PGA Tour Inc.

01/29/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/29/2020 12:48

Quick look at the Waste Management Phoenix Open


Welcome back: Charl Schwartzel is making his first PGA TOUR start in nearly nine months. Schwartzel last appeared on TOUR at the 2019 RBC Heritage in April. He was then sidelined with a wrist injury and didn't return to action until December at an event in his native South Africa, finishing T3 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He missed the cut in his next two starts overseas. Schwartzel, a two-time TOUR winner, starts his season on a Major Medical Extension. He'll have 12 starts available to earn 262 FedExCup points to keep his card.

Speaking of South Africans: Branden Grace has found his game. He won the South African Open in mid-January, his first win on any Tour since 2017, and he also had a top-3 finish and a top-20 finish to sandwich that victory. A year ago, Grace was solo second to Rickie Fowler at TPC Scottsdale in his tournament debut, leading the field in scoring on the par 3s and par 5s. 'I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season,' he said that Sunday. But he was unable capitalize on the momentum, failing to produce another top-10 finish in his next 23 stroke-play starts. That dropped him out of contention for a spot on the International Team, a tough blow given his track record at the Presidents Cup. His South African Open victory not only has him back on track, it also finished off the career slam of South African events. Grace had previously won the Joburg Open, Alfred Dunhill Championship, Dimension Data Pro-Am and Nedbank Golf Challenge. Grace's lone TOUR win is the 2016 RBC Heritage.

Speaking of winners: In this week's field are 91 different PGA TOUR winners (for a combined total of 258 victories). Excluding THE PLAYERS Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs events, that makes just the fourth field on the PGA TOUR schedule since 2010 to have more than 90 different winners. The others are the 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in both 2018 and 2019.