Waste Management Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman Tom King spoke with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM as a part of Newsmakers Week about attendance records and the young talent he is concerned about bringing in to the event.
In its 79th year, the Open set a new attendance record as well as a new single-day record.
"We exceeded every attendance record that we have had since 2008," King said. "We had 563,000 people and 189,000 on Saturday alone."
The increasing attendance numbers have led King and the other chairmen to discuss certain player concerns with the crowded course.
"It is a PGA event that requires, unlike football, certain etiquette and quiet to make sure these guys can do their craft the way they need to do it," King said.
Even with these specific requirements, King says that the Waste Management Open is a "one of a kind" event and is ranked in the top ten U.S. sporting events in terms of fan experience.
As the PGA Tour's best attended event, the "Greatest Show on Grass" has featured many of the top golfers in the world playing on famous holes, including the famous 16th.
King calls the course, featuring a coliseum environment around 16, a "gladiator type arena."
Impressively enough, the Open has done this without Tiger Woods on the scorecard. Woods has not participated in the Scottsdale event since 2001, when a person threw an orange on the green during one of his putts.
Two years prior, Woods had another incident on the course when a man was found with a gun in his fanny pack and was arrested after heckling Woods.
Despite Woods' mishaps on the Arizona links, his hole-in-one on the 16th hole in 1997 remains one of the most memorable golf shots in PGA history.
King noted that while the increased attendance and rowdiness could be a reason for some players to not participate in the open, money and compensation also play a role.
"There are no inducements for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, so there is a lot of that that he [Tiger] has committed to but he put that hole on the map," King said. "That hole-in-one in 1997 was it. It kind of grew from there. It was a hot dog stand and a beer cooler and here we are 200 sky boxes later."
Woods has been participating in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic instead of the Waste Management Open, where he shot a -6 and tied for 41st this past week.
King is optimistic about having top-tier golfers like Woods come back to the Open, but for the near future it is all about the young talent.
"At some point he may want to come back and do it one more time, but as of right now we'd love to have a Rory McIlroy," King said. "Someone young and really cutting edge like that would be awesome next year with the Super Bowl coming."
Schedule for the week
Dave Tippett and Lon Babby are in-studio on Tuesday for Newsmakers Week.
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Friday and the full week
- Greg Byrne: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part two
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part one
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Thursday
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Wednesday
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Tuesday
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Monday
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Bryan Sperber, PIR President - Friday February 14PIR president Bryan Sperber closes out Newsmakers Week with Doug and Wolf.
- Greg Byrne, UA Athletic Director - Friday February 14Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne sits in on Newsmakers Week.
- Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals GM - Friday February 14Cardinals GM Steve Keim joins Newsmakers Week.
- Kevin Guy, Arizona Rattlers Head Coach - Thursday February 13What should the NFL implement from arena football?
- Herb Sendek, Head Coach ASU Basketball - Thursday February 13Can ASU make the tournament in March?
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday February 13When does Derrick Hall think things will heat up with the Dodgers?
- Brian Mueller, GCU President - Thursday February 13Brian Mueller explains what attracts athletes to GCU.
- Jim Pitman, Mercury General Manager - Thursday February 13How do things look on the business side of the Mercury organization?
- Ray Anderson, ASU Athletic Director - Wednesday February 12Ray Anderson explains why he took the job at ASU.
- Jason Rowley, Suns President - Wednesday February 12Where are the Suns trending financially?
- Jerry Colangelo, Godfather of Phoenix Sports - Wednesday February 12Jerry Colangelo comes in studio for an entire hour!
- Dan Majerle, Head Coach GCU Basketball - Wednesday February 12Dan Majerle explains the recruiting process.
- David Rousseau, AZ Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman - Tuesday February 11Find out how Glendale is preparing right now to host next year's Super Bowl.
- Lon Babby, Suns President of Operations - Tuesday February 11Eric Bledsoe's future with the team and the relationship between the Suns and Dan Majerle.
- Dave Tippett, Coyotes head coach - Tuesday February 11Dave spends his Olympic break with us in studio to discuss the playoff race his team is in.
- Tim Esmay, ASU baseball coach - Tuesday February 11Tim describes the competitive nature in recruiting high school athletes.
- Tom King, 2014 Waste Managment Phoenix Open Chairman - Tuesday February 11Tom explains how the Phoenix Open continues to be a huge success year after year.
- Charli Turner Thorne, ASU Women's basketball head coach - Monday February 10How is the women's basketball program at ASU doing?
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Monday February 10The D-backs made moves on the mound
- Jeff Hornacek, Suns Head Coach - Monday February 10Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek joins Doug and Wolf during Newsmakers Week.
- Keith Baker, GCU Athletic Director - Monday February 10How long until GCU can make the NCAA tournament?
- George Gosbee Phoenix Coyotes Co-Owner - Monday February 10Live update from the Sochi Winter Olympics.