The Phoenix rises

The Phoenix Open attracted 75,000 fans yesterday to see some wild entertainment from Woods and Magee

Parky's picture
Martin Park
Fri, 26 Jan 2001

For some unknown reason, The Phoenix Open attracts record numbers each year and this year was no exception as 75,000 fans turned up for day one to see their heroes, including a late entry from Tiger Woods, who gave the huge crowds what they wanted, an immaculate first round of 65 to sit just one shot back off the first round lead, shared by three players, Tom Lehman, Scott Verplank and Brad Elder.

Out of the 75,000 fans, only one fan was over exuberant as Woods approached his birdie putt to the last hole…Out of the crowd flew an orange that rolled past Woods as he was about to putt. But the sorry spectator was arrested and booted out and tournament organisers are planning to press charges!

"It could have been dangerous if he had hit someone," Said Woods, but he quickly deflected further questioning on the fruity subject to talk about his first round score.

"It could have been better, but I had a couple of lip outs," Woods said. "I was playing well in practice, so it was just a question of bringing it into the tournament."

But even with a Woods 65 in the bag, he was still upstaged by Andrew Magee, who carded the luckiest ever hole-in-one witnessed on the PGA Tour and the shot is thought to be the first hole-in-one on a par four.

Magee, standing on the 332-yard Par four 17th hole, hit his drive towards the green and heard the commotion, but didn’t see what happened.

"It looked like a hole-in-one, and it sounded like one," Magee said. "But I didn't know. I was 332 yards away!"

His ball bounced off Tom Byrum’s putter and into the hole for an unlikely ace and it sent PGA Tour officials scurrying to find out if there has ever been a hole-in-one on a par four in tournament play…nobody could recall one ever being made! Magee finished with a 66 thanks to his double eagle, a shot that even Tiger couldn’t believe!

"Come on, really?" he asked the press to stop pulling his leg. “Yes…really” Said the hacks.

"Wow, a nice little double eagle!"

Over 125,000 fans are expected to attend daily for the weekend and organisers reckon they may even top 500,000 by Sunday night…and with this sort of entertainment, they could be right.



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