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Official: Phoenix-area rain storms could benefit Waste Management Phoenix Open

Fans at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in January 2015 don themselves with umbrella hats to protect themselves from the rain. The latest round of storms in the Phoenix area could benefit the upcoming tournament, one official said. (Facebook/Waste Management Phoenix Open)

PHOENIX — Even though the recent rain storms in Arizona have most likely caused Phoenix-area golfers to cancel their rounds, one official said golf fans may be glad the Valley of the Sun got a little precipitation in a month from now.

During the first week of February, professional golfers and golf enthusiasts alike will flock to TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The course’s Maintenance Operations Director Roby Robertson said the rain is slated to benefit the week-long event.

“Rainwater is the purist form of irrigation that we can ask for,” he said. “It has a tendency to flush salts and actually has some nitrogen infused within that rain that can help with green up and care of the golf course.”

Robertson said renovations that took place in 2014 have improved drainage on the golf course.

“The greens have a really good percolation rate and tend to drain on their own very, very well,” he said. “It would have to be a major excess of rainfall to be a problem on our greens.”

If the weather tends to dry up by Feb. 1 — even though one Phoenix climatologist said El Niño will turn the Phoenix-area into Seattle this year — Robertson said the course should be in great shape for the tournament.

However, if more rain comes to the Valley, the ground crew workers will have several options of dealing with the excess water.

“We’re really fortunate that the golf course drains really well,” he said. “We do keep on hand pumps if we have areas that require additional drainage. We do use squeegees if we have collections of water that we need to remove from surfaces.”

The Waste Management Phoenix Open will take place Feb. 1 through 7 at TPC Scottsdale.

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