WM Phoenix Open Is Injurious to Health; Here’s Why

Published 02/11/2024, 9:29 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Noisy. Unpredictable. Extremely risky. These are only some of the many words used to describe the concerning scenes at the TPC Scottdale’s Stadium course over the last few days. Even though it has been a tradition for the People’s Open to have fan behavior best described as bizarre, the 2024 edition has undoubtedly left the golf world shocked (and maybe even scared).

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The recent happenings have even led to some people calling the event injurious to their health (and no, it’s not because of the frequently changing weather). As the event nears its conclusion on February 11th, what are some reasons why the WM Phoenix Open has been termed a health hazard?

Twitter deems alcohol poisoning as a major concern at the WM Phoenix Open

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From fans running a marathon to the 16th hole in a large group to spotting a swimming streaker hanging out on the ‘W’ of the water body on the course, to even the chaos making the area accident-prone to the extent that a woman ended up experiencing non-life-threatening injuries, your most intrusive thoughts have the potential to become a reality in Arizona.

Stepping away from the expectation of etiquette that comes along with the game of golf, extreme drunkenness at the famous PGAT event in Arizona has become almost customary. How else would you explain an extremely drunken fan urinating himself at the Waste Management Phoenix Open? Even the surprising shower of beer cans on the greens in the past, so much so that it became a matter of safety concern?

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Thankfully, the practice of throwing drinkables (and their containers) has now been banned, and the introduction of plastic cups was one of the strategies that helped the authorities save the day. The situation went so out of hand this year that the authorities even had to ban alcohol to make the day less chaotic.

Interestingly, however, this is a first for the PGA Tour. In the past, there have been no firm steps taken to put a limit on the consumption of alcohol. It has even led some people to believe, for those overdosing in excitement, that someday this can “kill someone with alcohol poisoning.” It has even been believed that this blissfulness in turning a blind eye to these dangerous levels of intoxication among the audiences stems from the heavy revenue possibilities that come with such purchases.

 

Drunken fans tripping down and falling on-course is the general norm at this golf tournament, especially on the 16th hole, which is known for its heavy, chaotic party tendencies. But this year, no hole was spared, and chaos spread like a virus.

Walking on eggshells is the only way to protect your health (both mental and physical) at this famously called ‘People’s Open’. This has led many to even claim that “nobody is safe at the Waste Management” and that the event needs better “wasted management.”

 

It’s not just fans, however, but also some famous PGA Tour pros who share the same frustration when it comes to the increasingly dangerous behavior displayed by those present alongside the greens. But who are these famous pros?

An Byeong-hun describes his take on the matter

When asked about everyone’s opinions on this year’s WM Phoenix Open, the South Korean professional golfer was quick to express his mind. His take? “S***shows. Totally out of control on every hole.” The 32-year-old even complained about how the extreme chaos and noisy environment disturbed his game and resulted in a performance that was beyond his expectations.

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Read More: Weather Delay at WM Phoenix Open on Saturday; Tour Becomes a Laughing Stock in Golf World

The PGAT star even affirmed that the fan behavior has been worse than the last few years this time around. His exact words were, “I think so. I didn’t have to deal with it until the last few holes. Almost every other hole today.”

The South Korean star was not alone in his disappointment. Even Michael Kim, one of his fellow pros, was not satisfied with his performance; however, his reasons were more personal. He tweeted, “Not great…It’s because I played badly and missed the cut. Woke up at 5am to play two holes and played them +1. Wasn’t great.”

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Be it chaos or just a bad day, there have been many instances of disappointment, medical emergencies, and unanimous fear for safety at the TPC Scottdale in the past few days. What do you think about the WM Phoenix Open’s hazardous nature this year? Share your views in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Daiemah Malik

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One take at a time

Daiemah Malik is a Senior Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. Thanks to many evenings on the course, driving and putting alongside her family, Daiemah is able to give her loyal readers a perspective of both a player and a writer. Her area of expertise is technical core sport pieces like analyzing golfers’ performances or predicting how weather will affect an event and those playing.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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