The WM Phoenix Open has at all times provided an environment not like some other on the PGA Tour schedule, though this 12 months’s contest will probably be remembered extra for incidents outdoors the ropes.
Nick Taylor produced a superb end to assert his fourth PGA Tour title, birdieing three of his closing 4 holes to complete alongside Charley Hoffman on 21 below earlier than birdieing each further holes to beat the American within the play-off, in every week the place fan behaviour typically overshadowed the golf itself.
Social media movies over the occasion revealed the total extent of the chaos, as alcohol-fuelled incidents included spectators preventing, urinating in public, sliding topless down a muddy hill and even arrested for creating snow angels in one of many course’s bunkers.
TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course can entice as much as 200,000 followers a day and its iconic par-three sixteenth gap is dubbed the “loudest gap in golf”, with cheers, boos and even beer showers greeting golfers by means of the years, however this 12 months’s contest left gamers concerned in heated exchanges with spectators.
Crushed American Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson was filmed remonstrating with followers at TPC Scottsdale and may very well be heard telling them “I am sick of it” earlier than demanding they “simply shut up”.
In a separate incident, Billy Horschel was seen shouting at a spectator for calling out whereas one among his enjoying companions, qualifier Nicolo Galletti, was about to hit a shot.
“Buddy, when he is over a shot shut the hell up man,” Horschel stated. “He is making an attempt to hit a rattling golf shot right here – it is our f****** job.”
Three-time main champion Jordan Spieth may very well be seen mouthing the phrases ‘what the f***’ after rowdy crowds made noise on his backswing throughout one gap, whereas former BMW PGA Championship winner Byeong Hun An described the occasion a “s*** present” which was “completely uncontrolled on each gap”.
He added: “Performed right here a number of occasions over time and it was nice till in the present day.”
‘Some folks aren’t the very best drunks’
Followers queue for hours forward of gates opening earlier than working to get their vantage spot safe on the Stadium Gap, the place one spectator was hospitalised after falling from one of many stands.
Event officers have been compelled to close spectator gates sooner than deliberate throughout Saturday’s motion after being overwhelmed by the turnout, leaving some paying spectators unable to get in.
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Thursday fifteenth February 3:30pm
“As a result of bigger than normal crowds, the WM Phoenix Open entrance gates are briefly closed and shuttle service to the occasion is on maintain,” the match stated on social media. “Shuttle service again to parking heaps will stay working. Usually verify our channels for updates.”
There was additionally the unprecedented transfer of short-term halting alcohol gross sales as a result of variety of fan incidents, resulting in chants of “we wish beer” from these within the stands on the Stadium Gap.
“The officer was telling me folks received too drunk,” Sahith Theegala stated. “It is a blast. There’s positively some folks that are not the very best drunks, however for probably the most half it is all Positive.”
The “Greenest Present on Grass” might be again once more in 2025 and can proceed to generate large crowds, though match organisers will need the golf itself to return to the topic dominating headlines.
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