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Photos from the Waste Management Phoenix Open



GolfWRX is live this week from the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. The 7,216-yard, par-71 layout is highlighted by the par 3, 16th hole. Enclosed stadium seating, 20,000 rowdy spectators, caddy races and a raucous party atmosphere turn the short 162-yard hole into the “The Greatest Show on Grass.”

Defending champion Phil Mickelson was forced to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open last week due to soreness in his lower back. He has withdrawn from the Pro-Am this week but is hopeful to restore his health in time to defend his title.  He nearly shot 59 in last year’s opening round, lipping out on No. 18 in dramatic fashion. His fast start led to a four-stroke victory, carding 28-under for the week.

Although Mickelson will be a game time decision, the event still boasts a strong field including Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson. Former No. 1 ranked player in the world, Lee Westwood, is set to make his first appearance in the desert– it will be interesting to see how he holds up amidst the craziness of the 16th hole.

Harris English and Patrick Reed will also be in the field, each looking to become the first multiple-time winner in 2014.

Check out our photos from the WM Phoenix Open in Arizona.


2014 WM Phoenix Open: Mon. Part 1


2014 WM Phoenix Open: Tues. Part 1
2014 WM Phoenix Open: Tues. Part 2


2014 WM Phoenix Open: Wed. Part 1
2014 WM Phoenix Open: Wed. Part 2
2014 WM Phoenix Open: Wed. Part 3


2014 WM Phoenix Open: Thurs. Part 1
2014 WM Phoenix Open: Thurs. Part 2
2014 WM Phoenix Open: Thurs. Part 3

Special Galleries

Kenny Giannini putters
Brian Gay WITB
David Hearn WITB
John Rollins WITB
Padraig Harrington WITB
Patrick Reed WITB
Ben Curtis WITB
Kevin Streelman WITB
Chris Kirk WITB
Morgan Hoffmann WITB
Kiradech Aphibarnrat WITB
Aaron Baddeley WITB
Martin Kaymer WITB
Luke Guthrie WITB
Brian Stuard WITB
Bo Van Pelt WITB
Phil Mickelson WITB
Pat Perez WITB

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‘You have to earn it’ – Tiger shows no sympathy for Mickelson while firmly backing PGA Tour



The defending champion, Phil Mickelson, may not be at Southern Hills this week for the PGA Championship, but Tiger Woods is making his second start of the year at a venue he has had success at in the past.

The 2007 champion hasn’t teed it up since last month’s Masters tournament, where he finished 47th. A month on, however, Woods has claimed that he is feeling stronger as he goes in search of a fifth PGA Championship.

While Woods gets ready to compete again, his old rival Phil Mickelson continues his absence from the sport. Lefty took a leave from golf earlier this year after suffering severe backlash for his controversial comments on the Saudi Golf League, the Saudi regime and how he was using the Tour as leverage against the PGA Tour.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Woods revealed that he and Mickelson had very different views on where the game of golf is going, while launching a staunch defence of the PGA Tour.

“He has his opinion on where he sees the game of golf going,” said Woods of Mickelson. “I have my viewpoint how I see the game of golf. I’ve supported the Tour and my foundation has run events on the Tour for a number of years. I just think that what Jack (Nicklaus) and Arnold (Palmer) have done in starting the Tour, breaking away from the PGA of America and creating our tour in 1968 … I just think there’s a legacy to that. I’ve been playing out here for a couple of decades and I think there’s a legacy do it.”

“I still think the Tour has so much to offer, so much opportunity,” said Woods. “I understand different viewpoints, but I believe in legacies, I believe in major championships and big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past. There is plenty of money out there. The Tour is growing – like any other sport, like tennis, you have to go out there and earn it.”

Interestingly, Woods pinpointed social media as one of the reasons the controversy escalated as quickly as it did surrounding Mickelson:

“Social media has changed the landscape in how fast things can ramp up, whether it is real news or fake news or whatever it is, opinions get out there instantly,” said Woods. “It can sway very quickly one way or the other – what we are seeing right now in society is it is very bipolar, there is no middle ground, you stand one way or the other. It is very polarising and the viewpoints Phil has made with the Tour and what the Tour has meant to all of us has been polarising as well.”

