Grading the Phoenix Open

Grading the Phoenix Open

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer
Padraig Harrington kicks footballs at the Phoenix Open. (Getty Images)

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Phil Mickelson is your 2013 Phoenix Open champion but one of the PGA Tour's most exciting annual stops produced some exciting moments. Here were some of our favorite (and least favorite) memories:

Brandt Snedeker as the world's best player

You can have Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. I'll take Snedeker. The defending FedEx Cup champ starts his year like this:

Tournament of Champions - 3
Humana Challenge - T23
Farmers Insurance Open - T2
Phoenix Open - 2

Not much to argue with. I can't wait for his Masters performance this year.

16th hole

Surely there are stodgy golf purists who look down on hole No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale with disdain. Its loud noises and boistrous chants could be considered quite divisive among those who play and/or write about golf for a living.

As for me? I love it. I wish more holes and events in golf were like it. I think it gives golf a soul to pair with its heady history.

Give me more No. 16s.

Rounds under 64In 2012 there were 16 rounds at 64 or better at the Phoenix Open. In 2011 there were only eight rounds at 64 or better. There were 22 such rounds this year.
Padraig Harrington Harrington was outstanding in his Phoenix Open debut. After only three top-10 finishes in each of his last two PGA Tour seasons, Harrington got a jump start on 2013 with a top-10 in his first start of the year on the PGA Tour.
Mickelson's putting

Yes, he lipped out to miss a 59 on Thursday, but he was fantastic with the flat stick all weekend. This putt through the fringe is just one ridiculous example.

Caddie racesThey get a little bit played after a while, but there were certainly some creative ones this year. My favorite caddie race moment wasn't a caddie race at all, but rather Kyle Stanley and Y.E. Yang sprinting toward the green on No. 16 after their caddies just got done doing the same.
Bones' reaction to Mickelson's 60

I've watched it more than I've watched the missed putt itself. The only thing that could have made it better is if he'd started weeping as he lie prostrate across the green. Truly a phenomenal response.

Sunday at the Phoenix Open

Maybe it was because Mickelson had the tournament stuffed away. Or maybe my expectations were too high after the largest crowd in golf history on Saturday. But Sunday's Phoenix Open crowd seemed almost ... subdued. It was a shame because it really is one of the best tournaments of the year and yet most people watching Sunday only saw a half-hungover, half-bored gallery waiting on Mickelson to finish things up.

Nick Watney's hatI get that it's Super Bowl Sunday. I get that Watney is a huge 49ers fan. I'm fine with the flat-bill San Fransisco hat. But please, for the love of Rickie Fowler, please take the stickers off your hat, Nick!

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