SCOTTSDALE – TPC Scottsdale is the only place on the PGA Tour where a golf tournament breaks out in the middle of a party.
The crowds are so large at the WM Phoenix Open that the tournament’s sponsoring organization, the Thunderbirds, quit keeping official numbers a few years ago, and patrons are as likely to be dressed as if they’re attending Coachella as a professional golf event.
The 2022 edition didn’t disappoint.
Tournament week brought out golf fans and party goers alike, all ready to release the pent-up energy of a lingering pandemic. They were greeted by sunny skies and temperatures that hovered near 80 degrees – with a couple of showers.
Those were scattered around the famous par-3 16th hole, where Sam Ryder unleashed chaos with a Saturday hole-in-one and fans celebrated by spraying beer into the air and raining beer cans, cups and water bottles down on the green, bunkers and desert landscaping as Ryder’s caddie leaped into his golfer’s arms.
It was the first ace at No. 16 since 2015, but it took less than 24 hours for Carlos Ortiz to hole the next one Sunday, setting off another downpour.
The true golf fans didn’t leave disappointed, either. They watched Sahith Theegala, who got into the tournament on a sponsor exemption, nearly pull off an improbable victory before fading on the final holes.
Ultimately, Scottie Scheffler’s back-nine charge forced a two-man playoff with Patrick Cantlay, Scheffler emerged with his first PGA Tour victory on the third hole of sudden-death and the party moved to sports bars and living rooms for Super Bowl LVI.