No fun in Phoenix? Tourney bans tosses to crowd

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The rowdiest stage in golf will become a little less fun this year.

A PGA Tour spokesman confirmed to GolfChannel.com Tuesday that players and caddies will no longer be allowed to throw or kick items into the stands on the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, citing safety concerns.

The news was first reported by Golfweek’s Alex Miceli, who tweeted this photo:

The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale has grown in both stature and sheer volume in recent years, with players now surrounded by thousands of fans who scream once the ball leaves the tee on the par 3.

After receiving cheers - or jeers - from the gallery, many players opt to hand out items to the crowd. Some like Rickie Fowler have been known to distribute hats, while Phil Mickelson took the unconventional route of tossing a few footballs into the stands last year. 

This will be the second consecutive year that an entertaining element was removed from the raucous hole, as last year the Tour banned the popular tee-to-green caddie races, citing safety concerns.

Of course, security awareness may be heightened this year at TPC Scottsdale, where record-breaking crowds are expected. Super Bowl XLIX will be played in nearby Glendale shortly after the final round concludes, and Tiger Woods will be making his first appearance at the event since 2001.