SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — With the WM Phoenix Open set to officially begin its first round on Thursday, the tournament’s participants filed in for the practice rounds Tuesday at the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course.
Although the Open isn’t a signature event this year, many of the best on the PGA Tour will battle for the top prize of $1.584 million that’s part of the $8.8 million purse.
The field of 132 hit the course for a second day of practice, ahead of what could be a wet Wednesday for the celebrity pro-am.
That included Scottie Scheffler, who played with good buddy Sam Burn as well as Keith Mitchell.
Here are what some of the golfers had to say about the Open.
Justin Thomas on nerves at the 16th hole
“They’re definitely higher than a normal hole. I would say they’re still there. It’s just maybe different than the first time. It’s hard to hit — you have some of those pins that are pretty severe and very — the green is very undulated around the pins, so you have to be very cautious of your speed. The last thing you want to do when you have 20,000 drunk people yelling at you is to run it four feet past. You don’t want that, so then you’re trying to manage your speed. It’s a great test for where are you at and how you handle nerves I would say. But it doesn’t just go away, or at least it hasn’t for me.”
Luke Donald on the evolution of the 16th hole
The captain of the winning European squad at the 2023 Ryder Cup: “It seems to get bigger and bigger each year. More and more people, more and more atmosphere. I’ve been coming here — maybe ’03 was my first year. There weren’t any stands then. I think it was just people around. It’s gotten bigger and bigger. It attracts a very strong field, I think, most years, because it is such a fun event.”
Kevin Yu on what he learned at ASU
“Coming out to every tournament, coming into the last couple holes, we always talk about Sun Devils finish, which is the last couple holes is very important. If you can finish like two birdies in the last three holes, which can help even making cuts or having a good result — like Palm Springs I think — I definitely bogeyed the last hole, but I was making some birdies coming into the last few holes. Just knowing that you’ve got to play good the last couple holes gives you a very good chance to have a good result. That kind of gives me an advantage.”
Bud Cauley on why he hasn’t had a Tour start since 2020