Saturday’s 3rd round attendance of 179,022 unbelievably set an all-time single-day record in Waste Management Phoenix Open and professional golf history.
Forget the four major championships and the Ryder Cup, the biggest crowds in golf flock to the annual early-season party held at the TPC Scottsdale.
With sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s, golf fans came out in droves to watch Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, Padraig Harrington and others battle it out.
And many of them - an estimated 20,000 - congregate at the notorious par-3 16th which is surrounded by massed stands of partying fans who cheer wildly when a good shot is played into the green and jeer loudly whenever a player fails to find the 'dancefloor.'
Players caddies are also encouraged race against each other, heavy bags and all, to see who reaches the green first.
It all helps to create an ever-so-lively atmosphere which adds to the excitement and makes the Phoenix Open so exciting and unique. Traditonalists probably wouldn't agree, but surely more venues and events can take a leaf out of the Phoenix Open book and bring more thrills and spills into the game at the highest level?
Anyway, the previous single-day attendance mark of 173,210 was set last year (2012) also during the 3rd round.
Through six days of the 2013 Phoenix Open, 467,030 golf fans went through the tournament gates. If at least 71,327 fans attend Sunday’s final round, the tournament will surpass the previous tournament-week record of 538,356 set in 2008.
At 179,022 the TPC Scottsdale was Arizona’s 8th most populated “city” on Saturday.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open and host Thunderbirds have raised more than $80 million for local charities in the tournament’s 78 year history, with more than $50 million generated since 2004.