What are we doing here, PHX? Because this seems pretty insane.
The 16th hole at the Waste Management Open is one of the great sights in golf. But it’s not the painted fairways with piped-in birds of Augusta National, or the hang gliders in the background of your tee shot at Pebble Beach. It’s a frat kegger during a rock concert.
So now we’re going to combine the loudest hole in golf, home of the American Southwest’s most-inebriated sporting patronage, with the freaking Super Bowl??
If you’re not familiar with the WMO, the modern history starts about here. A fresh-out-of-Stanford Tiger Woods had just earned his PGA Tour card a few months ago, and was still more than 10 weeks from A Win For The Ages at Augusta.
And then this happened.
So then The Thunderbirds, the group of Phoenix locals that runs the tournament, decided to lean into the chaos, insanity, and alcohol. They made a different “tradition unlike any other,” but this one with a much more proletariat bent than you normally see in golf.
Now check out what happens 25 years later when someone makes an ace, as Sam Ryder did in 2022.
The 88th edition of the WMO will be one not forgotten anytime soon, mostly by people heading across town to watch the Super Bowl as well. That drive is usually about a half-hour with no traffic across 31 miles of mostly highway. But who knows what it will end up being on February 12, as some of the wealthiest people from across the country sprint from one side of the metropolitan area to another.
The final round of the WMO starts at 9:00 a.m. local time, and theoretically the trophy should be awarded on the 18th green about the same time Chris Stapleton is singing the national anthem across town.
There are still tickets available for the WMO, with prices as low as $50 for general admission on Saturday. During an average year, skybox loge suites run about $1000 each on StubHub. But this year the four-day passes everyone is wearing around their neck are actually down a bit in early trading.
For the Super Bowl, not so much.
But for people coming to party, or ones that might want to enjoy the atmosphere of a Super Bowl without dropping $5000 on a seat, the WMO might be the next best thing. The atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale this week should be electric.