Planet Golf — 06 February 2017 by Candace Oehler
Waste Management Wrap

SCOTTSDALE – Final notes and quotes:

 Phil Mickelson (-10, T16, final round 71)

          I love playing here and, you know, I played the first 63 holes really well.  Unfortunately after hitting good drives on 10, 11, I made bogeys on both of those holes.  It just killed my momentum.  I had a hard time picking it back up.

Rickie Fowler (-15, T4, final round 65)

          It was a good day.  It would have been nice to make a few more putts.  I had some good looks out there.  Played solid. Definitely played nicely over the weekend.  Didn’t make a bogey. We will keep knocking at the door, and we’ll get this one at some point.

          Re Matsuyama: He drives the ball well.  If you do drive the ball well here, you’re going to have a lot of looks at birdies and you can score on the par -5s, as well.  He obviously has something figured out.

Louis Oosthuizen (-16, solo 2, one stroke out of the playoff, final round 65)

          You know, I gave myself all the opportunities there and I made good putts.  I probably missed a few rally makeable ones today, but all in all, very happy with the week.

          Re playing WMPO for the first time and the 16th hole:  It’s awesome.  I think we should have that more, especially with I think the distance.  The crowds were magnificent this week.  It was an unreal feeling once you got on the 16th tee.  I think everyone this week probably hit the ball further on that hole with the adrenaline pumping.

Camilo Villegas (-9, T24, final round 71) Villegas, who struggled in 2016 and finished ranked152nd, has come back strong in 2017, making five of seven cuts and notching two top-25 finishes, including his T24 this weekend.

          What has changed from last season: You know what, it’s a crazy game, the ups and downs.  I’ve been a little more relaxed this year and funny enough, when you take things a little easier and the mind gets more clear, you play better golf.

          The WMPO: I absolutely love this place. I’ve been coming here since 2006 when I got an invitation, and  finished  2nd. The crowds are unbelieveable.  There’s nothing like it, it’s extremely unique. Once again, I love coming here year after year. What did I give away on 16? A birdie.

          The Skins Game he hosted in Colombia during the off season: My brother Manny put it together and it turned out great. It was nice to have good friends Ernie Els and Miguel Cabrera, and the new Colombian on the PGA TOUR, Sebastian Muñoz. It was great to go down there, play some golf and interact a little bit with the fans.  Yes, I took the Skins. It’s nice to win at home – the boys took it easy on me.

          Up and coming Colombian golf talent: I had a chance to meet Muñoz more during the four playoff Web events; he’s a really nice kid.  He won in Colombia and got his PGA TOUR card.  It’s my 12th year on tour and I always said we need more Colombians here, so it’s nice to have him this year.

One final note – For a tournament that draws over 650,000 fans, it is remarkable that you will not see one single piece of trash on the ground.  Anywhere. Anytime. In 2012, title sponsor Waste Management launched the Zero Waste Challenge to control event materials and educate attendees so that zero waste is sent to the landfill.  There are no trash receptacles on the course, only recycling and compost bins.  Even the floating WM logo on the 18th hole is made up of 144,000 recycled golf balls.

Jordan Spieth discusses the need to play the last few holes aggressively:

Beef didn’t disappoint the fans on 16 Sunday:

Oosthuizen discusses his first time at WMPO:




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About Author

Candace Oehler’s deep dive into sports media began several decades ago when she won a trip from Seattle to Mariners spring training in Arizona. Noting that non-English-speaking Latino ball players received little, if any, media coverage, she fluently/en español became a pioneer in Spanish sports media, and eventually became known affectionately throughout the Latino MLB community as “La Veterana.” Candace has written for team publications and; hosted her own radio show on several Spanish-language stations; served as producer/reporter/engineer for the Mariners’ inaugural season of Spanish radio broadcasts; and has been a reporter for MLB Network Radio the past 10 years. She was invited to Venezuela by future Hall-of-Fame shortstop Omar Vizquel to cover rebuilding efforts and accomplishments of his charitable foundation following the devastating 1999 mudslides; worked in Puerto Rico for former Major Leaguers Joey Cora and Carlos Baerga managing fundraising events; and was the only female in the raucous locker room when the hometown favorite Licey Tigers won the 2004 Caribbean World Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Candace was introduced to the game of golf in 1992 by members of Seattle’s historic Fir State Golf Club, who had approached her to manage their (then) little fundraising tournament hosted by a shy, gangly 15-year old Tiger Woods. Candace co-managed the annual event for nearly 20 years, working with hosts that included Ken Griffey, Sr., Birdie Griffey, Mike Cameron, Nate McMillan, Warren Moon, and Dale Ellis. She became secretary of the club and the Fir State Junior Golf Foundation, and got totally, completely hooked on golf, learning to play on a set of Redbirds given to her by the club (apparently they considered her mother’s Patty Bergs a bit antiquated). She has since traded up to another set of Redbirds and a much more user-friendly golf environment in Arizona. And, once a prolonged stint on the DL is over, she can’t wait to get back on the course and continue lowering her current 21-handicap to ….?

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