Gary Woodland was only two shots off the lead Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but likely knew that he was going to need a low number to get in contention as the opportunity to go low at TPC Scottsdale is always there.
Woodland came out swinging, putting together a five-under par 30 on the front nine, then rebounding from a pair of costly bogeys on the 11th and 14th with three straight birdies on 15, 16 and 17 to finish off a 64 and reach 18 under par, then watched as Chez Reavie made a 21-foot birdie putt at the last for the tie to force overtime. A nice recovery from a fairway bunker and two putts from the fringe secured the win as Reavie made bogey on the first extra hole.
As usual, Woodland was strong off the tee, averaging an impressive 318.3 yards off the tee for the week with his TaylorMade M3 440 driver. However it was his work with his irons and wedges along with a revived game on the greens that provided the difference.
In 2016-17 Woodland ranked 165 in strokes gained/putting—the third time in four years he ranked outside the top 120. This season, however, Woodland ranks eighth, and his performance this week—and on Sunday, in particular—with his Scotty Cameron by Titleist prototype putter continued that good work with the flat stick. Woodland posted a 3.502 strokes gained mark Sunday and was .847 for the week. Additionally, he averaged hitting 14 greens in regulation per round, none more important than the tee shot on the par-3 16th to 8 feet, 7 inches and then using his Callaway Mack Daddy PM lob wedge to stuff his approach on the 17th hole to 5 feet for a final—and what turned out to be, winning—birdie.
The clubs Gary Woodland had in the bag at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X Driver: TaylorMade M3 440, 9 degrees 3-wood: TaylorMade M2 2017, 15 degrees 5-wood: TaylorMade M2 2017, 18 degrees Irons (4-9): Titleist 716 MB; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 Raw (52, 57 degrees); Callaway Mack Daddy PM (60 degrees) Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist prototype