Missing: Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Doug Barron, Jim Furyk and Ken Duke.
Of the top 36 players, 33 are on the field this week as Steve Stricker, Ernie Els and Brandt Jobe are not participating.
Phoenix CC extends for just 6,860 yards, plays a par-71, and annually is an event where scoring is paramount.
The average win score from the previous four 72-hole events here is just above 19 below.
The 2020 edition was back to 54 holes and Sutherland was 15 under on his way to victory, averaging 5 under per round!
The two gunslingers who will have the final word are separated by nearly 618,000 points. Alker sits in the driver’s seat for the final 72 holes (no cut) and has several scenarios where he could win the Charles Schwab Cup even if Harrington wins the final. Here are the Charles Schwab Cup winner scenarios in play for Alker and Harrington. The focus for the Irish will be laser-like: win or lose. A proper conclusion to the 2022 season will see the top two players in scoring average, birdie average, par breakers and three best finishes in the Phoenix Desert.
Scoring is this week’s main course.
Last season, 23 out of 33 players finished 10 under or higher, so it’s time to find the GIR and hit every putt that’s lined up. Just three over-par rounds were posted among the top 25 players in 2021.
The formula is simple this week: Go low to win the gold!
Familiarity won’t be a deciding factor (see: Harrington), but it won’t hurt either. Of the 33 players who played last year, 23 will return to the championship this season.
It never hurts to have ideal scoring conditions and that’s another annual item on the cards in Phoenix. This year is no different, except maybe a little cooler. Temperatures in the upper 60s/low 70s open the first two rounds while the weekend proper is greeted with the mid 70s. The breeze, if you notice, will not influence the club selection or the flags on the property.
Last Time – TimberTech Championship