WM Phoenix Open sees hail, rain on heels of severe weather at Pebble Beach Pro-Am

The Waste Management Phoenix Open was forced to cancel its Pro-Am due to rain and hail Wednesday, and this came after the problems faced by the Pebble Beach tournament last weekend.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – It is quite unusual to experience bad weather in regions generally known for their pleasant climate. Such places usually host big events, but two PGA golf tournaments have recently been disrupted, and more rain fell as the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale kicked off on Thursday. 

The WM Phoenix Open was forced to cancel its Pro-Am due to rain and hail Wednesday, and this came after the problems faced by the Pebble Beach tournament last weekend.


More rain was seen Thursday for the official start of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. People were seen with ponchos and umbrellas, but tournament play was in full swing as of the early afternoon. 

"First and foremost, public safety, spectator safety," said Kyle Koval with DTN Weather, the onsite meteorologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the PGA Tour. "Lightning is a huge threat for us when we’re outdoors."

Dozens of locals and visitors from out of town, from places like North Dakota, Kansas City and Boston, are out at TPC Scottsdale despite the forecast this week, with more rain likely on Saturday.


A look at the weather in Scottsdale, Arizona, through Monday for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
(FOX Weather)


World's largest zero-waste sporting event

The WM Phoenix Open, famously called "The People's Open," is an annual golf tournament held in early February at TPC Scottsdale. It is recognized as the world's largest zero-waste sporting event and has the highest attendance on the PGA Tour.

"You always look forward to this one because it's the Wednesday before the Major tournament going on," FOX Weather Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen said.

The 88th annual PGA Tour event, part of the FedExCup, culminates on Sunday with the fifth-oldest tournament on the PGA Tour, that was first played in 1932 and spans 72 holes.

Although the weather was not a hole-in-one, the golf fans remained enthusiastic and determined to enjoy the event.

"I’m from Chicago so this is fantastic," one person in attendance told FOX 10 in Phoenix. "As long as it’s not snowing, I’m happy."

The skies in Scottsdale cleared briefly Wednesday, paving the way for the WHOOP Shot at Glory competition. Held at the 16th hole, the popular event saw a large audience watch sports stars and community leaders compete for the grand prize of $1 million for charity. 

Out of the 25-plus contestants, Brad Schoenberg, representing sponsor Taylor Morrison, had the closest shot to the pin, landing just 5 feet from the hole. 

The severe weather in Scottsdale was in no comparison after an atmospheric river elbowed the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf tournament in California last week with wind and rain.

Listen to the wind scream as this official tries to explain course conditions.

The last time the PGA canceled the last round of a tournament was the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.