That expression seems fitting. Weaving in some Jim Nantz appreciation for last weekend’s golf tournament in Scottsdale and for dusting off my keyboard for the first time in 13 months.
What’s up? It’s been a while. A lot has happened in the world since I last decided to write something.
My blogging itch has flared up recently due to the endless supply of content that the internet delivers every waking minute of the day.
Or, that same itch might be a result of the vicious sunburn I suffered from literally walking around in the desert. A total of 25 hours outside over a four-day span. Jorah Mormont’s greyscale skin disease looks better than my forehead and forearms right now.
In a TLDR (too long didn’t read) era we all live in, I’ll save everyone time by not writing a J. R. R. Tolkien-length excerpt about how I moved from America’s Finest City to Phoenix, Arizona.
That being said, I am now employed and reside in a state where some people think 107 degrees is a comfortable temperature outside.
Thankfully, the high this weekend was only 82 but Summer is approaching. Enough weather whining.
I attended the WM (no longer referred to as the Waste Management) Phoenix Open this past weekend.
Hundreds of thousands of people. Drinks flowing. Music blaring. Grown men blacked out on the ground at 10:18 AM. A party-like atmosphere many wouldn’t find conducive to a PGA Tour event.
There are certain moments you will never forget in your life.
Hitting your first little-league home run. Passing your driver’s license test. Jordan Belfort going upstairs to drink some tea at Naomi Lapaglia’s house.
Well, I’m adding one more.
Last Saturday – Sam Ryder’s ace on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale was one of the greatest moments I have ever witnessed in person. And I hit over 36 home runs spanning from Imperial Beach Little League to Falcon High School.
Then this happened.
The 16th hole has a gladiatorial feeling to it. It’s constructed like a coliseum. If a golfer misses the green, over 17,000 boos proceed to cascade down from the crowd. If a golfer lands within 15 feet of the pin, the place goes nuts.
“Sam Ryder has a very expensive bar tab in front of him,” CBS Reporter Amanda Balionis exclaimed on the broadcast.
124 yards out. Hole-in-one Chaos.
That was the loudest crowd roar I have ever heard in person. The audible noise build-up from when the ball landed to bouncing and rolling into the cup was pandemonium.
I’ve been to Frat parties. I’ve seen Tijuana at 2:30 AM . I’ve indulged in Big Ten football tailgates. Day Three of the WM Phoenix Open compares differently. The showering of beer cans and bottles onto the green and sandpit was a result of pent-up energy from suffering fans who had to stay home adhering to pandemic guidelines for the past two years. It was awesome.
Even better PR optics for the corporate sponsor, Waste Management. The course maintenance workers kicked ass by cleaning up (and recycling) the debris in a matter of minutes.
Even the Scottsdale Police Department got in on the action. An impromptu live shot of law enforcement describing the scene was caught on film. There was nothing they could do but take it all in. I couldn’t tell the difference between them and Officer Michaels and Officer Slater from Superbad.
I must give love to Carlos Ortiz too. He holed out on Sunday as well. Two aces for the tournament and the first ones since 2015 when Francisco Molinari pulled it off. But the feeling just wasn’t the same.
Scottie Scheffler eventually won in a playoff over FedEx Cup champion, Patrick Cantlay.
Sahith Theegala, a 24-year old rookie, who was playing on a sponsor exemption dazzled all four days and finished tied for third with Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele.
Next February, Super Bowl LVIII will be played less than 40 miles away from the WM Phoenix Open in the same week.
(+110) odds that Arizona might run out of beer that week.
I’m doubling down.