Tighter rules for 16th hole at Phoenix Open

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Tighter rules for 16th hole at Phoenix Open

The PGA Tour already has banned the caddie races on the infamous par-3 16th hole at the Phoenix Open. Next on the taboo list: tossing items to fans in the grandstands at golf’s rowdiest hole.

A notice was posted in the locker room Tuesday at Waialae that said, “At this year’s Waste Management Phoenix open, for fan safety reasons, players and caddies are prohibited from throwing, kicking or otherwise propelling items into the crowd on the 16th hole.’’

Players won’t be able to claim ignorance. Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief of operations, said the notice would be posted at the TPC Scottsdale, in the tent on the tee boxes before a player starts his round and even on the electronic scoreboard on the 16 hole.

How it gets enforced is another matter. Pazder made a small clarification by using the word “indiscriminately’’ throwing objects. In recent years, Rickie Fowler has tossed hats into the grandstand and Bubba Watson is becoming famous for the swag he throws into the bleachers. What first got the tour’s attention was Padraig Harrington kicking a football into the stands. That’s now forbidden. Pazder said a direct handoff is fine.

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