Chaos erupted Saturday at the Phoenix Open, as the gates were closed, alcohol sales halted, and one wild fan dove into a sand trap. Photo Credit: Joe Rondone/The Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK Feb 10, 2024; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Fans drink from a shoe in the stands on the 16th hole during the 2024 Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Photo Credit: Joe Rondone/The Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK

How wild did things get at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Saturday?

Things got so crazy that local police shut own alcohol sales, and even the entry gates, at TPC Scottsdale.

The decision to halt beer sales didn’t go over well with fans, who began chanting, “We want beer! We want beer!”

And at one point, a fan dove head first into a sand trap on the 16th hole. He was quickly detained after staggering out. That incident prompted the Twitter account @shooterMcGavin_ (after the character in the classic film Happy Gilmore) to tweet, “Damn you people. Go back to your shanties.”

This was clearly not your grandfather’s quiet, polite PGA Tour.

The WMPO has long been an outlier on the tour, with its raucous atmosphere earning it the nickname “The Greatest Show on Grass.” The centerpiece is the par-3 16th hole, which is surrounded by a huge grandstand.

Yet Saturday was as wild a scene as anyone could remember. writer Claire Rogers called the atmosphere “insane.”

“What I witnessed the first half of the day today at TPC Scottsdale was pretty insane. I saw men bleeding from the face, people napping on muddy hills and adults knocking each other over because they couldn’t walk straight,” Rogers wrote. “Picture the first few minutes of trying to exit a sold-out concert and multiply it by 15. That’s where we were at.”

Feb 10, 2024; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; A spectator lays on the ground on the 11th hole during the third round of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

Golf fans had mixed thoughts on the situation, with some loving it, while others claimed it gave the sport a black eye. Many critics compared it to LIV Golf, not a comparison the PGA Tour welcomes.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.