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PGA's Greatest Show on Grass open for business
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Phoenix Open golf

PGA's Greatest Show on Grass open for business

Tickets $25 per day for loudest, rowdiest golf tournament on Earth

  • India's Arjun Atwal watches his approach on No. 18.
    B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.comIndia's Arjun Atwal watches his approach on No. 18.
  • Tee markers at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
    B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.comTee markers at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  • A comfy gentle hill along the 18th fairway offers a great view of the 18th green.
    B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.comA comfy gentle hill along the 18th fairway offers a great view of the 18th green.
  • PGA Tour veteran Kenny Perry is in the field.
    B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.comPGA Tour veteran Kenny Perry is in the field.
  • The view back up the fairway from the 18th green at TPC Scottsdale is purty.
    B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.comThe view back up the fairway from the 18th green at TPC Scottsdale is purty.

Golfers with early tee times were about to come off the course shortly after noon at the 75th Phoenix Open, where some of the PGA’s most notable and skilled players are competing in the nation’s loudest tournament.

South African Trevor Immelman (who once gave me a dirty look for shooting his picture – even after he had hit the ball) and North Carolina native Webb Simpson were leading the field at 6-under, with Aussie Jarod Lyle and Americans Harrison Frazer and D.A. Points following at 5-under.

Fan favorite Phil Mickelson, an Arizona State University alum who now lives in San Diego, is in the field. Mickelson has struggled this year, having missed the cut in last week’s Farmer’s Insurance Open. He looks forward to Phoenix every year.

“It is fun for me to come back here because the people here have treated me so well through the years,” Mickelson said Wednesday. “I can't believe it's been 20 years since I've been out of college. It's gone by awfully quickly. I still feel a community vibe here and the way people have treated us have been awesome.”

Other notables in the field include Vijay Singh, Rickie Fowler and Davis Love III. Defending champion Mark Wilson is playing, as is former University of Arizona golfer Ricky Barnes. Wilson is keeping the bar low this year.

“The main thing, I guess, is that any tournament that I've won I've gone into with very low expectations, not trying to win the tournament, just go out there and play the best I could and see what I shoot,” he told members of the media Wednesday.

Wilson already has a $1 million win this year at the Humana Challenge two weeks ago.

The tournament sponsored by global garbage giant Waste Management is played on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. It’s appropriate that the course is called the Stadium — it often sounds like one. 

The Phoenix Open is not your grandpa’s golf tournament.

The tournament is among the rowdiest golf tournaments in the world. The 16th hole on the course, a 162-yard par-3, is arguably the loudest hole in golf. Almost completely surrounded by cocktail-serving party tents, the hole is known for its alcohol-fueled frenzy of 20,000 fans.

General admission tickets are available at the gate all week for $25 per day, children 17 and younger are free with a paying adult. Packages with access to various VIP areas, including the clubhouse, also are available. Access to the Bird’s Nest, where the Goo Goo Dolls will perform Thursday and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas will perform Friday, costs $35.

If your pockets are deep, you can get Chairman’s Club access for the week — which includes access to all VIP areas and valet parking — for $5,000.

It is fun for me to come back here because the people here have treated me so well through the years.

— Phil Mickelson

If you go

What: Waste Management Phoenix Open

When: Through Sunday

Where: Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale, 17020 N. Hayden Rd.

Cost: $25, general admission per day (17 and younger free with paying adult); $35 gets access to the Bird's Nest; various VIP packages are available. For information, visit the Phoenix Open's website.

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