The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is not one that would rank among the best par 3s in tournament golf, and it probably wouldn’t garner mention on any other best lists either.
In reality, for many of today’s tour pros, it’s smooth 8- or 9-iron (for the big hitters, a pitching wedge) to a huge green with little trouble surrounding it. “Forgettable” might be a fair term to describe it.
But on Waste Management Phoenix Open week, the 16th provides one of the most unforgettable scenes in sports. What would be a carefree short iron with no one around becomes one of the most tense one-shotters players face all year, as thousands of screaming fans prepare to boo even the slightest mistake, or cheer on a stuffed tee shot. It’s the closest thing golf has to an SEC football game.
The electric, stadium-style setting has provided endless memories over the years, from aces to near aces to funny moments to heartwarming memories, and much more. And it is set to return to its full raucous self this year after fans were limited in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Here are some of the best sights and sounds from the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale through the years.
Although they are not in particular order, footage of the late, great Jarrod Lyle will always make an Australian smile – watching him ace the 16th and then give off perhaps the best celebration in PGA Tour history.
Jarrod Lyle makes hole-in-one in 2011
Lyle’s ace was the first in nearly a decade at the 16th, and it was also the first of his professional career. The incredibly memorable moment was commemorated at last year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, just six months after Lyle had passed away at age 36 after a long battle with leukemia.
Tiger Woods makes hole-in-one in 1997
Can you believe it’s been 25 years since Tiger hit this famous shot. Because of how corporate the scene has gotten at the 16th, the crowd noise can often feel dull at times. It’ll never be as rowdy as it first was in its infant stage, which just so happened to coincide with an ace from a young Tiger. Beers flying everywhere, Tiger raising the roof, Omar Uresti on hand. This moment had literally everything you could possibly ask for.
Francesco Molinari makes hole-in-one in 2015
This was the ninth and most recent ace at the 16th at TPC Scottsdale, which has hosted the event since 1987. Just for some perspective, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, widely regarded as one of the most terrifying holes in tournament golf, has yielded nine since 1986. Francesco Molinari, who was playing in his first WMPO that year, shot a 64 on Saturday and went on to finish in a tie for 22nd
Anthony Kim stiffing one to tap-in range in 2010
Honestly, this happens at the 16th countless times throughout each Waste Management Phoenix Open. This was just an excuse to post an AK highlight (eyes well up with tears).
Amy Bockerstette and Gary Woodland in 2019
Perhaps the best single piece of content the PGA Tour has ever produced, and one that became much more than just a viral moment.