Did anyone see the Phoenix Open in Arizona the other week? The tournament is sponsored by (in case you hadn’t noticed during the coverage) Waste Management, Inc. – North America’s leading provider of integrated environmental solutions, or rubbish removal to you and I.
All credit to the organisers and the sponsors for creating another notable stop on the PGA Tour gravy train in an era when attracting sizable purses and the services of the game’s superstars is increasingly challenging.
If you didn’t catch a glimpse of the action from Arizona, the tournament started in electric fashion when Phil Mickleson somehow missed out on golf’s holy grail when the 59th stroke of his opening round somehow horse-shoed out, meaning he had to settle for a mere 11-under par 60!
Phil went on to win the Phoenix Open (sponsored by Waste Management) with a record breaking total score of 28 under par which was extraordinary enough but in a strange kind of way his heroics were placed second on the entertainment-ometer by the fun and games that took place in the now famous amphitheater of the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale.
First up, it was James Hahn’s rendition of Gangnam Style following a birdie two. Padraig Harrington then took to the stage, well actually the tee and booted an American Football into the adoring, slightly inebriated fans.
Then to the caddy races! How Robert Garrigus’ caddy didn’t break a collarbone or probably more fortunately his employer’s trusty rusty when he wiped himself out, I am really not too sure! If you haven’t seen any of this at a professional golf tournament with a total prize fund of $6,200,000, check out the highlights:
Here’s another clip and probably the funniest incident I have ever witnessed at a serious professional golf event:
Now, there is a serious point to my blog this week. Whether you find the of “goings on” at the Phoenix Open (sponsored by Waste Management) humorous or cringe worthy, and I have no doubt that a few graves may have felt some rotational movement, the fact is that this tournament records the highest attendance at a golf event anywhere in the world.
More than 179,000 golf “fans” turned up (or at least made it to the bar) to watch the third round on Saturday! Why?
Because they are there to have fun and be entertained. It seems appropriate to close with a football or should I say soccer cliche… At the end of the day, tournament golf is suppose to be entertaining to watch, both in person and on television.
I’m probably at the half-way house in my life or possibly the tenth tee and therefore wince a little but with more than a hint of a smile at the 16th hole shenanigans, but I do think the European Tour need to learn a thing or two from this event and create an exciting golf event in the UK that is attractive to a younger audience and a new kind of sponsor. This is, after all, show business.
This blog was not sponsored by Waster Management.
Career earnings as a PGA Professional of £328.75 were never quite going to make the grade but my love of golf is as intense as ever. MD of Jenahura, Marketing Director of Bearwood Lakes. Passionate for; life, my wife Lisa, Mum & Dad, a wonderfully diverse array of Friends & Family, a cold beer, fine food, fine wines, traveling the world, sport and music.
For more information, visit www.jenahura.com.