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GOLF | PGA TOUR

Chaos at the PGA Waste Management tournament as drunken fans run amok

Alcohol sales have been suspended following incidents caused by groups of drunken fans during the tournament at Saturday’s session.

Update:
Feb 10, 2024; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Fans drink from a shoe in the stands on the 16th hole during the 2024 Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Joe RondoneUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“I saw more chaos in the last eight hours than in the last decade of my life. I saw men bleeding from the face, people rolling on muddy hills, and adults hitting each other because they couldn’t walk straight. Imagine the first few minutes of trying to leave a sold-out concert. and multiply it by 15. That’s where we were,” says Claire Rogers of Golf.com about the events that occurred on Saturday during the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open. Due to these unsavoury incidents, the tournament had to temporarily close its doors and has banned the sale of alcohol permanently.

“For reference, the walk from the practice area to the 16th tee has taken me about 12 minutes all week. Today? Forty-five (45). The place was full. A little later, I witnessed a fan break into the 16th hole. He dove into a green-side bunker, ran, and was quickly arrested about 15 seconds later,” Rogers said.

Security issues

By closing the doors, the organizers intended to reduce the number of spectators with some leaving as a mountain of empty bottles, glasses and other plastic containers littered areas of the golf course. Safety problems arose due to overcrowding, with the risk of potential incidents causing injuries as some parts of the course that had been subject to heavy rain started to give way at the Scottsdale TPC course.

“On the spectrum from anti-fun to chaos-loving, I’m probably somewhere in the middle, but I definitely started to feel like I was trapped in a crowded frat basement in the middle of the afternoon,” added the Golf.com journalist.

The proximity of Arizona State University guarantees a sizeable student population in the crowd, congregating primarily around the 16th hole, where a 20,000-seat grandstand makes for one big party but it appears that on Saturday, that party got out of hand.

Finally, the third round of the tournament was suspended and will resume this Sunday (3:30 p.m.), with the Canadian Nick Taylor as the leader, with a card of 130 strokes for -13, one above the American Sahith Theegala (-12).