TPC Scottsdale's 16th: Exception to rule

Wed, Feb 24
16th hole at TPC ScottsdaleChris Morrison/US PresswireMany consider the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale the most entertaining because the fans can be rowdy.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A few years ago, Scott Piercy stepped to the tee at TPC Scottsdale's notoriously rambunctious 16th hole and stiffed his shot to within 10 feet of the cup.

The crowd went wild, but not in the way you might expect. They booed him.

"They have high expectations of us," Piercy said while recalling that moment. "I just tipped my cap and waved."

Talk about a tough room.

On most occasions during the PGA Tour season, there are three appropriate responses to golf shots: wild applause for the great ones, polite clapping for the average ones, deafening silence for the poor ones.

The 16th at this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open is not one of these usual occasions.

Professional golf's only hole with true "stadium seating," this Sweet 16 can host up to 20,000 spectators per day, most of whom express themselves via boisterous cheers, resounding boos and cacophonous singsong chants. In any situation, the message comes across loud and clear to competitors: Bring your A-game or prepare for the onslaught.

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