The loudest, most inebriated crowd of the PGA Tour season returns on Thursday for the opening round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The crowd does not really hit its peak until Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, but there will still be a rowdy and drunk group roaming the course, and posted up at No. 16 on Thursday.
The Tour is right in the middle of its annual West Coast swing, but they move one time zone over this week before returning to California. The Phoenix Open is also a return to just having one course in play, as opposed to the last two weeks at Torrey Pines and the Humana Challenge. That means there will be sun-up to sun-down golf during the first two days. The first groups are set to go off at 9:30 a.m. ET, and the PGA Tour will have a "Featured Holes" stream up and running by 10 a.m. They have not specified which holes they will stream, but you have to believe the famous par-3 16th will be one of them.
In addition to the PGATour.com stream, Golf Channel will provide their usual simulcast of their TV coverage. That can be accessed via their LiveExtra service, but it won't be available until 3 p.m. ET when the broadcast goes live. Phil Mickelson, the defending champion and headliner at this event, will be out in the morning wave and should be finished right as the broadcast comes on the air. He goes out at 10:15 a.m. ET with Ryan Moore and Bill Haas and will "take it easy" to avoid aggravating the back injury that forced him to withdraw last week.
This is one of those rare weeks on the annual Tour rota where the field is secondary to the venue and event. It's fun and proper to see an untraditional setting, and here's how to watch Thursday's opening round while you're stuck at work.
Thursday's 1st Round Coverage
TV: Golf Channel, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET
Radio: Sirius-XM PGA Tour Network (Ch. 93/208), 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET