Local favorite Jon Rahm joins Justin Thomas as 2 of top 3 players in world highlight 1st-round pairings at TPC Scottsdale
With five of the top 10-ranked players in the world, the Waste Management Phoenix Open will feature one of the strongest fields of the PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing.
Up to 5,000 fans per day will be at TPC Scottsdale to see it, officials said, in the only one of the five West Coast events on the PGA Tour to admit spectators.
Tee times were released late Tuesday, and two of the marquee pairings should draw plenty of attention for Thursday’s first round.
Spain’s Jon Rahm, who played college golf at nearby Arizona State and lives in Scottsdale, is No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking and the highest-ranked player in the field. He was paired with American Justin Thomas, who is No. 3 in the world, and No. 19 Harris English of the U.S., winner of last month’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. They will tee off as 12:10 p.m. MST on No. 1.
No. 4 Xander Schauffele of the U.S. and No. 6 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland will play with No. 14 Daniel Berger of the U.S. in the 8 a.m. pairing off the 10th tee.
Just ahead of Schauffele-McIlroy-Berger pairing, in the 7:50 a.m. group on the 10th tee, two other top-20 players will be paired with one of the game’s top draws. No. 13 Brooks Koepka of the U.S., who will be trying to break a streak of three consecutive missed cuts, was paired with No. 17 Sungjae Im of South Korea and American Rickie Fowler.
At noon on the first tee, Ryder Cup captains Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Steve Stricker of the U.S. will join American Jerry Kelly, a seven-time winner on the Champions Tour.
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