The PGA Tour may sometimes seem uptight to casual fans but the Waste Management Phoenix Open is an exception to that rule.
With the title sponsor nicely summing up what can happen at Scottsdale’s infamous par-3 16th in 1997, when a young Tiger Woods made it rain beer with his hole-in-one.
But despite the general debauchery at the PGA Tour’s most popular-attended event, there is actually golf being played. And there is one man they all come to see.
Even after leaving Scottsdale for San Diego, even after his recent controversial tax comments, crowds will flock to see their favourite son Phil Mickelson.
A tie for 37th at the Humana and 51st at Torrey Pines last week hardly gets the pulse racing, especially when you consider 16 of his 39 PGA Tour titles have come in the opening two months of the campaign.
But despite the slow start to his season, the 42-year-old is ready to put on a show for his expectant fans.
“The way people have treated me here in the past has been awesome,” said the two-time Phoenix Open champ. “Playing the 16th hole and coming down the 18th fairway, the reception really means a lot to me.”
Elsewhere, last year’s champion Kyle Stanley, who heroically bounced back from his horror show a week previous at Torrey Pines, will look to become the first player to defend the Phoenix Open since Johnny Miller in 1975.
Other players in the impressive line-up include 2012 FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker, Jason Dufner, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Jason Day.
Click here to relive Tiger's hole-in-one in 1997.
Thursday January 31 to Sunday February 3
Par-71; 7,216 yards
$6,200,000 (winner: $1,098,000)
Kyle Stanley (-15)
Most wins: 3 (Mark Calcavecchia 1989, 1992, 2001; Gene Littler 1955, 159, 1969; Arnold Palmer 1961, 1962, 1963)
Lowest score to par: -28 (Mark Calcavecchia 2001)
Did you know?
This is the best attended golf tournament of every calendar year. In 2008 the Phoenix Open set a PGA Tour single-day attendance record with more than 170,000 fans, as well as a tournament week attendance record of 538,356 fans.
It’s a very tricky field to unlock this week with so many players just starting out their season but Snedeker has continued where he left off in 2012 with a runner-up spot behind Woods last week and represents solid value at 14/1. At tastier prices, we like the look of Jason Day at 40s after closing with a 6-under at Torrey Pines and big-hitter Ryan Palmer at 60? Visit 888sport.com for more prices.
Thursday: Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday: Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday: Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Sunday: Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
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Coverage hasn't started yet (Sky Sports 3 at 8) but Phil Mickelson is currently 10-under through 13 and 59 Watch is in full motion.
Posted: 31/01/2013 at 19:29
how did that putt stay out? bones couldnt believe what he saw.
love this tournament ,the 16th is a real test of nerves even for these guys.
miss the green and its boo time ,and loud ,love it.
Posted: 31/01/2013 at 21:47
what a round by phil fantastic!
Posted: 31/01/2013 at 21:54
Wow, horseshoe, what a shame
Posted: 01/02/2013 at 11:25
I said to the missus 'I love how he plays the game' as they showed the highlight reel on Sky. Then, following my description of who Phil was and how much money he earnt, he comes out with his plug, plug, plug and Amy says 'Yup, definitely knows how to play the game.'
I often wonder if Phil only plays at his best with that kind of audience. Like without the atmosphere golf's a bit less interesting for him these days?
Posted: 01/02/2013 at 14:02
Anyone else notice he's ditched the Super Stroke grip and gone for a skinny Lamkin? Granted, most of his putts were inside 3ft most of the time, but he's been missing those lately with a fatter grip.
Posted: 01/02/2013 at 16:13