Golf is fun again! After a Monday finish featuring trees ripped up from the ground and all scores over par except Sneds, the PGA Tour is moving down to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. No more sideways rain, we’re expecting sun and dryness in the desert.
What to watch for this week:
The “Coliseum” is what happens when tournament organizers end up embracing rowdy drunk people instead of getting annoyed at them. For the majority of this tournament’s existence, this hole has been somewhat of a party area. Check out Tiger making a hole in one back in 1997, to see the reaction right after he makes contact. Want to feel old, Tiger hit this shot 19 years ago!
Since that time, the WMPO (Wampo? What a great nickname, using that from now on) organizers added grandstands, and now completely surround the hole. Adhering to the time honored tradition of naming things that don’t need to be named, they christened the hole the “Coliseum”, which is now one of the most memorable holes on the PGA Tour.
With a capacity of 20,000 probably drunk people, there’s a constant buzz of noise you’ll probably hear before guys tee off. Also expect loud cheers with a green in regulation, and boos if a players misses the green #brogolf.
Another fun feature of the hole is some of the random promotions or games that are allowed on the 16th hole that don’t show up elsewhere.
Nike ran a promotion a few years ago where they had their staff players use special black colored balls on that hole:
Mark Wilson in a Cheesehead:
Various NFL uniforms because of the impending super bowl:
Overall though, expect some more debate about the growing party atmosphere. For me, I say the more fun the better.
Also, Padraig kicking a football.
The Superb Owl
Nothing to do with owls, but everything to do with football. Well not everything if you’re in a position like I am; sad about how the Packers can’t win this year so both teams should lose. Nevertheless, I, along with plenty of other people will be tuning into the event. Checkout the podcast for this week to hear some predictions.
Also, like was the case a few weeks ago, the final round will be over before the start of the Bowl. Though you might miss the apparently 7.5 hours of pregame coverage.
The Top Guys
Though not generally a top tier event in terms of player rankings, The Wampo features a few big name draws, none of whom played the weekend / Monday at Torrey. Wondering if that might be an advantage.
Rickie Fowler, who hopefully will be relaxed and rested after coming all the way from the middle east back to the US and playing like dirt. PMick, favorite of the Phoenix area by playing his college golf at Arizona State, and Bubba Watson, back in action for the first time since the Hyundai Tournament of Champs.
According to his twitter, Bubba’s been playing and practicing a bunch, so he shouldn’t be having any rust. More importantly, how in the world did Bubba get this picture?
The 18th Hole
That’s the view from the tee box on the 18th hole. Imagine you’re Phil, with a lead going into the last hole. Depending on what your situation on the leaderboard, you either need a par of birdie to close out the tournament. So how much of the water do you cut off? Trick question! Phil, along with most of the guys on tour, can just carry all the water. Sure there are bunkers to deal with, but not thinking about the water is pretty nice. It’s a fun hole to watch, especially with these players amped up on the 72nd hole. They can get it out pretty far.
Euros still in the desert
Final shoutout to the European Tour, currently touring in the Middle East. Their desert swing started in Abu Dhabi, moved to Qatar, and finally now ending in Dubai. Their last stop in the middle east until they return for the final event of the 2016 Euro season. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know where those places were on a map, so check out this handy screenshot I took from Google Maps cause we’re so high tech!
The red mark is Abu Dhabi. Qatar is to the left and up a little, and Dubai is just to the top right of that red mark! Thanks Google Maps!