If you haven’t seen 15-year-old Kamila Valieva’s short program from the Winter Olympics, change that today.

All natural

The field at last week’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am was unusually weak, but at the upcoming Waste Management Phoenix Open, the stars are back. Six of the top 10 and 15 of the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up at TPC Scottsdale. With an OWGR strength-of-field rating of 536, this WMPO is the strongest that the liquored-up hooligans on the 16th hole have seen in the past 20 years.

Homegrown, entertaining PGA Tour events continue to be bright spots on the golf calendar. Tournaments like the WMPO and the Travelers Championship are able to draw big names not by throwing heaps of cash around, but simply by being well-run and enjoyable. While the threat of the Saudi-backed Super Golf League continues to loom, this week will be an important reminder of what a successful PGA Tour event looks like.

The missing man

Notably missing from the Waste Management Phoenix Open field: Phil Mickelson. The Arizona State grad was a staple at Scottsdale until 2020, and he hasn’t been back since making the Saudi International part of his schedule.

As it turns out, this is a convenient time for Phil to avoid the limelight. After his strange comments about the PGA Tour’s “obnoxious greed” in John Huggan’s article for Golf Digest, many influential figures in golf media promptly sharpened their knives. Eamon Lynch, Michael Bamberger, Brandel Chamblee, and Doug Ferguson all took Mickelson to task over the past few days. Let’s just say Lefty probably isn’t devastated that he won’t be fielding questions from the press this week.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Paulie’s Picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open – Paulie won’t tell us his Super Bowl picks but he was kind enough to share some fantasy advice ahead of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The Fried Egg Podcast: Ben Cowan-Dewar – Cabot CEO and co-founder Ben Cowan-Dewar joins the podcast to discuss his path to becoming a golf course developer, Cabot’s recent purchase of World Woods Golf Club, the early days of Cabot Links, and more. Listen on iTunes and Spotify.

The Shotgun Start – Andy and Brendan preview the golf influencer Super Bowl known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Listen on iTunes and Spotify.

Tee Times

Last week, the DP World Tour played the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. This week it plays the Ras Al Khaimah Classic. They’re different!

The Korn Ferry Tour continues its swing through South America with the Astara Golf Championship in Colombia.

Quick Hooks

Doctors told Morgan Hoffman, a promising young player on the PGA Tour, that there was no treatment for his muscular dystrophy. So he sought alternative treatments, and he has been living off the grid while trying to heal himself. Daniel Rapaport caught up with Hoffman in rural Costa Rica and filed a fascinating piece for Golf Digest.

The newly named Epson Tour released its 2022 schedule on Tuesday. Twenty-one events, $4.4 million in total prize money. That’s a big improvement. More from Beth Ann Nichols.

Oklahoma State’s Eugenio Chacarra shot 62 in the final round of the Amer Ari Invitational to win the individual title and help OSU take the team title. Carolina Chacarra, Eugenio’s sister, also fired a 62 this week to win the UCF Challenge as a member of the Wake Forest golf team.