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WM Phoenix Open bartender breaks down ‘extremely hammered’ TPC Scottsdale chaos

February 13, 2024
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Orlando Ramirez

Now that we’re a few days removed from the WM Phoenix Open, the first-person accounts of the chaos are starting to roll in. The fans had their say on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, the players pushed back through the media and the journalists cracked their knuckles and started to write. Now we’re hearing from TPC Scottsdale workers, including this bartender who was caught in the eye of the storm on Saturday.

Dustin Williamson, a self-described “teacher turned bartender,” pinpointed where things went wrong during the hectic third round when tournament officials cut off alcohol sales entirely. Let’s just say he didn’t seem thrilled with some of his fellow workers and the fans who couldn’t care less about the golf.

“As somebody that was bartending today when they told us to stop serving alcohol, let me tell you what we heard,” Williamson said. “So around 1:30, when we were extremely busy, we were told by our boss to stop serving alcohol. [The] reason being was because the Scottsdale Police Department and the Scottsdale Fire Marshall told us to stop and they stopped letting people in because there was almost half a million people on the course at that one time.

“And the security that were supposed to be checking tickets at the gate just said ‘f*ck this’ and started letting everybody in without checking tickets. So people were getting in for free. People were getting into VIP boxes for free, where it’s all you can drink. And eventually, everybody in the VIP boxes were like ‘ah, f*ck it. We’ll just serve everybody no matter what.'

“So eventually, everyone’s getting extremely hammered and the behavior was just too out of control for them to manage.”

According to Fox 10 Phoenix, there were 54 arrests over the week at TPC Scottsdale and 211 people were ejected. Both of those numbers are more than double last year's event.

What went from a fun, buzzed event quickly turned into a horror show with pros yelling at patrons and fights breaking out on the course. The deluge of fans who didn’t have tickets certainly didn’t help matters.

Every year this event walks a fine line between silliness and mess, and there’s no doubt that this bartender would put 2024 in the latter category.

He goes on to state that about two hours after the ban on alcohol sales, fans began to leave because they couldn’t purchase anything.

“After standing around for over two hours, they eventually said we’re done,” Williamson continued. “We want everybody out, so everybody that was in general admission, not in a VIP Skybox, they ended up leaving, cause they couldn’t buy food, they couldn’t buy non-alcoholic drinks and they couldn’t buy alcoholic drinks, so there’s really no point to be there.”

To which he bitterly retorts, “Because who cares about golf, right?”

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Ben Jared

It does seem like plenty of fans came for the patented WM Phoenix Open circus as opposed to the actual sport with a side of bedlam. Perhaps this is the wake-up call TPC Scottsdale needs to keep things in check for future events.

Despite his clearly upset video, Williamson concludes the TikTok with “See you all next year,” which feels exactly right when it comes to the WM Phoenix Open.