16th hole center of action at Phoenix Open

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 29, 2014
Padraig Harrington was at a loss when asked to describe the Phoenix Open's par-3 16th hole in one word. ''I'd like to see somebody describe it in one word,'' Harrington said about the stadium hole at TPC Scottsdale. The Irishman got into the spirit last year in his first appearance in the event, punting footballs into the crowd. ''I grew up as a goalkeeper, so I can kick a ball,'' Harrington said. ''I have been out here a long time and it's nice to see something different. ... Golf shouldn't be the same every week. ... Golf should be more fun. This week, they certainly do fun in a big way.'' The fun has been diminished a bit with the PGA Tour's decision to ban caddie races to the green because of safety concerns. The charged environment makes the 162-yard hole more demanding. ''The last thing you want to do is three-putt on 16 and have everybody shouting and cheering at you,'' Harrington said. ''That's the beauty of the hole. It certainly brings in different emotions. There is no way you can stand on the 16th tee and not feel excited, a little bit of a tingle, a little bit of nerves. You just don't want to mess up.'' Lee Westwood is making his first start in the event. ''Obviously, 16 is unique in the world of golf,'' the Englishman said. ''There is nothing else like that. You just need a little bit extra focus and concentration at those times, but also to enjoy it. ... Listen, if I had bought a ticket and I was coming to this tournament, I'd be on 16 drinking beers, too. That's right where I'd be.'' The hole will generate about $10 million in ticket revenue. Twenty-three skyboxes have been added, pushing the total to 200 and the overall capacity to 20,000. The skyboxes sold for an average of $46,000. --- ALLENBY HONORED: Robert Allenby will receive the Charlie Bartlett Award from the Golf Writers Association of America, given annually to a player whose unselfish contributions have improved society. In the Aussie's case, it's all about cancer. Allenby's best friend as a child died of leukemia when they were 13. When Allenby turned pro seven years later and was introduced to a ''Challenge a Cancer Support Network'' to help children with cancer, he jumped right in. Over the last 23 years, Allenby has raised over $26 million through programs in Australia and Florida. Perhaps the best face on his work is fellow tour player Jarrod Lyle. Lyle was diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and vividly recalls the inspiration he received from Allenby coming to see him in the hospital. Seven years later, they played a practice round in the British Open at Hoylake. ''I'm very humbled, very honored,'' Allenby said. ''But nothing has changed with the cause. We're still trying to help children with cancer.'' Allenby will be honored April 9 at the GWAA's awards dinner in Augusta, Ga. --- BIKINIS AND BIRDIES: The tournament has added a beach area, complete with lifeguards, to the Greenskeeper complex on the west side of the lake on the par-4 18th. The venue also features 30 cabanas, a super suite and a multiple viewing decks. The forecast high for the first round Thursday is 77. It is expected to be in 60s the final three days, with highs of 69 on Friday, 66 on Saturday and 65 on Sunday. --- DIVOTS: An estimated 525,821 fans attended the tournament last year, setting records for the second round at 121,901 and the third round with 179,022. The crowd of 62,234 on Wednesday set a record for the pro-am. ... The action doesn't end when the sun goes down. O.A.R., Jake Owen, Weezer and MetalHead are the featured acts at the Birds Nest across the street from the main entrance. ... After the tournament, the City of Scottsdale will begin a $15 million project to modernize the city-owned course and clubhouse. Course designer Tom Weiskopf will reposition three greens and expand several others. Several tees and bunkers also will be repositioned and renovated and the irrigation system will be upgraded. ... Arizona State freshman Ki Taek Lee shot a 7-under 65 on Monday at McCormick Ranch to earn a spot in the field. Chris Smith and Danny Lee also qualified.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Doc Rivers blames ‘bloggers’ for Blake Griffin trade rumors

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly


Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker