Waste Management Open: Ranking the 5 Greatest Shots of All Time on the Electric 16th Hole at TPC Scottsdale

It’s hard not to love the 16th hole at the Waste Management Open. In a benign sport rooted in courtesy and respect, there’s just something fun and unique about an atmosphere that encourages fans to be as loud as possible and party their faces off.

The loudest hole in golf has seen its fair share of brilliant shots over the years, but can we narrow them down to the five best?

Ranking the five best shots on the 16th hole in Waste Management Open history.
Tiger Woods hits a tee shot during the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

5. Tony Finau honors Kobe Bryant with a birdie

The 2020 Waste Management Open was a fragile time for many players in the field, as Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter accident just a few days prior to the event.

It was an especially tough week for Tony Finau, a lifelong Lakers fan who idolized Bryant growing up. Finau was one of the many players who donned a Kobe jersey while playing the 16th hole all week, and he honored the NBA Hall of Famer the best way he knew how — by sticking his tee shot to five feet and making birdie on Saturday en route to a third-round 62.

Finau finished the tournament in solo second, and there was no doubt Bryant was with him the entire way.

4. LDRIC the robot wows the crowd

There have been 10 holes-in-one ever made on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale in Waste Management Open (formerly Phoenix Open) history. Nine were made by man, and one by machine.

In 2016, a robot named LDRIC (Launch Directional Robot Intelligent Circuitry) sunk a hole-in-one during a practice round on just its fifth attempt, which sent the boozed-up crowd into a frenzy. The robot is the second Eldrick to make an ace on the iconic 16th hole, but more on that later.

3. Francesco Molinari spins one in

Francesco Molinari is one of the quietest players on the PGA Tour. The soft-spoken Italian keeps to himself and rarely shows any emotion on the golf course. But the 16th at TPC Scottsdale can break even the most impassive players out of their shells.

In 2015, Molinari spun a pitching wedge into the hole for the most recent ace on the loudest hole in golf. After the ball dropped, the PGA Tour veteran couldn’t help himself from pumping up the raucous crowd and giving out high fives to everyone in his vicinity.

2. Jarrod Lyle leaves a legacy

In 2011, Jarrod Lyle made the first hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career, and it couldn’t have come at a better place. The beloved Australian sunk a smooth 8-iron from 150 yards out and couldn’t contain his excitement.

Lyle’s infectious smile and exuberant celebration got the crowd on its feet all the way up until he picked his ball out of the hole and gave one more wave. The fan-favorite died in 2018 after a lengthy battle with cancer, but he’ll always be remembered for his heroic shot at one of the most famous holes in golf.

1. Tiger Woods: “They’re gonna go nuts when he hits this thing”

Tiger Woods could probably top every ranked golf list ever made, so it’s no surprise he checks in at No. 1 here.

Back in 1997, a young Tiger electrified the grounds of TPC Scottsdale with an earth-shaking ace on the 16th hole. The fans sure did go nuts when he hit that thing, but after the ball dropped in the hole, pandemonium ensued.

Rusty Uresti, who was caddying for his brother, Omar Uresti, that day, told The Caddie Network in 2019 the sound was the “loudest roar I’ve ever heard in my life.”

“Lee Rinker was in the clubhouse a pair of par 4s away, and he said the windows were rattling. It was the loudest roar in golf,” Uresti said.

No one can hype up a crowd quite like Tiger Woods.

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