image courtesy of pgatour.com
The 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open was one of the most electric sporting events we have ever seen in the world of golf. TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course has been known to bring rowdy crowds and low scores. This year was no exception. The tournament went into a three-hole playoff with Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler in which Scheffler took home his very first PGA Tour win. Overshadowing the tournament’s playoff conclusion was not only one but two aces on the famed par 3 16th hole. The crowd absolutely erupted for Sam Ryder’s ace on Saturday, unlike any other reaction you will ever see at a golf tournament. The players and fans were showered with drinks from the 16th hole stadium seating along with cheers that shook the surrounding Scottsdale area. If the hole-in-one on Saturday was not enough, Carlos Ortiz backed it up with an ace on Sunday. The reactions of the crowd and the players has been a huge topic of discussion following the end of the tournament Sunday. Golf writers around the world have criticized the 16th hole crowd for throwing beers on the course after each of the hole-in-one’s this week and have made claims the WM Phoenix Open is bad for the image of PGA Tour golf. In our opinion, golf is a game that has grown rapidly due to a new generation of golf fans and players. The image of the game is only improved by events such as the WM Phoenix Open because it strikes the interest of people outside of the game of golf. PGA Tour events are generally quiet and maintain etiquette through and through. However, once a year people who want to experience a different approach to the game are able to in the Valley of the Sun. This does not come from a lack of respect for the game of golf; it comes from the fun and positive atmosphere the WM Phoenix Open provides. You can see this in the majority of players as well. Joel Dahmen and Harry Higgs celebrated on the 16th hole with the fans by ripping their shirts off and dancing their way through the rest of the contest. While this would most certainly be deemed unacceptable by normal tournament standards, it fits at TPC Scottsdale on Super Bowl Sunday. Coming off the craziest week the PGA Tour sees all year long, the tour pivots to The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. The tournament will feature another stacked field and is hosted by Tiger Woods himself. We can’t wait for the week to come.