What’s new at the WM Phoenix Open

Organizers of the WM Phoenix Open say this year's tournament will be bigger and better than ever and that's because of all the new things at the event.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 7:59 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The excitement is building around this year’s WM Phoenix Open, with some big names hitting the greens and new improvements for the fans. It’s called the People’s Open for a reason, and so the Thunderbirds have put together a new Fan Zone. It’ll have more shaded areas, better views of the 10th tee, two LED screens to watch the action and a 25,000-square-foot merchandise tent. The famous 16th hole is also getting an upgrade with brand-new scoreboards. Other improvements include new concession stands and new restrooms.

Also new are the big celebrity names that have committed to the WM Phoenix Open Pro-Am. So far, the biggest names include the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, and MLB legend Albert Pujols, one of only four players to hit more than 700 home runs. While Phelps is a regular at the Pro-Am, this is Pujols’ first time and Smith’s fifth appearance. Tee times for the Pro-Am will range from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 8.

One of the biggest things that’s new is the purse. The WM Phoenix Open is, for the first time, one of PGA’s “elevated status” events. That means the purse has increased to $20 million, with $3.6 million going to the winner and 500 FedExCup points. One of the biggest names in golf, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, officially joined the Open field on Wednesday. Other big names are expected to join as well. The 2023 WM Phoenix Open will take place Feb. 6-12 at TPC Scottsdale.