Unexpected Streaker Disrupts WM Phoenix Open

On Friday, Feb. 11, thousands of spectators descended upon TPC Scottsdale for the 2023 WM Phoenix Open, dubbed the “Greatest Show on Grass”. But the tournament took a surprise turn when 27-year-old Sean Patrick McConnell ran onto the course during the 16th hole and caused a disruption.

McConnell allegedly jumped from the general admission bleachers and ran through one of the player access tunnels to the 17th hole.[0] He then continued by performing a pole dance with the flagstick, eliciting cheers and jeers from the spectators as he jogged around the green.[1] At The Open Championship in 1995 at St. Andrews, a streaker had “19th HOLE” written on his back with an arrow pointing towards his bottom.[2]

Security personnel quickly apprehended McConnell and put him in handcuffs. During the event, Adam Hadwin was the favorite to win the tournament at 20-1 odds, with Jon Rahm at 3-1 and Scottie Scheffler at 11-1. Unfortunately, Scheffler's ball rolled off the green due to heavy winds.

Overall, the WM Phoenix Open is well-known for its raucous scenes at the famous 16th hole, where fans boo and cheer players, music is played and plenty of beer is drunk – with alcohol and beer cups even thrown onto the course in celebrations during the 2022 event.[3] However, this time, the disruption was caused by an unexpected streaker, who was quickly apprehended and removed from the course.

0. “Man arrested after running across 17th hole green, jumping into water at WM Phoenix Open” ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix, 10 Feb. 2023, https://www.abc15.com/news/crime/man-arrested-after-running-across-17th-hole-green-jumping-into-water-at-wm-phoenix-open

1. “Phoenix Open STREAKER does flag pole dance, runs from cops then jumps into water” Golfmagic.com, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.golfmagic.com/pga-tour/phoenix-open-streaker-does-flag-pole-dance-runs-cops-then-jumps-water

2. “Notorious golf comp derailed as streaker dances with flag, dives into pond before being arrested” Fox Sports, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.foxsports.com.au/golf/notorious-golf-tournament-derailed-as-streaker-dances-with-flag-dives-into-pond-before-being-arrested/news-story/54ee5e997692c578e69b97a97df7c47c

3. “What do people wear to the Phoenix Open? Everything to nearly nothing” The Arizona Republic, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/events/2023/02/11/does-phoenix-open-have-a-dress-code/69895701007