Multi-PLATINUM country music star Jason Aldean and three-time Major League Baseball MVP and investor Alex Rodríguez are the latest additions to the star-studded list of entertainers and celebrities set to tee it up at the Annexus Pro-Am at the WM Phoenix Open on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. This will be the first appearance for both of these celebrities at the Annexus Pro-Am.
Aldean has risen to fame as a widely popular country music star, amassing 27 No. 1 hits, 15 billion streams, and more than 20 million albums sold worldwide. He has seven studio albums that have been certified Platinum and has the most Top-10 songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart (34), more than any other artists since he made his debut in 2005. The three-time ACM “Entertainer of the Year” is preparing for his upcoming “Rock N’ Roll Cowboy Tour” for his 10th studio album “Macon, Georgia” that features 20 new songs that showcase his southern roots and signature sound.
Not to start off too heroic, but many extraordinary people and organizations have their fingerprints on the WM Phoenix Open. There’s The Thunderbirds, hosts and stewards of the event who have dedicated much of their lives to raising money for Arizona charities through the world’s best-attended golf tournament – raising more than $176 million in the process. There’s title sponsor WM, who had the initiative to ensure the best-attended sporting event in America sent not one single piece of trash to the landfill, creating the largest zero-waste event in history 10 years running. There’s the Big Cat, Tiger Woods himself, who first raised the roof in celebration of his ace at 16. Golf would never be the same. And there’s the fans in the stands, whose vigor, enthusiasm, cheers and boos built a platform and the loudest hole in golf.
But one often overlooked contributor to the grounds of TPC Scottsdale, on which so many great things were built, was the designer of the course itself – Tom Weiskopf – who, in partnership with Jay Morrish, laid the foundation for “The People’s Open” as we know it today.
Past champion looks to put slow start to season in rearview
Iconic venues can bring out the best in elite players. Pebble Beach is one of the most famous courses in the world, and it has produced a list of champions befitting its reputation.
Jack Nicklaus won both the U.S. Amateur (1961) and U.S. Open (1972) here, a feat not replicated at the same course until last summer, when Matt Fitzpatrick won the U.S. Open at Brookline. Tom Watson provided one of the great highlights of major championship history when he chipped in at 17 on his way to winning the 1982 U.S. Open.
Tournament Chairman Pat Williams announced today two-time WM Phoenix Open champion Hideki Matsuyama, 2021 Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay, 2022 U.S. Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick and world No. 11 Viktor Hovland have all committed to play in the 2023 WM Phoenix Open, which is scheduled to be played February 6-12 at TPC Scottsdale.
“As we get closer to ‘The People’s Open’, the field is shaping up to be one of the best ever,” said 2023 Tournament Chairman Pat Williams. “We’re extremely excited to add four more Top-20 players in the world, and thrilled to welcome back Hideki, a two-time WM Phoenix Open champion. We are looking forward to that first day of play at TPC Scottsdale.”
Matsuyama’s stellar career includes 20 worldwide wins, including the 2021 Masters at Augusta National where he became the first Japanese born player to win a Major. The eight-time PGA TOUR winner – and two-time WM Phoenix Open champion – is one of only seven players to successfully defend their WM Phoenix Open title the following year. Matsuyama also is the second-leading money winner at the WM Phoenix Open, earning more than $3.6 million in just nine starts. Last year he finished T11 in the final FedExCup standings thanks to six Top-10s and 10 Top-25s, and he currently ranks No. 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings. This will be Matsuyama’s 10th appearance at “The People’s Open” where, including his two wins, has four Top-5’s and five Top-10 finishes.
Home of the Farmers Insurance Open and consistently one of the toughest courses on the PGA TOUR, check out the best “golf is hard” moments from Torrey Pines at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open, where Max Homa earned his sixth career win on the PGA TOUR.