Frenzied Phoenix


What a week at the Phoenix Open. This tournament is the closest the PGA Tour gets to rock 'n' roll golf. The fans are as loud as any place in the country. It helps when you're half in the bag by 11. That's 11 a.m.!! If you're ever going to travel to one event outside of your home city, come to the Phoenix Open. And make sure you stop by the par-3 16th hole - it's absolutely crazy. Fans screaming after the ball is struck, cheering wildly all day. It's a lot fun to be in that type of arena.
Having said all that, what happened Sunday at 16 wasn't fun. Chris DiMarco was one back of Kenny Perry when he stuck his iron to two feet. Make it, and Chris is tied for the lead with two holes to play.
As he addressed the ball, a fan yelled 'Noonan' - a funny reference from the movie classic 'Caddyshack' when we're out playing with our buddies, but not funny when a PGA Tour event is on the line. To his credit, Chris calmly made the putt despite that fan's wishes. He later told us that the incident fired him up. He focused more and went on to win his third PGA Tour event in less than 18 months.
It's time for people to recognize that Chris DiMarco is one great player. How many players on earth are better than this Florida Gator fanatic? Maybe seven or eight? He's a threat to win every week he plays. So that can't happen the next two weeks, Chris is going home to Heathrow, Fla. - near Orlando - to make sure he's there for his daughter Amanda's fourth birthday and his son Christian's sixth b-day. Talk about having your priorities in order.
A few things to take away from the Phoenix Open: 41-year-old Kenny Perry, who came up short this time, will win before the year is out; John Daly's game is getting really close to capturing a fifth win for him; the Phoenix Open is the biggest party in golf; and even without Tiger Woods in the field, the fans here in the Valley of the Sun came out in record numbers - more fans attend this tournament than any other.
Finally, we all want to wish Pat Bates wife, Kristine, good luck in the upcoming weeks. She's due to give birth to the couples third child. By the way, it's a boy.
It's been a fun two weeks on the road. First the Bob Hope and then the Phoenix Open. That's a pretty good double dip! See you soon on Golf Central!