If there’s anyone who knows the best spot to watch the WM Phoenix Open, it’s Chance Cozby, the executive director of the Thunderbirds, which is the charitable organization responsible for distributing the money raised from the tournament each year.
On this week’s episode of Subpar, Cozby regaled hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz with plenty of tales from his years of involvement with the tournament, including his favorite viewing spot onsite.
“Bay Club is hard to beat,” Cozby said, referring to the hospitality structure to the left side of TPC Scottsdale’s 17th hole, a drivable par-4 that historically has provided lots of drama, especially on Sunday. “The suites are a little bit bigger, not as congested.”
But for someone who has never attended the tournament before, Cozby has a more famous spot in mind.
“If I’ve never come, and I win the lottery, I’m going right behind the tee on 16, and I’m gonna watch that all day,” Cozby said.
“That’s like a bucket-list golf thing: Saturday on 16,” Stoltz said.
“The energy and vibe on 16 is just unmatched,” Cozby continued. “If I had to just do it one day, I’d sit right behind the tee.”
Lucky viewers on 16 get a front-row seat to players hitting short irons into the green. Last year, Sam Ryder’s ace went viral when the crowd celebrated by spontaneously throwing their beverages on the grass.
“We had to get that hole cleaned up as quick as we possibly could,” Cozby said.
“What a scene that was,” said Knost, who was sitting on a makeshift CBS set alongside Amanda Renner at the time. “When the GA section over on the right all threw their drink when it went in, that was so cool.”
While a beer shower may well happen again, Cozby and his team have taken steps to make future celebrations a bit safer. Now, all beer will be served in cups as opposed to being available in cans.
“We made the decision quickly that we’re going to put the beers in cups, and they’ll be green commemorative cups,” Cozby said. “We obviously do not want anyone throwing anything on the hole, but if that was to happen, that’s gonna hopefully eliminate any issue.”
For more from Cozby, including how tournaments like the WM Phoenix Open select their sponsor’s exemptions, check out the full interview below.