News & ToursJanuary 29, 2015

Will rain foil Phoenix Open's bid for record crowds?

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Tiger Woods in the field in concert with the Super Bowl in town have been expected to deliver record attendance figures for the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, weather permitting.

Records might still fall anyway, but the weather does not look as though it will cooperate.

Fourth Hole.jpg

Friday's forecast, according to PGA Tour meteorologist Wade Stettner, is "mostly cloudy with periods of rain throughout the day. Total rainfall around half inch."

Saturday's forecast is for more of the same: "Mostly cloudy with a 60 percent chance of showers before noon, then decreasing chances for showers in the afternoon."

Wednesday's crowd — announced at 75,380 — provided a clue of what to expect. It exceeded by more than 12,000 the record for a Phoenix Open Wednesday, pro-am day. The stadium that surrounds the 16th hole was full at one point, which might have been a Wednesday first.

The crowd for the first round on Thursday, boosted surely by Woods' return to the Phoenix Open for the first time since 2001, was huge and is expected to exceed the Thursday record of 88,113 set last year. The photo above shows the crowd around the fourth green, following Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan.

Upwards of 200,000 originally were expected on Saturday. The record, set last year, is 189,722. The record for weekly total is 563,008, also established in 2014.

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