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Darkness halts PGA play in Scottdale

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Phoenix Open golf

Darkness halts PGA play in Scottdale

Levin leads field at 14-under par, followed by Texan Harrison Frazer at 11-under

  • Tim Herron was at 1-under par when play was suspended for darkness Friday.
    B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.comTim Herron was at 1-under par when play was suspended for darkness Friday.
  • The best beard on the PGA Tour belongs to Josh Teator's caddie, Charlie Gibson.
    B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.comThe best beard on the PGA Tour belongs to Josh Teator's caddie, Charlie Gibson.

Things looked good for golfer Spencer Levin at the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last Thursday.

The California native and four-year PGA veteran fired a 10-under 62 in the first round of the tournament in San Diego. Then he collapsed with a 76, 73 and 72, and ended the tournament a disappointing 43rd with an equally disappointing (by PGA standards) paycheck of $18,000.

On Friday, the University of New Mexico grad was hoping for a better outcome. He started the day hot at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and just kept going. He finished his darkness-delayed first round Friday morning with three birdies and a par for a respectable 65. He then followed with six birdies and an eagle – the latter via a bunker shot on the Par 4 No. 17 – to card a 62 in the second round.

Levin leads the field at 14-under. Texan Harrison Frazer was second at 11-under when darkness again suspended play Friday.

Frazer seemed to be charging after shooting 5-under on his first nine holes, but managed just one birdie in the six holes he completed on the back nine. Play will resume at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Thursday’s co-leaders – Ryan Palmer and Jason Duffner – remained tied after each shot 72 on Friday, leaving them in sixth place.

The cut was still undetermined, though some PGA stalwarts will surely miss it. Stewart Cink will not recover from an 83 on Thursday and will not make it to Round 3. Ditto for Vijay Singh, who shot a 76 on Thursday and was at 4-over par when play was stopped Friday.

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 Phoenix Open 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 under 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 played Thursday and of the Black Eyed Peas performed a DJ set Friday, costs $35. Saturday night’s entertainment will be by Flashback Heart Attack, a 1980s cover band from Los Angeles.

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

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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