SCOTTSDALE – As the Super Bowl and the WM Phoenix Open converge in Arizona on the same weekend, some participants in this year’s Open field are ready for golf with a side of football.
During media availability on Tuesday and Wednesday, competitors of the Phoenix Open and the Annexus Pro-Am shared thoughts about the Valley hosting the big game this Sunday.
Golfers are hesitant to pick their Super Bowl winner, which is understandable. As of Friday morning, ESPN Analytics is giving the Kansas City Chiefs a 53% chance to beat the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium.
Players like Patrick Cantlay agree with ESPN’s projections.
“The Chiefs look good, and they’ve looked good for the last couple of years,” Cantlay said. “I feel like I have to go with the Chiefs then.”
Most celebrities participating in the pro-am chose to go with the Philadelphia Eagles. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, MLB legend Alex Rodriguez and former quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are all rooting for the Birds to win.
“I am good friends with both the Kelce brothers,” Fitzpatrick said. “Jason’s got the beard, but Travis is cool. I’m going to have to go with my beard brother though and go with the Eagles.”
Other players in the field weren’t as comfortable with choosing one team. John Rahm, for example, has many reasons to root for both the Chiefs and the Eagles.
“I don’t know. It’s hard to make a prediction on one game. It’s like playing one round in golf, you never know how you’re going to play,” Rahm said. “Obviously the Eagles have built the foundation to be tough to beat, but I can’t bet against Mahomes.”
While discussing their picks for the big game, the golfers mentioned how the weekend crowds at TPC Scottsdale might be different than years previous when the Super Bowl is not in town.
This will be the fourth time that the WM Phoenix Open and Super Bowl will occur on the same weekend in Arizona.
“I think Saturday should be busier than last year, but Sunday should be a little bit more chilled out than last time,” said Cantlay, who’s playing in his second Phoenix Open. “I was talking to somebody that had been here the last time the Super Bowl was here, and Sunday was very mellow compared to usual.”
Coming off the most recent Super Bowl in the Valley in 2015, event organizers know what to expect with the big game in town at the same time.
It has been announced that general admission tickets have been sold out for both Friday and Saturday’s round of golf. This is the first time in the tournament’s 88-year history that ticket sales have reached its limit.
“I think we’ll have more people here then we’ve ever had before here in Phoenix for both events,” said WM Phoenix Open tournament chairman Pat Williams. “We’re prepared for it though. This is not the first time we’ve had the Super Bowl and Phoenix Open on the same weekend, and we’ve learned from it in the past.”