Phil Mickelson has the large crowds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open whipped into a frenzy. Mickelson attended Arizona State University in nearby Tempe and is considered a hometown boy by local golf fans.
With his first three rounds of 60-65-64 he is at 24-under par and looking to set new scoring records this week.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open annually attracts the largest crowds on the PGA Tour and they have set new attendance records again this year. The official attendance for Saturday’s third round was 179,022. It broke the previous record of 173,210 set last year in the Phoenix Open’s third round.
The par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is ringed with bleachers and luxury box seats which create an arena type atmosphere. Good shots are rewarded with resounding cheers and poor shot are met with boos and jeers.
Tour caddies are even encouraged to race each other from tee to green and fans reward winning caddies with thunderous applause.
Any player that is hesitant to perform in front of a large crowd will be at a huge disadvantage in Phoenix.
Mickelson has Arizona golf fans eagerly anticipating his 41st PGA Tour win. He opened with a first round 60 and has led all three rounds.
His 60 was the result of a phenomenal round on Thursday when his 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole resulted in a severe 360 degree lip-out that prevented his first 59 in tournament play.
Mickelson was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last year and with four major championships is one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour.
He made comments concerning his displeasure with his tax bracket two week's ago after the Humana Challenge that created a firestorm in the media. He was able to turn his faux pas into a humorous show in a press conference and all seems to be forgiven for the popular Mickelson.
He will take a six-shot lead into Sunday’s final round over Brandt Snedeker and barring any disaster will collect the win.