10 Notes to Know: February 3, 2020

February 3, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. Webb Simpson birdied the last two holes of regulation and the first playoff hole to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Three years ago, Simpson birdied 17 and 18 to get into a playoff in this same event but lost to Hideki Matsuyama. Sunday, he picked up his sixth PGA Tour title, knocking off Tony Finau in extra holes.
  1. With the win, Simpson moved back into the top-ten of the World Ranking for the first time since 2012. Sunday was the sixth time Simpson has finished either first, second or third since last June.
  1. Finau was the hard-luck runner-up, a spot he’s grown accustomed to in recent seasons. Finau now has finished in second place seven times worldwide over the last four years but has not won in that span.
  1. Finau has 28 top-ten finishes on the PGA Tour over the last four seasons, by far the most of any player without a victory during that span. There are four other players with 28 or more top-ten finishes on the PGA Tour during that stretch: Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson. Those four players have combined for 27 victories over those four seasons.
  1. Justin Thomas finished tied for third thanks to a sparkling final round 65, the low round of the day. Bubba Watson also finished T-3; his final round 66 was his 12th career round of 66 or lower at TPC Scottsdale, most of any player since he made his debut there in 2007.
  1. Graeme McDowell won the Saudi International, his eleventh career European Tour title. It was the first European Tour victory for G-Mac in nearly six years, his previous being the 2014 French Open. McDowell’s short game spurred him to the win – he ranked 2nd in the field for the week in scrambling and 5th in strokes gained putting.
  1. Dustin Johnson finished runner-up in Saudi Arabia, his best result since last year’s PGA Championship. DJ was the only player in the field to shoot in the 60s all four rounds.
  1. Phil Mickelson tied for third, his best finish worldwide since winning last year’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Lefty had not finished better than 18th in any of his prior 22 starts around the globe. He will defend that Pebble Beach title next week – a tournament he has won five times in his career.
  1. Brett Quigley played 408 PGA Tour events and never picked up a victory. In his second-ever start on the PGA Tour Champions, he broke through with a win. Quigley held off Stephen Ames by one shot on Saturday to take the inaugural Morocco Champions, the first ever event that tour has held in Africa.
  1. The PGA Tour shifts back to California next week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where Jason Day can lean on some strong tournament history: over the last ten years, Day leads all players in scoring average (69.03) and birdie average (5.06) in the event (minimum 15 rounds).