No More Drunken Brawl at WM Phoenix Open? Saturday Menace Forces Event Officials to ‘Make Changes’

Published 02/12/2024, 10:38 PM EST

Follow Us

USA Today via Reuters

The golf world has witnessed a lot of drama over the years. But it seems the recent one at the WM Phoenix Open has truly crossed the line. Many, including the likes of Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel, had taken to express their ire at the same. Fortunately, it appears that their words have been taken note of, as the officials of the event divulged their plans for the future a while back.

America’s Favorite Video Today

The Executive Director of Thunderbirds, the group in charge of the recent tournament, took to an interview with Golf Today not too long ago commenting on the unruly behavior that took place on Arizonian greens. However, while doing so, he made sure to highlight the “changes” that would be taking place in the coming year, focusing more on Friday and Saturday!

Plans for the WM Phoenix Open 2025 set in sight

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“We’re going to make changes,” said Chance Cozby in the talk with Tood Lewis and Rex Hoggard as he recounted the events that took place at the recent PGAT event, especially on Saturday. Adding on, he said, “The fine line was really when… our fans could not move around the golf course,” all the while dubbing the decision to shut down the gates and suspend the alcohol sales as the “right thing to do” for the safety of the event, players, and fans.

Continuing with his response, Cozby divulged how the leadership team evaluated “the next steps” to fix the problems that arose in the next “365 days.” Moreover, he revealed, “You will see a complete operational change of how we manage… our Friday and Saturday… the entire week.” To top it up, the executive director made sure to shine a light on areas requiring attention, including “general admission ticket exposure,” “complete security plan,” and “how we(sic) operate,” before going ahead to denote how the recent experience would be a “turning point” in the event’s history.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest Golf stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Looking back at Saturday, the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course witnessed a day of chaos and mayhem as fans took to the grounds to indulge in their activities. Shockingly, a fan took to a bunker to make a snow angel, and after diving into the same, an enthusiast slid down the grass as the rest of the audience cheered him on while empty and crushed beer cans were thrown all over the ground.

After seeing all of that, one can only be surprised if the golfers did not say anything in response. Well, Johnson, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, and Horschel did not disappoint, as he clearly expressed his dissatisfaction with the community.

Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel blow up

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

During the event, a fan heckled the skipper, following which he shouted at the group of people, “Don’t ‘sir’ me.” Adding on, he said, “Somebody said it. I’m just sick of it. Just shut up,” before going ahead to storm off from the crowd. That’s not all, during an interview, he even divulged how “this tournament has been inappropriate and crossed the line” with him despite him being in his 21st year on the PGA Tour.

Horschel was also visibly agitated at the fans as he was spotted yelling at an enthusiast, “Buddy, when he’s over the shot, shut the hell up, man.” Moreover, he also implored, in an aggressive manner, to allow them to do their job while cursing them out: “Come on, he’s trying to hit a damn golf shot here. It’s our f–king job.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Such an experience would have surely left a black mark in the history of the tournament. Nevertheless, it would undoubtedly urge the Thunderbirds, along with other event organizers on the PGA Tour, to make sure the upcoming tournaments are properly hosted.

Watch This Story | PGA Tour Loyalist Justin Thomas Takes a Sharp Dig at Greg Norman and LIV Golf 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Allan Abe

891Articles

One take at a time

Allan Abe is a Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. He shares a longtime passion for the sport, having idolized players like Bubba Watson and Adam Scott as a child. Armed with his Master’s Degree in English, Allan has covered many themes in golf as a beat writer with more than 800 articles and excels at live coverage and a hole-to-hole analysis of events.
Show More>

Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today