The Loop

Waste Management Phoenix Open ‘as cool as it gets in golf,’ PGA Tour should learn from it

February 08, 2016

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Rickie Fowler’s popularity among the younger demographic is a start, “but there is a real fear that golf needs a lot more to regenerate its core audience,” Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley writes in making the case that the PGA Tour could benefit from the example the Waste Management Phoenix Open sets. “For a non-major, the Phoenix Open is as cool as it gets in professional golf. The numbers don’t lie. And maybe this tournament can teach the PGA Tour a thing or two about the future.”


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Bubba Watson ran afoul of Waste Management Phoenix Open fans for his criticism of the course earlier in the week. But at the end of the week, reconciliation was the goal. “At 9:25 a.m., they gathered near the 10th tee, nearly 60 men in blue tunics and long medallions standing in a show of solidarity,” Paola Bovin of the Arizona Republic writes of the Phoenix Thunderbirds, the civic organization that operates the tournament. “They were there to tell Bubba Watson they had moved on. The rest of you should, too.”

Rory McIlroy failed to win a third straight Dubai Desert Classic, but he “is far from being in the doldrums as he heads to America to start the build up for this year’s Masters,” Martim Dempster of the Scotsman writes. “In eight rounds in the Middle East, McIlroy broke par seven times and was a combined 29-under-par. Even the odd round out - the second circuit here - was a level-par effort.”