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UA students make a weekend out of annual golf tournament in Scottsdale

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Courtesy Haley Sterba | The Daily Wildcat Students like Kendre Ingram (left) and Hayley Sterba (right) get away from campus and attend the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

University of Arizona students took on the Waste Management Phoenix Open this weekend in Scottsdale, Ariz. The event started on Monday, Jan. 28., with the 72-hole tour going from Thursday, Jan. 31 to Sunday, Feb. 3., giving the Wildcats an opportunity for a weekend away from campus.  

The Phoenix Open is a golf tournament held in Scottsdale where 132 professional golfers compete for money. This year, Rickie Fowler won the open, leaving with $1,278,000.

The open has been going on since 1932 and is an event that UA students have been making a weekend out of for years. Students travel all around Scottsdale, renting hotels, Airbnbs or staying with their friends to go to the golf tournament. 

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General admission tickets for the open this year were free on Monday and Tuesday, $45 on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and $60 on Friday and Saturday.

UA students of all ages came down for all different reasons, but to have a good time with their friends was one of the most frequently cited. 

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about it from my friends, and I heard it’s a good time. I also like golf," said Massimo Avelluto, a freshman pre-business student who attended the open for his first time ever.

Saturday was the most popular day for students at the tournament. The weekends at the tournament usually consist of a lot more than just watching golf.

“When I come down this weekend for the open, the main reason is to visit my friends that I went to high school with,” said Ryleigh Cislini, a sophomore at the UA. "Going to the open is just a side thing I do this weekend over all the other stuff.”

Emma Capranica, a UA freshman who lives in Scottsdale, said she waited until she got to college to attend the open with her friends, despite growing up so close. 

For some students, their reasons for coming down were to be able to dress up and go to an event with all of their friends in a different atmosphere than the UA can provide. 

“It’s a classy place for UA individuals to dress up nicely and have fun," said Mya White, a freshman pre-business student at UA.

For older students of legal drinking age, the open was a chance for them to visit the Coors Light Birds Nest, which was a 21-and-older drinking club at the event. One could have entered their white tent to get drinks and food if they had a 21-and-older wristband.

Many students make their way into Old Town Scottsdale at some point during their trip to hit the various stores and restaurants it offers.

Neil Aoun, a bussiness economics junior at UA, said that he and his friends always go to Old Town directly after the open to “grub out” at Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse.

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A handful of students do not go to the open at all, but partake in other weekend events, such as UA or ASU parties, eating at restaurants in Scottsdale or even dressing up as if they were going to the open. 

“This is an event that UA students can come to a cool and different place and just have an amazing time. It’s nice to get out of Tucson with all of your buddies every once and a while,” said Chaz Rometty, a pre-business student at UA.


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