SCOTTSDALE — All week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, golfers have been honoring the late Kobe Bryant by donning his jersey, wearing special shoes, stamping their clubs and with other tributes.
On Sunday, the PGA Tour will honor the basketball star as well, altering its traditional final-round pin position on the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale by cutting the hole 24 paces on and 8 paces from the left. The measurements are an ode to the two numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year career for the Los Angeles Lakers. The flag will also be gold with a purple “8” on one side and “24” on the other.
The tour also will stencil Bryant’s numbers in purple and gold on the grass leading up to the green.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star, was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., last Sunday, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. The Lakers played their first game since Bryant’s death, a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, after emotional pre-game tributes at the Staples Center.