In the weeks that have passed since the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Scott Jenkins is relieved his role running the annual golf tournament is over, but he is also proud of how it turned out in an unprecedented year.
When Jenkins took over as tournament chairman following the 2020 Open, Covid-19 was just starting to make news but wasn’t something that most people in February 2021 thought would disrupt sporting and other live events.
Jenkins described 2020 as a “roller coaster of emotions,” as he and the Thunderbirds, the group that hosts the Phoenix Open, planned a handful of versions of what the 2021 tournament would look like – something he said was incredibly taxing and complicated.
Jenkins and the Thunderbirds worked with city, state and PGA Tour officials to figure out how to make it possible and safe for people to attend the 2021 event in person. They ended up allowing a total of 5,000 spectators each day of the tournament, a far cry from the more than 100,000 that usually show up, but still better than nothing Jenkins said.
“I take a lot of pride in the fact that not only they trust us to go first, but then they’re using our playbook, with all the other tournaments,” Jenkins said.