Viktor Hovland has decided to withdraw from the Waste Management Phoenix Open following a poor performance at Pebble Beach.
He tied for 55th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, carding two rounds of even par 72 during the second and third rounds. He shot a 3-under 69 on day one at Spyglass Hill, and thus finished 14 strokes behind winner Wyndham Clark.
The reigning FedEx Cup champion struggled with his irons and his wedges, as he ranked 78th out of 80 players in strokes gained approaching the green. He was 73rd in strokes gained around the green as well.
Knowing this, Hovland needed a week off to rest, recuperate, and practice, per Marius Thorp of Euro Sport Norges Golf. The Norwegian will work on his game in Florida before returning to competitive play at the Genesis Invitational, the third signature event of the season.
Victor Perez of France will replace Hovland in the field.
Shortly after that news surfaced, it was revealed that Xander Schauffele, who is ranked fifth in the Official World Golf Rankings (one spot behind Hovland), has also removed himself from the field.
Still, the 2024 Waste Management Phoenix Open will feature five of the top 10 players in the world:
- Scottie Scheffler
- Wyndham Clark
- Max Homa
- Matt Fitzpatrick
- Brian Harman
This week’s event, which is always one of the most electric tournaments of the year, will also include numerous individuals who participated in last year’s Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome:
- Jordan Spieth
- Justin Thomas
- Sam Burns
- Rickie Fowler
- Shane Lowry
- Luke Donald
- Zach Johnson
On top of that, plenty of other major champions will tee it up at TPC Scottsdale this week:
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Adam Scott
- Stewart Cink
- Lucas Glover
- Gary Woodland
So, despite Hovland and Schauffele’s withdrawal, golf fans will still see a loaded field in the desert.