Week of WM Phoenix Open is Finally Here

Ariel View of the 16th hole at TPC of Scottsdale

Aerial View of the Stadium atmosphere at the 16th hole at TPC of Scottsdale

By: Kayla Mortellaro

The week for the greatest show on grass is finally here. The golf season has been well-underway for weeks now but the party officially starts here in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. With the Super Bowl and its festivities being held in Arizona this week too, tournament organizers are prepared to handle upwards of 600,000 people for the week. The names Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson can only help attendance numbers and television ratings as these two players have been some of the most polarizing figures for the last 15 to 20 years on the PGA tour. Names like defending Masters Champion Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kutcher and last week’s Humana Challenge winner, Bill Haas are also in the field. Tournament play begins Thursday, January, 29. The 16th hole gets much of the attention for this week’s event, as the hole is enclosed in a stadium- like feel.
Phil Mickelson throwing a football into the crowd on the 16th hole.

  Phil Mickelson throwing a football into the crowd on the 16th  hole.

            Fans can expect the events of the hole to be a little different than years past as the PGA Tour has announced players will not be allowed to toss souvenirs, footballs and other items to the patrons in the stands.
Morgan Hoffman tossing hats to fans on the 16th hole.

Morgan Hoffman tossing hats to fans on the 16th hole.

Of course, yelling, jeering and cheering is still acceptable and players will be fully expecting it. Celebrities and amateur golfers will also get the chance to experience the full effect of the 16th hole on Wednesday for the Annexus Pro- Am. Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson are the local football flavors stepping up to the challenge. Randy Johnson, recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and former Diamondbacks pitcher as well as opening day starter for the Dbacks, Josh Collmenter are scheduled to play on Wednesday. Other notable celebrities taking on the challenge, giving fans the opportunity to see them in a different element and get autographs, include, Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer, former Heisman trophy winning quarterback and current ESPN analyst Tim Tebow, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, baseball great Ken Griffey Jr. and country music singers Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen. Wednesday pro-am tee times will be between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with the specific tee-times announced Tuesday. If being a part of the golf atmosphere isn’t your cup of tea, the Waste Management Phoenix Open has activities for you too at the Birds Nest. Capital Cities will be performing on Wednesday night, Darius Rucker on Thursday, Kid Rock on Friday and Afrojack on Saturday. The Birds Nest is located across from the main entrance of the Phoenix Open at 82nd Street and Bell Road. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. with the head lining acts beginning around 8 p.m. and doors closing at 10:30 p.m. The Birds Nest is a 21 and over venue. General admission tickets for Wednesday night are $35 and Thursday- Saturday are $50. The Waste Management Phoenix Open has a little something for everyone. Daily general admission tickets are $30 a piece or a weekly badge for $350 that includes 4 weekly badges and a parking pass.