PHOENIX, Ariz. – Defending champion Kenny Perry and local fan favorite Phil Mickelson are among the first of early commitments to the 2010 Waste Management Phoenix Open. With the tournament date a month later this year, tournament officials are expecting one of the strongest fields in years as “The GREENEST Show on Grass” returns to the TPC Scottsdale the week of Feb. 22-28.
To date, 13 of the top-30 and 78 of the top-125 money leaders from the 2009 season have committed. A field of 144 players will vie for the $6 million purse, the $1,080,000 first place check and highly-coveted FedEx Cup points.
Mickelson (No. 2) and Perry (No. 11) are the highest ranked players on the Official World Golf Ranking currently in the field. Other top-ranked players who have committed include Sean O’Hair (15th), Robert Allenby (20th), 2009 U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover (21st) and Hunter Mahan (27th).
PGA TOUR members have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, to commit to play in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Eligible players are assigned one of 34 PGA TOUR priority ranking categories based on their past performance on TOUR. The field will continue to change as players with higher priority rankings commit to play in the Open.
Other notables to commit include three-time Phoenix Open champion Mark Calcavecchia, 12-time PGA TOUR winner Justin Leonard, 12-time PGA TOUR winner David Toms, former University of Arizona golfer Rory Sabbatini and 2009 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year Michael Sim. Additionally, former ASU standout Billy Mayfair and PGA TOUR rookie sensation Rickie Fowler have already received the first two of eight sponsor exemptions for the tournament.
J.B. Holmes (2008, 2006), Aaron Baddeley (2007), Jesper Parnevik (1998) and Lee Janzen (1993) join Calcavecchia, Mickelson and Perry as the other former FBR/Phoenix Open champions in the field thus far.
A number of local golfers also have committed including Michael Allen, Ricky Barnes, Arron Oberholser, Pat Perez, Ted Purdy, Jeff Quinney, Chez Reavie and Kevin Streelman.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open will be played February 22 – 28, 2010, at the TPC Scottsdale. The tournament host Thunderbirds have raised more than $65.9 million for charities, with more than $37.9 million generated since 2004. The 2010 edition will mark the 75th playing of the event, making it one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR (not including the major championships). Title sponsor Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. For more information on Waste Management visit wm.com or thinkgreen.com. For more information on the Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit wmphoenixopen.com.