SCOTTSDALE, AZ – It’s Super season in the Valley of the Sun! On the heels of the iconic Barrett-Jackson luxury auto auctions, tourists are now flocking in for Super Sun, Super Golf, and Super Bowl. The electric atmosphere (and lack of rental cars, restaurant seating, and hotel rooms) is reminiscent of 2015, when Seahawks teal and blue were the predominant colors around town.
Super Week begins with the 2023 WM Phoenix Open Presented by Taylor Morrison, taking place Feb. 6-12 at TPC Scottsdale. “The People’s Open” has been named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR four times, and the 2023 edition marks the 88th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 14th with WM as title sponsor.
This year, the WM Phoenix Open is one of 12 “designated status” events, featuring an elevated prize purse increasing from $8.2 million in 2022, to $20 million. The designation ensures a commitment from the TOUR’s top players to compete in the field of 132.
Attendance stats are no longer announced, but it is likely that this year’s tournament will equal or exceed the record 700,000 spectators who roamed TPC Scottsdale in 2018, the last year official attendance figures were shared.
Watch drone footage of 16th hole construction:
A star-studded field will be competing for the $20 million purse, with a $3.6 million awarded the winner. Joining defending champion Scottie Sheffler are two-time WM Phoenix Open champion Hideki Matsuyama, 2021 Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay, and 2022 U.S. Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick. Also in the field are 15-time PGA TOUR winner Justin Thomas, 2021 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Will Zalatoris, and popular, local multi-tournament winners Jon Rahm and Max Homa.
Additionally, the tournament received commitments from World No. 17 Cameron Young, World No. 19 Sungjae Im and World No. 20 Shane Lowry.
Former sponsor exemptions World No. 7 Collin Morikawa and World No. 11 Viktor Hovland will also tee it up. This year’s exemptions include TOUR rookie Davis Thompson, 19-year TOUR veteran Ricky Barnes, and four-time PGA TOUR winner Charley Hoffman.
Perhaps the biggest draw will be four-time major winner, fan favorite, and World No. 1 Rory McIlroy. This will be McIlroy’s second appearance at “The People’s Open”, after a T-13 finish in his 2021 debut.
ANNEXUS CELEBRITY PRO AM
The always-entertaining Annexus Pro-Am takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 8. A slew of celebrities are in town for Super Bowl, and will be joining an already-impressive list of participants. Those announced to date include: Arizona Cardinals all-time leading receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr.; NFL Hall-of-Famer Jerome Bettis; NFL defensive superstar J.J. Watt; the most decorated Olympian of all time Michael Phelps, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith; one of only four members of MLB’s exclusive 700-home run club, Albert Pujols; and Alex Rodriguez.
DEALS & FREEBIES!
Thanks to Ford, the Official Vehicle of the WM Phoenix Open presented by Taylor Morrison, all fans will be admitted FREE of charge on Monday, Feb. 6 and Tuesday, Feb. 7 as part of “Ford Free Days” courtesy of Arizona Ford Dealers.
As part of this renewed partnership, the fifth-annual closest-to-the-pin contest called “Ford Drive One for Arizona Charities” will be held on the iconic 16th hole, giving players a chance to win $10,000 for one of 10 local non-profit organizations, many of whom support green initiatives in Arizona communities.
Tuesday includes practice rounds, the R.S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day and the popular San Tan Ford Special Olympics Open.
The R.S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day features motivational talks and Q&A with PGA TOUR professionals, a trick shot show, and a junior golf clinic presented by PING. The event is located on the TPC Scottsdale Champions Course practice range.
The popular San Tan Ford Special Olympics Open Putting Challenge is located at the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course putting green and features a friendly competition between teams comprised of Special Olympics Arizona athletes, celebrities and sports stars, and business leaders from the community.
For the 21st year, tournament host Thunderbirds is inviting First Responders as well as Active, Reserve, Veterans and Retired U.S. Military personnel and one accompanying individual to attend free of charge. Registration is required at https://wmphoenixopen.com/spectator-info/military-and-emergency-services-personnel/.
Additionally, the Birdies for the Brave Patriots Outpost, located in a prime spot near the 18th tee, will be open Wednesday through Sunday during tournament week and available to all Active, Reserve, Veterans and Retired U.S. military from all five branches of the Armed Forces.
THE COORS LIGHT BIRD’S NEST
Spectators are invited to cap off their golf day at the Coors Light Birds Nest, directly across from the main tournament entrance. The nearly 50,000-square-foot tent will house four nights of incredible live performances Feb. 8-11.
Wed, Feb 8 – County music stars Dustin Lynch, Lainey Wilson and Chris Lane
Thurs, Feb 9 – Jason Aldean and MacKenzie Porter SOLD OUT
Fri, Feb 10 – Machine Gun Kelly and JXDN SOLD OUT
Sat, Feb 11 – The Chainsmokers SOLD OUT
Info on additional ticket purchase options at https://coorslightbirdsnest.com/
Prior to the tournament start, Maroon 5 and Walker Hayes will perform at the second annual 16th Hole Concert in the Coliseum on Sat., Feb. 4.
The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 280 “life” members who have helped the tournament eclipse $176 million in charitable giving since its inception. ($10.5 million in 2022). For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2023 WM Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com