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The Phoenix Open is definitely not a waste of a tournament

Sometimes weather can turn golf into the craziest of games

You can manufacture drama and it can happen organically.

Such is the case when you take a golf tournament, sponsored by waste a management company, taking place it in the desert and surround one hole with coliseum seating. The Waste Management Phoenix Open proved once again it may be the most compelling tournament in men’s professional golf.

Yes, more compelling than the Masters.

Yes, more compelling than The Open.

Golf purists probably think I’m crazy, but they aren’t the ones who would come to a tournament early in the morning to claim a seat in a grandstand in hopes of seeing a player make a hole in one or close to it and going sufficiently bonkers. Or, conversely, boo when the tee shot lands nowhere near the pin or a makeable putt for a birdie comes up short.

Rickie Fowler (TaylorMade TP5 pix) nailed an ace in the tournament, but not on the famous 16th hole.

Anyone who has ever nailed a hole in one will admit they probably felt an out of body feeling.

But when you’ve attended a PGA tournament, baking in the sun, or freezing in the cold or getting soaked in the rain, there’s nothing like seeing a professional player do something amazing.

And enjoying a few beers (or as many as you can down all day) to celebrate.

When will Fowler win a tournament again? You can just feel the people in the galleries wanting it so badly for him, not to mention his many sponsors.

THE RORY COMMERCIAL: I’m digging that TaylorMade commercial promoting the Stealth 2 driver that offer more fargiveness. Or is it forgiveness?

If you haven’t seen it, Rory McIlroy (TaylorMade TP5x), Collin Morikawa (TaylorMade TP5) and Tiger Woods (Bridgestone Tour B XS) are at the driving range. McIlroy talks about the driver he’s using and says it offers more forgiveness. Morikawa wonders if McIlroy is saying fargiveness. Woods thinks he’s hearing fargiveness. It goes back and forth like this. It’s kind of funny.

TALKING GOLF: During the second day of the Phoenix Open, broadcaster Scott Van Pelt did an interview with the Golf Channel and said something I found fascinating. He was talking about how the best commentary in golf happens when the broadcasters “just shut up. We hear the player and the caddie have an exchange. We hear the rattle of the club. We hear the thump on the ground.”

That’s what I find so interesting watching on TV, especially with all the technology. You could actually remove the broadcasters completely and let the game speak for itself.

LIV GOLF: The fact the PGA has bumped up purses and designated some tournaments as elevated events has meant the best players in the world are playing more often. It’s been apparent since the start of the new year. This week’s Genesis Invitational is the second elevated event tournament in a row with bigger purses than last year.

So if nothing else, LIV Golf has had an effect on the PGA Tour. There’s nothing like competition to change a monopoly, which the PGA clearly had. It also helps that Woods and McIlroy convinced some of the best, young players to stick with the PGA Tour. The ones who left will accrue more guaranteed money than they would have on the PGA Tour, but they won’t enjoy the same atmosphere and attention. For some, I don’t think that matters.




Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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