The Waste Management needed, yes, waste management.
In one of the wildest, loudest and most beer-and-liquor-soaked scenes you’ll ever see on a golf course, let alone a professional tournament, Sam Ryder hit a short iron into the 124-yard, par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale, his ball bounced 6 feet in front of the hole, skipped to the right and rolled left. And in. A hole in one. And the fans at Saturday’s third round of the WM Phoenix Open toasted him in a way only the fans at the PGA Tour’s de facto party hole can.
The hole, already engulfed by grandstands, became filled with beer, beer bottles, drinks and drink cups. The 20,000 fans, who had found their way to the hole some 10 hours earlier, had raised their glasses to Ryder’s ace, then tossed them.
“Oh my god!” said analyst Colt Knost, who was stationed at the hole for the CBS broadcast. “There’s liquid coming down. There’s beer going everywhere.”
“We are covered in beer and other liquids, I believe,” said announcer Amanda Balionis, who was also at the hole. “Everyone is going insane. We might have a slight rain delay here on the 16th because it’s going to take a little bit of cleanup.”
“Bam, cocktails,” Knost said on a replay.
Of course, what went up also came down, and onto the green, into the bunkers around the green, and on the fairway, tee box and rough along the hole. Ryder and his group were not the last to play — six groups were behind them — and a small army of volunteers swept, picked up and bagged the litter.
The WM in the WM Phoenix Open is short for the event’s sponsor, Waste Management, and their brand received an unexpected bump.
“Shout out to all the volunteers for getting out here and cleaning this place up so we can continue,” Knost said on the broadcast.
“Unbelievable cleanup here, in true WM form,” Balionis said.
About 15 minutes later, as the cleanup crew carried away their haul, Brian Harman, the last player in Ryder’s threesome to hit, knocked his tee shot 27 feet right of the hole — and was booed. Ryder then made his walk to the hole, lowered his right hand into the hole and raised it, with his ball between his fingers.
Notably, Ryder’s ace came on the 25th anniversary of Tiger Woods’ dunk on the hole. It’s the 10th overall hole in one on 16, and first since 2015.
“He said I’ve never had an adrenaline rush like that,” Balionis said on the broadcast. “How do you manage that now because you got to get back to playing golf and put yourself in the mix?”
“The good news is, he had a little 15-minute break during the cleanup and he’s going to have a little longer while the other guys putt,” Knost said. “But he’s going to be OK. That’s going to be the highlight of his golf career.”
“Absolutely. I think it might take a little bit to realize what he just accomplished,” Balionis said. “How many times we’re going to see that, every time the WM Open rolls around?”
“I’ve never seen a scene like that on a golf course before,” Knost said. “Unbelievable.”