When the LIV Golf Invitational Series, which was launched last year with capital from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, was launched, the US Professional Golf (PGA) tour hurriedly began to ‘crack down on the house’. This is because some star players, who used to be box office cards, moved to the LIV series. In response, the PGA Tour designated 17 tournaments in the 2022-2023 season as “special tournaments” as a carrot book to catch players, and threw a number of matches to significantly increase prize money. 

The special competitions are the four major competitions, the Players Championship as the ‘fifth major’, three FedEx Cup playoff competitions held at the end of the season, and nine general competitions. Among them, only the Sentry Champions tournament held last month has a total prize money of 15 million dollars, and all other tournaments exceed 20 million dollars. 

The WM Phoenix Open, the second special tournament this year, opens on the 9th (local time) at TPC Scottsdale (par 71, 7261 yards) in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, and begins a four-day fierce battle. The total prize money of this tournament, which was 8.2 million dollars last year, more than doubled to 20 million dollars (approximately 25.09 billion won) this year. In particular, the winning prize amounted to 3.6 million dollars (approximately 4.5 billion won). As a result, top rankers such as world No. 1 Rory McIlroy (34, Northern Ireland), No. 2 Scotty Scheffler (27, USA), and No. 3 Jon Ram (29, Spain) are mobilizing. The PGA Tour added a proviso when designating a special event. Players who ranked in the top 20 of the PGA Tour player influence index last season can only miss one of the 17 tournaments and must participate in the remaining tournaments. According to the rules, 18 of the top 20 players in the world rankings will participate. The other two who do not participate are 4th place Cameron Smith (30, Australia), who belongs to the LIV series, and 8th place Will Jaratoris (27, USA), who is a member of the PGA tour but took a break this week.  카지노

The fight against the crowd is also important at the Phoenix Open. Usually, golf matches require silence from the spectators, but this tournament is called the ‘gallery’s liberation zone’ because not only high performance and booing, but also drinking are allowed. In particular, around the green of hole 16 (par 3) of TPC Scottsdale Golf Course, where the tournament is held, there is a huge stand that can accommodate as many as 20,000 people. Due to the nature of the golf game, which requires a high degree of concentration, it is not easy for players to cope with it, so only the strong heart can pass this hole without difficulty.

World No. 1 McIlroy is the strongest contender. McIlroy, who won the PGA Tour The CJ Cup in October last year, is so hot that he won the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the 30th of last month. Schaeffler, who won his debut at the event last year, will defend his title. As Ram graduated from Arizona State University and lives in this area, he knows the course thoroughly, so they are expected to engage in a fierce battle for the championship trophy. 

As for Korean players, Kim Joo-hyeong (21), who is aiming for three wins in total, took the lead, while Lim Seong-jae (25), Kim Si-woo (28), and Lee Gyeong-hoon (32, CJ Logistics) also threw their votes. In particular, Lee Kyung-hoon is well matched with the course to the extent of finishing runner-up in this competition in 2021, so good results are expected.

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