For years, WM Phoenix has been a bucket-list destination for Open fans and a laughing-and-bear destination for the pros, a place where regular golf turns into a weekend college football tailgate. Everyone knows it's going to be a loud, chaotic, unruly party.
But this year, the party seems to have loosened from any restrictions, and some pros are not having it.
Saturday is traditionally the worst day of the tournament, and this year the form held true. The tournament has suspended alcohol sales and closed its doors to newcomers, and a look at the footage from Saturday will give you a good idea why:
One fan decided to take a closer look at a bunker:
It was a Friday when a fan fell from a grandstand and was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
The players gritted their teeth and dealt with the rowdy crowd as best they could, usually with a mixture of good humor and resignation.
“It's a blast. It's a blast. There are definitely some who aren't great drinkers, but for the most part it's positive and it's a fun atmosphere,” Sahid Thigala said Saturday. “Sometimes you have to block some. That's for sure.”
But on Sunday, the crowd seemed to take it up another level, and this time, the calls got deep under the players' skins. Former Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson addressed a crowd through a hole: “I'm sick,” he said, apparently referring to someone yelling. “shutup your mouth.”
Billy Horschel, who tossed footballs at fans on the celebratory 16th hole on Saturday, lost his temper on Sunday as fans swung by playing partner Niccolò Galetti's swing (language advisory):
Controversial Jordan Spieth had his own issues in the gallery, but the sarcasm didn't seem to affect at least one of his shots:
Incredible scene now with Spieth on 18.
He dropped the club after the attack and pointed to a man in the crowd who yelled at his back. The ball ends up 15 feet short of birdie. “What the f***?” The camera cuts to him. In the gallery. pic.twitter.com/oyfQ2KNsp8
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) February 11, 2024
The WM Phoenix Open is one of the most notable events on the PGA Tour slate, but the players will likely have their loudest voice in deciding how the event moves forward.
Nick Taylor defeated Charlie Hoffman in a playoff
The contest took place all day Sunday, and was well underway for the start of the Super Bowl. In the end, Nick Taylor came out on top. Taylor defeated Charlie Hoffman in a two-hole playoff to win the WM Phoenix Open title on Sunday night. It marked Taylor's fourth career win.
The third round had to be completed on Sunday morning due to weather earlier in the week, which pushed the situation back despite every effort to finish the event before the Super Bowl.
Hoffman took a big lead late, but Taylor came back with three birdies in his last four holes to force a playoff. The duo then each made birdie to extend the opening playoff hole. Taylor then sank an 11.5-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to clinch the win — marking his fifth birdie in six holes.
In total, Taylor had to play 32 holes on Sunday. He was only six holes through his third round when Saturday was called.
Taylor has won twice in the last two years, following his win at the RBC Canadian Open. That victory. Sam Burns and Scotty Scheffler tied for third at 18 for the week, three shots behind Taylor and Hoffman. Under-17 Sahit Thigala was fifth.
The Tour heads to Riviera Country Club next week for the Genesis Invitational, the final stop on its West Coast swing to open the 2024 season.