The PGA Tour’s “Fall Series” continues this week with the Frys.com Open at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale Arizona. Cameron Beckman defends the title and last week’s winner Martin Laird is in the field.
Designed by Tom Fazio and opened for play in 1995, this will be the third time the course at Grayhawk GC has hosted a PGA Tour event. It’s one of the more forgiving venues on the circuit and, in 2008, was ranked as the 13th easiest course visited by the Tour. Things may get a little more testing for the players if they stray into the surrounding desert – In 2000 Ernie Els brushed up against a cactus called a jumping cholla and required the assistance of paramedics to remove it.
Last season Cameron Beckman fired an excellent final round of 63 to tie Kevin Sutherland at the top of the leaderboard then went on to win the play-off at the second extra hole. Perhaps the most remarkable performance of the week, however, came from Kevin Stadler. After shooting a terrible 81 in the first round, Stadler blistered around Grayhawk for a second round 61. It was a course record and a 20-shot improvement on the previous day, but it wasn’t enough to see him through the halfway cut – he missed it by three strokes.
Venue: Grayhawk Golf Club, Arizona
Date: October 22-25
Course stats: par 70, 7,125 yards
Purse: $5,000,000 Winner: $900,000
Defending Champion: Cameron Beckman (-18)
Thursday 22 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 10pm
Friday 23 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 10pm
Saturday 24 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 10pm
Sunday 25 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 9pm
Mike Weir – The 2007 Frys.com Open winner has the best world ranking of all the players in the field. He’ll be looking to improve his position of 28th on the 2009 money list.
Martin Laird – The Scot secured his breakthrough PGA Tour win last week and he’ll look to maintain that form. He’s a streaky player so expect him to contend again at Grayhawk.
Rickie Fowler – The youngster who recently turned pro will be keen to prove he has what it takes to mix it with the PGA Tour’s best. He certainly has the talent but does he have the bottle?
Key hole: 15th. A short par 4 of just 332 yards, this is a great risk/reward hole. A solid drive could set up an eagle chance but many will opt to hit a long iron and leave a wedge in.
Skills required: Going low. This is a course that sees low scoring. Expect the winner to fire four rounds in the mid 60s.