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Group hoping 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open sets charity record

PHOENIX — The group behind the Waste Management Phoenix Open has its collective fingers crossed that this year’s tournament sets another record for charitable giving.

The Thunderbirds handed out more than $9 million to local charities through proceeds raised from the 2015 tournament.

“A lot of charities rely on our support year in and year out and, frankly, we all have bigger and better plans each year,” Thunderbirds Birds Nest Chairman Kevin Kopp said. “We’re hoping to surpass what we did last year.”

Last year was the first time the group passed the $9 million threshold. The previous record of $8.8 million was set in 2008.

The Open set an attendance record last year — more than 560,000 spectators poured into TPC Scottsdale over the four-day tournament.

Since the 1930s, the Thunderbirds have given more than $100 million to Phoenix-area charities.

The annual Open kicked off Thursday. For a complete guide to the tournament, click here.

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