Buckle Up for a Monday Q Unlike Any Other
With its $20 million purse, the WM Phoenix Open is drawing a stronger field than ever. The 18-hole mad dash that precedes the event will be equally compelling
By Ryan French
The chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to tee it up at one of the premier events on the PGA Tour, which now boasts a $20 million purse. On Monday, 119 players will tee it up at the Waste Management Open Monday qualifier, played at McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., in what is one of the great Monday Q in Tour history. It may also be one of the last great Monday Qs.
The WM Monday has always been a good one for a few reasons, one being the location. Many pros live in the Phoenix area, so a lot of players who don’t regularly chase Mondays try their hand. Also, the Waste Management event has always had a good field, which means that players who get into most Tour events get knocked farther down the status list, or out of the field and into the Monday. And who doesn’t want the opportunity to play the raucous par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale? When the WM Open was announced as an elevated event, that took everything to a new level. The top players are required to play these events, and the domino effect trickles down to the Monday Q. All told, 624 players signed up for the eight pre-q sites, and 26 of them made it through to the Monday Q, where three spots will be up for grabs. (The Southwest PGA section player of the year receives an exemption into the tournament, so this is the only Monday qualifier with just three available spots.)
This is also probably the end of Monday Q fields like this. Although details haven’t been announced, it is widely assumed that the Tour in 2024 will limit the field at elevated events to 70 players, thus eliminating the Monday Qs for those tournaments. Which is all the more reason to enjoy and celebrate this Monday Q. Last year five players went to a playoff at McCormick Ranch to claim the last two of the three available spots. This year? Who knows? But players should be prepared to go low. And imagine the playoff possibilities. Here is a breakdown of the loaded field.
Combined number of PGA Tour wins: 23
Combined number of KFT wins: 30
Combined number of DP World Tour wins: 9
Combined PGA Tour earnings: more than $242 million
Combined PGA Tour starts: more than 6,800
Players with multiple PGA Tour wins: Aaron Baddeley, 4; Sean O’Hair, 4; Jonas Blixt, 3; Jonathan Kaye, 2; D.J. Trahan, 2
Other PGA Tour winners: Charlie Beljan, Kevin Chappell, Robert Garrigus, Sung Kang, Parker McLachlin, Grayson Murray, Martin Trainer, Bo Van Pelt
Player with the most PGA Tour starts: Baddeley, 483
Player with the most PGA Tour earnings: O’Hair, $24.9 million
Highest-ranked player in the 2022-23 FedEx Cup point standings: Ben Griffin, 30th
Highest-ranked player in the OWGR: Ben Griffin 97th
Oldest player in the field: Michael Allen, 58, an eight-time winner on the Champions Tour
Youngest player in the field: Sudarshan Yellamaraju, 21
Best Pre-Q stories: UNLV alum Jack Trent shot 28 on his back nine to get through; Canadian Brendan MacDougall eagled his last hole to get through on the number
GOATs in the field: Spencer Levin
Mini-tour legend: Andre Metzger
Players who chip one-handed: Austen Truslow
I will be on site Sunday through Tuesday. (The playoff, if needed, usually leaks into Tuesday.) I can’t wait to get out there. Let’s have ourselves a Monday.