The Waste Management (WM) Open is one of the most unique and exciting events on the PGA Tour. Every year, the tournament lands on the same weekend as the Super Bowl. The tournament is not for everyone and does not follow many of the etiquette guidelines that many if not all the tournament on the schedule, excluding the Ryder Cup. Fans are rowdy and often line up at the gates as early as 5:00am to get a good seat at the famed 16th hole…..patiently anticipating moments like this by Sam Ryder on Saturday.
“ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED??” Sam Ryder wrote via Twitter after he holed out for an Ace on the 16th hole on Saturday. We don’t see this often on the PGA Tour, and certainly not under these circumstances, so the celebration is warranted, in my opinion. Sure, many fans (and not fans alike) will argue that fans tossing beer cans on the green as a form of a celebration is disrespectful and bad for the game of golf, but I whole heartedly disagree. Growing the game of golf in such a multi-faceted approach, and it doesn’t only target the task of attracting golfers who are interested in playing the game, it’s as simple as getting people interested in the game. And there’s not a person on the planet (again, in my opinion) that doesn’t watch the above video and get hyped and in the proverbial sense, LOSE THEIR MIND! Oh, and it happened again on Sunday, by Carlos Ortiz.
Now I don’t think this type of fan environment should exist at every tournament on the schedule, not even most, but I do believe that this event and this type of hyped of fan experience is good for golf. Let’s even take it further than the 16th hole. This year’s tournament went into a playoff between Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay. Ok, so they didn’t play 16 over and over again, (which would be awesome) but they did play in what I would consider, and as most sports fans would consider, true playoff fashion. To many, like myself, golf does not need the decibels to rise to trigger excitement, but it sure helps! Congratulations to Scottie on winning his first PGA event. Well deserved!