Phoenix Open notes: Fast, hard greens defined TPC week - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Phoenix Open notes: Fast, hard greens defined TPC week

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Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012 5:42 pm

The PGA Tour professionals ended up playing an extraordinarily hard and fast TPC of Scottsdale Golf Course. The fairways are comfortably wide, but the golf ball was running so fast that players often saw the ball go through the fairway and into the rough or in the case of No. 15 into the water

Some tee shots that hit in the left center of No. 15 fairway looked perfect, but kicked left and rolled into the lake that sits left of the fairway. On Saturday, Webb Simpson hit a pitch shot on the 17th hole that he deemed "perfect" only to have it slowly roll past the pin, off the green and down into the water.

"You never know what you're going to get with this golf course," J.B. Holmes said. "Every year is different. It's a big change from last week (Torrey Pines) when it was pretty soft and this week it's firm. And then going to Pebble (Beach) it's going to be soft again"

Levin down

When one man overcomes an eight-shot deficit to win a golf tournament that means another suffered a devastating loss. That man is Spencer Levin who began the final round at 17-under-par, six shots clear of the rest of the field.

But a final-round 75 cost Levin his first PGA Tour victory. Sounds eerily similar to Kyle Stanley at last week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Levin ended up third on Sunday behind Stanley and Ben Crane. Levin will learn from Sunday's failures.

"I had a six-shot lead," Levin said. "I gave the tournament away. It's as simple as that."

He admitted anxiety, pressure, trying too hard, all contributed to his problems. "I don't think I smiled once," Levin said. "Next time I'll try and have a little more fun. I didn't have any fun. I rushed it and wanted to get it over with."

Final numbers

Final attendance numbers for the week were 518,262, more than 150,000 than last year when the Waste Management Phoenix Open was plagued by frigid temperatures. Sunday's crowd was 58,447, down from the 173,210 who attended the tournament during Saturday's third round.

"There wasn't as many people (Sunday). I think it was a hangover thing or the Super Bowl thing," Spencer Levin said.


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