let Tiger self-destruct. He was the only guy Tiger spoke to on the course.
Who is Tiger Woods? That is a question that is being debated by every fan he has. Is he this adulterer that won major after major. He was hated by some, but loved by many because he won a lot. Is Tiger this guy that wants to be liked on the course because his skill set is dwindling? Is he a sex addict that is not being truthful to himself? Maybe he needs “extra attention”. If that is who he is would the real Tiger Woods please stand up. If not, Eldrick Woods can go home.