The TPC Scottsdale Stadium course (par 71, 7261 yards) in Arizona, USA, where the PGA Tour WM Phoenix Open (total prize money) will be held this week, has poured out a wealth of sights and stories every year. Expectations are high what other stories will be created this year in the ‘Golf Liberation Zone’ where drinking, loud cheering, and booing are allowed in the gallery.
The Phoenix Open attracts over 500,000 spectators every year because it is possible to forget the strict gallery order for a while and enjoy the chatter to the fullest. In 2016, 618,000 people entered for five days, including the practice round메이저놀이터, setting a record for the highest number of spectators. That year, 201,003 people entered the third round alone.
The 16th hole (par 3), which can accommodate 20,000 people at the same time, is a famous stadium course leading to the ‘Colosseum’. A 163-yard (148m) long hall is surrounded by a three-story large stand, where a wild feast takes place every year. Big applause and cheers pour in for the players’ great shots, and huge boos follow for mistakes.
When Sam Ryder (USA) recorded a hole-in-one in the third round last year, excited galleries sprayed beer and drinks, and threw tin cans and plastic bottles into a frenzy. The play was delayed for about 10 minutes as the host removed the cans and bottles.
The next day, Carlos Ortiz (USA) made another hole-in-one, turning the Coliseum upside down. Another frenzied beer shower unfolded, and after playing on the green, fellow players took off their tops to reveal their naked bodies, inducing fans to cheer for them, so they were later fined. The organizers decided to sell alcoholic beverages in cups starting this year to protect players from being hit by aluminum cans.
The PGA Tour pointed out memories by introducing the best 5 hole-in-ones from the 16th hole on its homepage. The best among them was the golf emperor Tiger Woods (USA) in 1997. At the time when the stands were not installed as they are now, the ball Woods lightly flew with his 9-iron fell in front of the hole, bounced once, and disappeared right into the hole. Fans poured beer cans and soda bottles into the tee box, chanted Woods’ name as they headed to the green, and literally turned the Coliseum upside down.
Woods benefited greatly from the enthusiastic fans at this tournament two years later. A tee shot from the 13th hole (par 5) landed on the left side of the wasteland and was blocked by a 1m-wide rock, blocking the next shot. In golf, a stone that is not driven into the ground is considered a ‘loose impediment (natural object)’ and can be removed without penalty. Woods, who shook hands with the fans who worked hard with a bright smile, responded with a buddy here.
The 17th hole (332 yards) is one-on, so it pours out dramatic drama. Rickie Fowler (USA) led by two strokes in 2016, but after dropping the ball into the water here, he lost to Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) and allowed an extension. In 2001, Andrew Magee (USA) recorded the only par 4 hole-in-one in PGA Tour history.