2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open: Swagger Power Rankings at TPC Scottsdale
David Becker/Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka.
*By Jason Sobel and the PGA TOUR’s Ben Everill
A special week on the PGA TOUR deserves a special edition power rankings and let’s face it — sometimes the stats just can’t tell the whole story.
One of the intangibles a player needs to survive at the fan frenzy that is the Waste Management Phoenix Open is significant confidence — or swagger.
Those who can embrace the commotion at TPC Scottsdale are certainly given a significant head start to success. Those who let it bother them might be beaten before they start.
We need to focus on those players who walk around with their shoulders high. These guys who have a little ego, who aren’t afraid to show off in front of the masses.
So, what if there was a Strokes Gained: Swagger metric. Who in the field this week is most likely to revel in the chaos that hundreds of thousands of fans bring to this unique test at TPC Scottsdale? Who is more Happy Gilmore, less Shooter McGavin?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
15. Si Woo Kim
Si Woo made a record 13 on a par 3 one Sunday then got into a playoff the next week. The youngest ever PLAYERS champion was also brave enough to shush a New York crowd at the Presidents Cup … despite getting trounced.
14. Sam Burns
Acts like he’s been there before. Maybe because he has.
Big-time Burns is just 25 but has two TOUR wins already. He’s lived in the spotlight from a young age as a star in all levels of junior and amateur golf.
13. Xander Schauffele
Not being originally highlighted as one of the infamous class of 2011 provided a chip on his shoulder bigger than his head. Now a four-time TOUR winner and Olympic Gold Medalist, Schauffele enjoys proving himself in front of as many people as possible.
12. Rickie Fowler
The definition of cool (it’s not cool to say cool anymore is it?). We’re talking about a guy whose swagger is so infectious that he’s had grown men dressing in bright orange for well over a decade.
11. Viktor Hovland
Does this guy ever not smile? The Norwegian acts like the rest of us think pro golfers should act. You’re playing golf for a living … enjoy it! Winning five times around the world since 2020 helps a 24-year-old’s confidence, as well.
10. Kevin Kisner
It’s a sly swagger with this guy. Kisner is entrenched in his South Carolina roots and garners his confidence from his journey from scrappy talent on mini tours and the Korn Ferry Tour, to the PGA TOUR where he’s won four times, including the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
9. Gary Woodland
Woodland the guy you remember as the star of the football team, who was prom king and also made straight A’s. He often gives a knowing wink as if he knows something nobody else does.
8. Adam Scott
A movie star in another life, this self-assured Aussie has been able to make equipment like long putters and pull carts palatable to those who once despised them. His perfect posture makes others shrink around him.
7. Keith Mitchell
Ask Rory McIlroy if this guy is afraid of resumes. Rory McIlroy highlights Mitchell as a poster child for the depth of talent on TOUR. Mitchell doesn’t care how many majors you’ve won or where you’re from. He cares about where he’s going. And the aim is the top.
6. Jon Rahm
Might be impossible to rise to No. 1 in the world without gaining some significant swagger.
While fatherhood has opened a softer side, young Kepa better learn quickly that dad will fight to the death in their $1 side bets. No participation trophies here.
5. Daniel Berger
When your Instagram handle is db_straitvibin, you’ve got to be able to back it up. The four-time TOUR winner does. How could a kid growing up in the presence of tennis royalty not exude confidence?
4. Harry Higgs
Those in attendance at last year’s Phoenix Open swear Higgs called his 82-foot eagle on the drivable par-4 17th well before he nailed it. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if that was true. He’s a larger-than-life character who’s sure to enjoy the journey as much as the results.
From 8⃣2⃣ FEET ‼️
What an eagle from @harryhiggs1991. 🦅#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/40kZokPyW4
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 1, 2020
3. Pat Perez
The most honest and straight-up guy out there — never holds back an opinion. If you’re wrong, he’ll let you know.
He has a collection of Jordans so vast even that the former NBA megastar might be jealous?
2. Justin Thomas
Sometimes you get the feeling JT thinks he’s better than you.
Newsflash: He likely is.
Thomas was likely that kid in the neighborhood who refused to lose at anything — football, baseball, riding bikes, climbing trees, catching lizards, it didn’t matter. If you thought you had him beat, he’d be out until it was dark gearing up for the rematch.
1. Brooks Koepka
Check in the dictionary under swagger. Pretty sure he’s there.
This is a guy who had the stones to say he only brings his best to major events and that he is one of just a handful of people who can win them. Then, he proved it. Four times.
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