WM Phoenix Open Had to Cut Off Alcohol to Curb Rowdy Fans

Ben Jared/Getty
Ben Jared/Getty

This year’s Waste Management Open lived up to its name.

The golf tournament, officially labeled the WM Phoenix Open, seemed to spiral out of control on Saturday as fans overcrowded the space, reportedly forcing organizers to temporarily shut the gates and halt alcohol sales. Videos on social media included fans—deliberately or not—falling on some areas of the course.

“Due to the larger than usual crowds, alcohol sales were stopped at certain locations by SPD to encourage people to move to open areas on the course,” the Scottsdale Police Department said in a statement to 12 News that did not address drunken behavior by fans.

“The entry was put on pause to ensure the safe movement of attendees to and from the event. This has been done in previous years when there are larger than usual crowds. The gate was temporarily closed to let people inside the venue move around or exit, before letting others through the gate.”

The WM Phoenix Open is traditionally regarded as one of the louder events on the PGA Tour schedule, where fans and spectators unite in raised volumes and high ABVs. This year’s festivities, however, seemed more raucous than usual, leading one shirtless, out-of-control fan to run onto the course before being apprehended by police, according to a Golf reporter and video posted on X.

The chaos forced police to close the gates Saturday afternoon, according to a reporter at Golfweek. That came minutes before the venue cut off alcohol sales, according to a Golf reporter. The move prompted chants of “We want beer!” from the crowd.

The Open later issued a roundabout statement that attributed an initial closure of the gates to “steady rainfall” in the area that caused crowding on the course.

“Due to steady rainfall in Scottsdale this week that created deteriorating course conditions, we unfortunately had to close the gates at the tournament entrance and stop allowing fans to enter the golf course on Saturday afternoon,” the press release began.

The Open said the parts of the course where crowds would usually stand “were soggy and unusable,” pushing patrons into “high-foot-traffic areas” and causing “severe congestion at key points on event grounds.” Because of that, it explained, officials made the decision “to temporarily close the tournament entrance.”

Officials offered an apology to “the greatest fans in golf” for any inconvenience.

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