The 16th hole at this year’s Phoenix Open may have just gotten a whole lot rowdier. If the rumors are true, Tiger Woods may be returning to the scene of some of the most famous (and infamous) moments in his career. While his entry has yet to be confirmed, sources close to the event have indicated that Woods has reserved his courtesy car and a number of rooms at the Four Seasons Resort for the week of the event.
It’s been a tough year for Tiger, after a series of injuries kept him from competing for much of 2014, and a tie-for-last finish at the Hero World Challenge in December. He’s reportedly adding an extra tournament to his schedule to prepare for the Masters in April – and the Phoenix Open seems like it just might be the one.
While Tiger’s participation in any tournament automatically increases the excitement surrounding the event, his return to Phoenix is momentous. Some of Tiger’s highest highs and lowest lows have played out on the greens there, particularly that of the raucous 16th hole. In 1997, Tiger won over the crowd with a hole-in-one, resulting in an epic reaction from the spectators who had been gathered there all day hoping to see history in the making… and Tiger certainly did not disappoint.
However, Woods’ spectator spectator experiences in Phoenix haven’t always been so positive. In 1999, a heckler who had mercilessly taunted him on the green had to be forcibly removed from the venue and was later found to be carrying a gun. 2 years later, Tiger made his last appearance at the Phoenix Open after another unruly fan threw an orange onto the green he was putting on. If the rumors are true, the golf legend’s return to the rowdiest stop on the tour will undoubtedly boost an already record-breaking fan attendance, as well as the overall buzz at the event. Let’s just hope they leave the firearms and fruit at home.
Tiger will most likely not confirm his WMPO entry until the deadline of January 23rd, and we will have our ears to the green until then!