Feb 8, 2024 - News

WM Phoenix Open braces for rain

A golf course with pooled water and rain falling.

Rain falls on the 18th green during a weather delay yesterday at the WM Phoenix Open Pro-Am. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The WM Phoenix Open tournament begins Thursday and organizers promise the forecast rain and chilly temperatures won't dampen the drunkest — oops, we mean "Greatest — Show on Grass."

Why it matters: The Phoenix Open is the best-attended golf tournament in the world — typically bringing in 700,000 fans and revelers each year, according to its host, TPC Scottsdale.

  • An economic impact study published last year by Arizona State University found the tournament generates more than $450 million for the state's economy.

Driving the news: Wednesday's fan-favorite tournament between pros and amateurs was canceled around 1pm because of heavy rain.

What we're watching: The Scottsdale area will likely see the most rain Thursday, with 0.1-0.25 inches estimated between mid-morning and late afternoon, National Weather Service Phoenix lead meteorologist Alex Young tells Axios Phoenix.

  • Rain chances drop off Friday to 10% to 20% but pick up again Saturday with a 30% to 40% chance. If storms do hit, rainfall totals likely won't exceed 0.1 inches either day, he says.
  • "Worse case scenario, you get dumped on for 20 minutes and then it's over," Young say, cautioning that attendees should make their way inside if they see lightning.

What they're saying: "The show must go on, right?" TPC Scottsdale Golf Course operations director Brandon Reese told The Arizona Republic. "The golf course is in fantastic condition. Even if we get a little bit of rain."

  • Reese noted that the PGA will make a call to stop or delay play for weather.

Of note: A prolonged blast on an air horn will indicate play has been suspended and attendees should seek shelter.

Be smart: WM Phoenix Open's social media pages will have rain-related guidance. Organizers say only umbrellas without sleeves are permitted.

  • Fans who attended Wednesday's tournament were prohibited from parking in grass lots because of the damp conditions and instead were encouraged to park at WestWorld and use free shuttles.

The intrigue: There's a new 13,000-square-foot indoor facility to take shelter in case of rain — DraftKings Sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale.

  • It opened in October as the nation's first sportsbook at a PGA Tour tournament location.

1 funny thing: Former Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald placed the ceremonial first bet at the sportsbook's opening, wagering $100 that ASU graduate and Scottsdale resident Jon Rahm would win the tournament.

What's next: Other new features at the tournament:

  • Beer and hard seltzer purchased at the iconic 16th hole come with a free commemorative cup.
  • Reusable water bottles are permitted and water stations will be scattered throughout the Fan Zone.
  • The merchandise tent is five times larger this year.
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