It's not a surprise that the Waste Management Phoenix Open attendance record was reset again in 2018, but it might be a surprise that it got shattered by over 60,000 people.
This year's record of 719,179 broke last year's record of 655,434, and a new single-day record was set on Saturday when 216,818 folks attended Round 3. I think about seven-eighths of them were posted up on the 16th hole for all the festivities unfolding there.
"It means a lot to me," said local favorite Phil Mickelson, who finished T5 on the week. "It's very helpful and very important to my success. I think it's been a big instrument in allowing me to get into the round and play and have fun and get out of the technical side, which is what I've been doing the first two weeks. My game feels like it's been this sharp the first couple of weeks, but I haven't gotten into the round, hit shots and had fun. I think the environment here has really helped me get out of that technical element."
Mickelson nearly got into a playoff with Chez Reavie and Gary Woodland on Sunday. He went to the 18th hole needing to hole out on his second shot to do so but made double bogey instead. Still, he had a phenomenal week.
Rickie Fowler did, too. Well, until he shot 73 on Sunday. Fowler finished T11 for the event but said on Saturday that he was buoyed by the over 216,000 in attendance.
"Having a big crowd out here is, it's only better for us to have," said Fowler. "Even though ... not all the people here know there's a golf tournament going on, there's some people here that they might be doing other things for fun. But, hey, they're in here, they're supporting the tournament.
"The amount of money that's raised by the Thunderbirds and Waste Management by this tournament and the attendance and selling the suite tickets ... they may not be watching golf at all times but they are supporting the tournament, so it's pretty cool."