Mickelson returns for 2003 season at Phoenix Open
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2003 Phoenix Open | Preview | 21 Jan 2003
The Phoenix Open is perhaps the highest attended tournament in the game. On Sunday of last year 112,000 (yes, you heard right!) attended the final day and the total for the week was 512,000. The tournament brings to the game many whose understanding of the game’s finer points but they sure know how to enjoy themselves. Come late Sunday those fighting for the title not only have to contend with the rigours of a tight finish but an incredibly noisy lot, especially around the 16th.
The event is played at the TPC of Scottsdale near Phoenix, a course designed by the highly regarded team of Weiskopf and Morrish. When teamed together during the eighties and nineties they produced a series of high quality courses.
Chris Di Marco, coming off a fine week at last week’s Sony Open, will defend the event he won in 2002 by just one shot in the end from Kenny Perry. I say, in the end, as at one stage during the final round he had opened a huge lead only to produce a very ordinary run of double bogey, bogey, and bogey in the middle of the round. However, he was able to recollect his thoughts and go on to win. In 2001, Mark Calcavecchia won over Rocco Mediate.
Rocco Mediate has one of the best records here in recent years. He won in 1999, was second in 2000 and runner up again in 2001 and let’s not forget he was second just two weeks ago at the Mercedes.
The leading players entered at this stage include Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia, David Toms, Chris Di Marco, Retief Goosen, Rocco Mediate and Charles Howell III.
Australasians currently entered are Robert Allenby, Peter Lonard, Aaron Baddeley, Steve Elkington, Greg Chalmers, Geoff Ogilvy, Rod Pampling, Craig Perks, John Senden, Steve Alker, and James McLean.
The event is worth $4,000,000 with $US720,000 to the winner.