PHOENIX OPEN GOLF VISIT

18th hole pano Bob Eliz 1-30-18

Little did I know that when I posted on Jan 23 this pictorial story on my Facebook page about the Phoenix Open Golf tournament, that one week later, Elizabeth and I would be walking on and around this world famous golf course. Well, courtesy of my bank, we did get two Greenskeeper tickets for today. And so off we went.

MY FACEBOOK POST – JAN 23, 2018

FIRST VISIT TO A PRO-GOLFING EVENT

This was my first ever visit to professional golfing event, Elizabeth’s second. I know, it sounds like darn shame considering that the TPC golf course is within a walking distance from our home. But since neither of us plays golf, it was no great loss.

As a matter of fact, the week of the Phoenix Open was something we have always tried to avoid. Because of all the crowds, traffic congestion and street closures around this area of our neighborhood, This was the first time in 12 years that we were actually here during the Phoenix Open week.

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PERFECT WEATHER

Anyway, it was a perfect day for this kind of an outing. We got to the golf course in late morning. Which was early enough to avoid major crowds. Plus the temperatures were in the mid-70°s F, with a slight breeze from the east. Ideal.

 

GRUB, BOOZE AND FASHION

Our Greenskeeper tickets allowed us into a special tent with free food and drinks. Elizabeth had a proper Mexican meal – a chimichanga and an enchilada, I had a brownie. Of course, we did not drink any alcohol, especially at that early hour. But plenty of other people did even though it was not even noon yet. 🙂

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As I suspected, these major sporting events ​are not so much about the game of golf as they are about advertising products and services. And for visitors, about eating and drinking. And if you are a woman, it is also a fashion show, like at horse races.

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WHO ARE THESE GOLFERS? (above)

By the way, here is a pic of the two pro golfers who were playing the 18th hole when we arrived. I have no idea who they were. They look Asian or maybe Hawaiian?

Since Elizabeth and I are not golfers, we also don’t know any of the modern golfing stars. So can you identify these two players whom we watched tee off at the 18th hole over water, and then walk the long and beautiful fairway toward the final green?

 

On our way out, we visited this honor roll wall on which the names of all past winners of this tournament since 1932 are inscribed in bronze (or copper?). We read these names out loud going back in time from 2017.

I laughed. Because I knew more names of golfers from the 1930s and 1940s (before I was born) than in the last 30 years.

“Guess I left off with golf in the 1970s,” I joked.

Which is actually true. Because what little golf I did play was in the 1970s.

 


UPDATE FEB 4, 2018

EXCITING FINISH TO THE PHOENIX OPEN GOLF

It has been probably more than 30 years since I last watched a golf tournament on TV, and over 40 years since I actually played the game. But our visit on Tuesday to the TPC golf course in our neighborhood, where the Phoenix Open is held every year, rekindled my interest in the sport.

So this afternoon I watched the final round of the tournament “live.” And what an exciting finish it was.

Gary Woodland, of Topeka, Kansas, birdied the last three holes, and with 18 under par and a 3-stroke lead, seemed like a sure winner. But it was not to be. At least not so quickly.

Chez Steavie, a local boy, an Arizona State graduate who lives in our Grayhawk neighborhood, was not about to give up after bogeying the 16th par 3 hole. He birdied the last two holes, sinking a 21-foot putt on the 18th to force a championship playoff against Woodland.

CHEZ STEAVIE’S FINAL PUTT THAT FORCES PLAYOFF

The crowd exploded in cheers and hollering. It was a pandemonium. That’s when I left for a short walk to Starbucks to get some ice coffee.

When I returned, I noticed the blimp above our house filming the ensuing playoff from high up. And when I came back into the house, this is the picture I saw on TV:

I made it just in time to see Steavie miss a 10-foot putt on the 18th playoff hole for a bogey. Woodland needed two putts from the fringe at the par-four 18th to clinch victory.

See Phoenix Open Leaderboard: https://www.pgatour.com/competition/2018/waste-management-phoenix-open/leaderboard.html

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