It is a dark morning before the sun rises. Thousands of people are standing in an endless line at the entrance of the convention hall. They keep screaming for the door to open. At 7:00 am, the closed iron windows open and the galleries sprint toward the 16th hole. The so-called ‘open run’ phenomenon occurred to preoccupy the best seat in the ‘famous’ 16th hole. The first-place gallery enjoyed the joy of running while giving high-fives to the officials. The gallery stand in Hall 16, which accommodates 17,000 galleries, quickly became full.
This happened on the 12th (Korean time) at the US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour WM Phoenix Open (total prize money of 20 million dollars) held at Scottsdale TPC (par 71) in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. Even local police officers were deployed out of fear of colliding galleries and the risk of injury. According to US Golf.com, some fans slept in front of the tournament around 9:00 pm the previous day and woke up at 2:00 am to line up to enter the 16th hole. Their goals are clear. The goal is to get to the 16th hole as quickly as possible.
The 16th hole, reminiscent of the ‘Colosseum’, a Roman gladiator arena with a huge stand, is the noisiest hole on the PGA Tour. US Open champion John Rahm (Spain) says, “The decibel increases exponentially at the 16th hole every year.” Last year, when Sam Ryder (USA) and Carlos Ortiz (Mexico) hit a hole-in-one on the 16th hole, excited galleries produced a frantic scene throwing beer cans and soda bottles onto the green. Play was halted for 15 minutes as hostesses cleaned up the debris. 메이저사이트
This year, no hole-in-one has yet been made at the 16th hole, but when Tony Finau (USA) landed a tee shot at this hole 40cm away from the pin in the first round, the galleries cheered enthusiastically. Lim Seong-jae also caught a 10m birdie putt in this hole during the second round and received great cheers. However, it is the 16th hole that top players such as Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) and Jordan Spieth (USA) cannot avoid being booed. However, the players are not offended and rather laugh it off. Because it is a competition tradition.
Some call the Phoenix Open the ‘People’s Open’. It created an atmosphere for the gallery. There are also galleries that play all 18 holes and do not watch golf. Singers Machine Gun Kelly and The Chainsmokers perform in a party tent at the entrance of the venue, and some fans come to the Phoenix Open to enjoy music, beer and dancing into the night.
The Phoenix Open is the most enthusiastic and popular event in the world. Golf fans wonder how the Phoenix Open draws such fanaticism. It is said that you can understand why just by visiting the Phoenix Open once.
Seo Jeong-woo, who served as Oh Ji-hyeon’s caddy on the KLPGA tour until last year, said after visiting the Phoenix Open this time, “It feels like all the galleries are coming to enjoy a party.” There are many booths and spectator seats in the gallery plaza, so I am very excited, and I feel strongly that I am enjoying this time with my friends rather than watching a golf game.”
Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), world No. 1 in men’s golf, said, “If I had to go to a PGA Tour event in a situation where I am not a player, I would choose the Phoenix Open.”