Despite saying that it was disappointing that Mickelson would not be defending this week, Tiger has not reached out to Phil during his exile from professional golf. The reason for that decision is due to Tiger’s entirely different viewpoint on how the Tour should be run.

“I have not reached out to him, I have not spoken to him. A lot of it has not to do with personal issues, it is viewpoints of how the Tour should be run and could be run and what players are playing for and how we are playing for it. I have a completely different stance on that.”

Tiger will tee it up at Southern Hills alongside Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth for the opening two days of the PGA Championship.

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Rickie Fowler not made up his mind yet on ‘interesting’ LIV Golf Series



In the past month, we’ve seen a handful of aging veterans reportedly apply for a release to play in the LIV Golf Series including Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, and others.

To this point, all of the younger stars in golf have pledged their allegiance to the PGA Tour. Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, and Collin Morikawa have all spoken publicly about having no interest in the Greg Norman led Golf Series.

This week, Rickie Fowler had the chance to join them in speaking out in support of staying on Tour, but instead kept his cards close to his chest

When asked about whether or not he is considering joining the LIV Golf Series, he said “It’s an interesting position”.

When he was asked about whether or not he’s been invited to play in the series during a pre-tournament media session at Southern Hills, Fowler admitted that he had.

“To be straightforward with you guys, I haven’t necessarily made a decision one way or the other,’’ Fowler said. “I’ve mentioned in the past, do I currently think the PGA Tour is the best place to play? I do. Do think it can be better? Yes.”

“So I think it’s an interesting position. Obviously there’s the LIV and the Premier (Golf League), as well. These tours or leagues, however you want to classify or call them, they wouldn’t really be coming up if they didn’t see that there was more opportunity out there. I’ve always looked at competition being a good thing. It’s the driving force of our game.

“Being with guys at home, that’s how I always grew up is competing. I think competition ultimately makes people better, whether it’s business, sport. So it’s interesting, that’s for sure.’’

Fowler has struggled in recent years, and has dropped to 146th in the world rankings.


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Report claims that Greg Norman is set to be dropped by Saudi-backed LIV Golf



Greg Norman has had a headline making year, with the Australian spearheading the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series and even attempting, and failing, to get a special exemption to compete in the 2022 Open Championship.

The two-time major winner has most recently received a barrage of criticism for comments where he seemingly attempted to play down the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi – who was was killed by Saudi agents in Istanbul in 2018.

Speaking at a LIV Golf press conference last week, Norman stated:

“From what I heard and what you guys reported just take ownership of what it is. Take ownership no matter what it is. Look, we’ve all made mistakes, and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can correct them going forward.”

Those comments were slammed by many, including Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz, who branded the 67-year-old’s words as “so hurtful” in response.

Now, the Australian’s chaotic tenure as the frontman for LIV Golf may well be coming to an end, according to a report from the man who blew the whistle on Phil Mickelson’s bombshell Saudi comments that sent the 2021 PGA Champ into an ongoing exile.

Alan Shipnuck, whose unauthorised biography on Mickelson is released this week, has claimed that a Tour agent has told him that Norman’s days are numbered with the Saudi-backed group.

In a recent Q&A on The Fire Pit Collective, Shipnuck made the claim, while musing that the potential departure of Norman may well have factored into Mickelson’s decision to pass on defending his title this week at Southern Hills:

“A prominent Tour agent recently confided that he is hearing Norman is on the outs with the Saudis, which would be another wild development in this saga. 

If a leadership change is imminent with LIV Golf, that would be all the more reason for Mickelson to pass on the PGA Championship and take more time to assess a chaotic situation.”

In a separate piece on The Fire Pit Collection, Michael Bamberger revealed that Jack Nicklaus had been targeted to undertake the role that Norman has been doing, but that the Golden Bear twice turned down the lucrative offer:

“I was offered something in excess of $100 million by the Saudis, to do the job probably similar to the one that Greg is doing,” Nicklaus said per the article. “I turned it down. Once verbally, once in writing. I said ‘Guys, I have to stay with the PGA Tour. I helped start the PGA Tour.'” 

The opening event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series is scheduled to take place at Centurion, near London, next month. It remains to be seen if Norman will still be in charge by then.

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