2014 Waste Management Open | Local Knowledge

2014 Waste Management Open
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The par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the Waste Management Phoenix Open is unlike any other hole in golf.
By T.J. Auclair
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Series: Local Knowledge

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 | 8:36 a.m.

In case you hadn't heard, there's a party going on in Phoenix this week. That's right, the PGA Tour is in town at TPC Scottsdale for the always rowdy -- in a fun way -- Waste Management Phoenix Open.

TPC Scottsdale's signature hole also happens to be one of the most famous par 3s in the world -- the 16th. There's no other hole in golf that compares in atmosphere to this one. Completely surrounded by stands filled with partygoers, No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale is like no other.

The fans on that hole seemingly know every little detail about every player in the field based on the chants we hear there throughout the tournament.

RELATED: Waste Management Open leaderboard | Auclair's 5 players to watch | Crazy 16th hole

Obviously, there are 17 other holes players need to be concerned with. Before the tournament got started, we chatted with TPC Scottsdale PGA Head Professional Greg Wolf for a little Q&A.

PGA.com: I can't imagine it gets much better for the folks at TPC Scottsdale than when Phil Mickelson wins the Waste Management Open. Last year, Mickelson did just that for the third time in his career. If it's even possible at your tournament, how much more exciting is the atmosphere when Phil's in the mix?

Wolf: I hope he plays! I hear he will warm up Wednesday and see how his back feels. Nothing better than Phil playing well, having a putt on the last hole in Round 1 to shoot 59 (which he lipped out in 2013) and winning the event. We hope he plays, but even if he doesn't I have a feeling a half a million people will still be here partying!

Editor's note: Since this Q&A, Mickelson has decided to give it a shot this week. Watch the video below from 2013 when Mickelson flirted with 59 in the first round of the Waste Management Open:



PGA.com: Speaking of the atmosphere, can you please describe what it's like on the par-3 16th hole on a Saturday for our readers?

Wolf: Not much to say except you have 20,000+ people screaming, booing, chanting and drinking for 8-10 hours. I'm sure you can imagine what that is like.

PGA.com: I've always wondered -- as great as it is to have your job and to host a PGA Tour event, is it ever a bummer that the event ends on Super Bowl Sunday? Of course, I anticipate a diplomatic answer, but I've got to think it's a mad dash to get out of there and over to a Super Bowl party not long after the trophy presentation!

Wolf: Being a Cowboy fan it never bothers me, we usually shut the season down in December. I'm just happy to see my wife and kids before they go to bed on Super Bowl Sunday. As far as everyone else goes, it clears out pretty quick except for the 250 fans who waited around for Phil's signature last year.

PGA.com: You've seen up close and personal how good these players are. Even still, does it ever blow your mind when you see how low they score at TPC Scottsdale? I mean Mickelson won last year at 28-under par. That's some great playing.

Wolf: It's great watching those guys. It reminds me how bad I am!

PGA.com: What's your favorite aspect about tournament week?

Wolf: That's a great question, there are so many things that happen between setup and the actual event. I honestly think it's the way our staff handles the event. Between the maintenance department, pro-ams, driving range, merchandise tents/shop, locker room and bag storage our staff does a awesome job and it's great to see them in action.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.