WM Phoenix Open far from overlooked with Super Bowl in town

Feb 10, 2023, 6:46 PM
The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the second round of the 2023 WM Phoenix Open on Friday, Feb....
The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the second round of the 2023 WM Phoenix Open on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, in Scottsdale (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

SCOTTSDALE — Sure, the lead up to the biggest football game of the year isn’t lost on anyone in the desert.

With Super Bowl LVII taking place at State Farm Stadium on Sunday, the Valley is painted in turquoise, purple and red. Festivities around the big game are aplenty, from numerous celebrity pool parties and meet-and-greets to downtown Phoenix changing shape into Super Bowl headquarters.

But with everything to see and do surrounding the game, the annual spectacle that is the WM Phoenix Open is far from lost on the minds of those soaking up the 70-degree temperatures in the area.

In fact, for the first time in tournament history, the WM Phoenix Open had to put a cap on tickets for Friday and Saturday thanks to the influx of people embarking on the state.

Wednesday’s Pro-Am looked like a typical second or third round of the tournament. It was nowhere near what we saw two days later at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course, however.

Getting out of the car on Friday, you could feel the tournament had evolved into an even bigger beast. By the time you got to the revamped entrance, it was more than evident the 2023 WM Phoenix Open was on another level.

Traversing the course was a feat in itself given the mass of spectators taking in the golf, weather and libations.

And for most, there was one destination in mind: No. 16.

The coliseum that is the 16th hole did not disappoint, with spectators pouring more than themselves into the par 3 while others lined around the stadium just to catch a glimpse of the action.

Golfers knocking it close were showered in cheers. Those off the green were covered in boos.

And although some of the pros put it close, with some dropping in for birdie, it was a spectator from the stands who ended up getting the biggest rise out of the crowd on Friday.

Speaking of golf, there was a lot of it.

Thanks to a Thursday frost delay, the tournament was forced to suspend Round 1 due to darkness, meaning play had to be picked up Friday morning before the second round could begin. It doesn’t sound like the tournament will extend into Monday, but it all depends on the next few days.

Not only did pin placements have to be moved mid-morning, players had to prepare themselves for an extended day of swinging the sticks.

Taking the No. 1 spot through two rounds was none other than 2022 winner Scottie Scheffler at 10-under.

Right behind him, though, sits ASU alum Jon Rahm at 8-under, making for a compelling third round on Saturday.

And with it will be an even wilder day on the course for those in attendance.

Buckle up, folks.


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