Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Every year, it’s always a different story at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Every year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open there is always something new. I have gone six straight years and there never a dull moment – from the drunk guy walking down the sidewalk barely able to stand up but still talking on his phone, to the Arizona State sorority girls walking around in tight-fitting dresses and high heels and not worrying about a single golf shot, there is always plenty to see and do at this party, er, golf tournament.

This was my sixth trip to the tournament. We had always sat in the grandstands on 16 with thousands of others and joined in the cheers, the boos, the heckling and the chants. But this time was different. This time we got to hob nob with the big wigs in the suites on 16. Plenty of seats. And more importantly, plenty of food and adult beverages.

As players made their way from the island green on 15 through the tunnel to the 16 tee box, there was never a dull moment. An occasional cheer for a good tee shot. But plenty of boos for those who missed the green or didn’t knock it near the hole. There were also cheers for Tony Finau when he put on a Kobe Bryant jersey and played the hole. When he knocked in a birdie putt, he did a fadeaway jump shot, ala Kobe. The fans loved it.

We had only gone one day to the tournament. This year we decided to go a second day. No suite this time, but there was still plenty to see and do. A new Ridge grandstand provided some great viewing on the 12th hole. We tried to sneak our way into suites on the 17th and 18th hole, but no dice. Security was on us. My friend even waved a 10 in the face of a security guard. “You might want to try again,” the guard laughed. We had already spent most of our money on $9 Coors Lights so we were basically tapped.

We ran into other fans from the Northwest, some had been to the event before, others for the first time. “Bucket list thing for me,” one guy said. The guy also said it was fun to see Northwest players like Ryan Moore, Joel Dahmen and Nick Taylor.

There are over 100,000 fans every day on the grounds at the TPC Scottsdale, but amazingly you can still walk around the see players and the wait for food and beverages is generally not too bad. But about those suites …. nothing like it. I hope I get my invite again next year.

Steve Turcotte is editor of Inside Golf Newspaper. He can be reached at sdturcotte@comcast.net.