Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Phoenix Open 2007

It is that time of year again for the Phoenix Open. It is also that time of year again for the Super Bowl. Did you know that the PGA and the NFL work together to schedule the Phoenix Open to coincide with the Super Bowl? It is the only tournament that can draw large crowds on the days leading up to and on the day of the Super Bowl. Next year will really be crazy since the Super Bowl will be played in the Cardinals Stadium (unfortunately renamed "University of Phoenix Stadium") — thus both events will be in the Phoenix area.

Back to this year — the biggest change this year (to me anyway) was parking. For years now I have parked in the lot which is on the west end of TPC of Scottsdale. There was a small entrance there (like a back door entrance) — and I could get in and get out quickly. Unfortunately, that property has now been developed and they closed that back entrance. Now you must either pay for an expensive upgraded ticket that provides special parking close to the entrance or park at the farther out free lots and be bussed in. Riding the bus to TPC was not a problem. Getting on a bus to go back to your car — big problem. Since most people leave about the same time, the lines were long. It took me about an hour to get back to my car. I noticed that some folks who had parked where I did were able to walk the approximately two mile distance faster than my bus wait and trip.

But the weather was great on Saturday, when I attended. I was prepared with layers but did not need my jacket — much less the additional sweatshirt that I left in the car. The weather was so great it even brought out the celebrities — such as former President Bush shown here.

Note that the PGA does not allow cameras to be brought into the tournament (except for the press and PGA's photographers) so all these photos are borrowed from other sources.

They also do not allow cell phones. However, there are so many people that disregard that rule that you see cell phones in use all over the course. If they want prohibit cell phones, then they should enforce their rules. I spoke with one guy who readily admitted that he brought his in just because other people do too. In fact, he said he could not even make a call because all the circuits were busy. Sounds like quite a few of the 162,750 fans smuggled their cell phones onto the course and then felt the need to use them.

Back to golf — the Phoenix Open is still the biggest party on grass. The par-3 16th is still the spot for all crazies and drunks who turn this small stadium setting into a raucous affair. You hear the crowd noise from 16 all over TPC. Some of the golfers (such as John Daly) love it — others (who shall remain nameless) won't play here because of it.

As I mentioned last year, the party draws the huge crowds that allow the Thunderbirds (organizers of the tournament) to donate millions to charity. It's fun to be a part of it — whether you're there to party; to see and be seen; or (like me) to watch a little golf.

And this year I saw something that I have never seen before on a golf course. I was sitting at the 15th hole (par 5, island green, one of my favorites at TPC) waiting for the next group of golfers when a hawk dove (past tense of "dive") onto the fairway into a flock of coots (sluggish slow-flying slaty-back birds, resembling ducks) and hit one of them. Feathers exploded everywhere. The coots scampered back into the water leaving the victim stunned, if not dead. The hawk then dove down again and grabbed his dinner and off he flew. Wow!

Back to golf again — surprisingly, some of the big name golfers were not around for the weekend. Of course, Tiger Woods was in Dubai collecting $3,000,000 just for showing up. However, Phil Michelson (a big favorite in Arizona), John Daly and Freddy Couples (among others) did not make the cut. Others like Vijay Singh, David Toms and Davis Love III brought their star power to Saturday and Sunday but couldn't bring home the bacon. So it was up to Aaron Baddeley who made a late charge to pass a fading Jeff Quinney to capture the tournament — quite exciting for us golf fans. Congrats to Aaron!

Both Aaron and Jeff live in Scottsdale so many fans were pulling for both of them. I also understand that many of the female golf fans think that Baddeley is totally cute. He just earned about a million dollars — I guess that would make him even cuter.

Meanwhile, as the final day of the tournament was taking place, I was playing golf at Legacy with my golf buddy, Pat. We didn't win a million dollars but we had a million-dollar day with sunshine and a high temperature in the low seventies. And I still made it home in time to see the end of the Phoenix Open and then the Super Bowl.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com