Holes in One on the 16th Hole at the Phoenix Open
Surrounded by thousands of (generally inebriated) spectators in a detached stadium environment, the par three 16th at TPC Scottsdale is a unique and cavernous stage. It’s quite an event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, drawing around 700,000 people through the gates during the week, crowds that have no equivalent elsewhere in the game.
It’s not for everyone, clearly, as it would to be difficult to argue with the notion that it’s merely a party for college students and riotous weekenders, but that cynicism aside, it does create a unique atmosphere and setting, most notable illustrated by that apparently simple short hole, which adopts the position of being golf’s version of the Colosseum, as those in the stands bay for the blood of players who miss the green. With these piercing eyes upon them, it’s an intimidating prospect, but one that does bring it out the inner-showman that lives within the stars of the PGA Tour.
Making a hole-in-one is a great moment for any golfer, but none create a louder reaction than on the 16th at Phoenix. Since 1987, there have been nine aces recorded on the hole during the Phoenix Open, the most famous of which being unquestionably the delirious scenes when Tiger Woods electrified the crowd in 1997. There was even one by a robot.
More recently, Open champion Francesco Molinari ratcheted up the decibels with his shot in 2015, and in 2011, it was the bright smile of Jarrod Lyle who lit up the grandstands. Tragically, the popular Australian lost his battle with leukaemia last year, and his absence will be felt this week, but fittingly he will be remembered by the addition of a temporary memorial on the 16th this Saturday.
Take a look at the names who have etched themselves a small piece of history and relive some of the raucous scenes!
2015: Francisco Molinari
2011: Jarrod Lyle
2002: Mike Sposa
1997: Steve Stricker
1997: Tiger Woods
1991: Jay Delsing
1990: Brad Bryant
1990: David Edwards
1988: Hal Sutton
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