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Waste Management Open to honor military

The 2013 Waste Management Open will honor military members, a tournament official said Wednesday.

“For years, we’ve allowed anyone with a military I.D. into our event for free,” said Tournament Director Tom Altieri. “This year, for the first time ever, all past and present military servicemen and women and their families can enjoy hosted food and beverage in a private tent located on the 18th fairway. It’s just our way of saying thank you.”

As usual, the Bird’s Nest will be the place to be during the tournament. Altieri said some big names will hit the stage there.

“On Thursday night, Phoenix native and 10-time Grammy winner with 10 number one hits, country superstar Dirks Bentley will be at the Bird’s Nest,” he said. “On Friday night, it’s a band known as one of the best live bands in the world. We’re welcoming back O.A.R.”

Last year’s tournament winner, Kyle Stanley, said the big rowdy crowds on the 16th hole make the tournament special.

“It’s probably the most nervous I’ve been with a wedge in my hand since I turned pro,” he said. “You have so much adrenaline pumping. I think on the last day I had 165 yards to the hole, and I hit a pitching wedge just because you’re so juiced up. It’s a fun hole. Great energy.”

The tournament runs Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 at TPC of Scottsdale. The fourth and final round will be played the same day as the Super Bowl.

Altieri hopes to top the $222 million that the tournament pumped into the Valley’s economy last year.

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