Throughout the week at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, players have been honoring the life of Kobe Bryant by wearing different jerseys from Bryant’s basketball life while playing the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale.
Tony Finau has worn Bryant’s No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey multiple times throughout the tournament. Justin Thomas has worn Bryant’s No. 33 jersey from his Lower Merion High School in the Philadelphia area.
Now, for the final round, the PGA Tour and the Phoenix Open staff are honoring Bryant in a more formal way.
The flag on the par-3 16th in the final round will be adorned with Bryant’s two Lakers numbers: 8 and 24, with the Lakers colors of purple and gold. Those two numbers will also be painted in Lakers colors in front of the green at one of the most famous par 3s on the PGA Tour.
The hole location for the final round will also be a tribute to Bryant, as it will be located 24 paces on from the front of the green and 8 paces from the left edge.
The hole location on No. 16 is 24 paces on and 8 from the left to honor the late Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/sIr7IG1Zb1
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) February 2, 2020
A similar position had become somewhat standard in the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in recent memory. That’s because the green is shaped in such a way that the pin is in a swale that could mean a higher possibility of a hole-in-one on the 16th hole.
In fact, during the broadcast on Saturday, Golf Channel analysts were wondering why that pin wasn’t chosen for the third round. Now we know that the PGA Tour and the Phoenix Open had a bigger plan in place.
Finau, who made a birdie on No. 16 from off the green while wearing a Bryant jersey earlier in the tournament, is going into the final round in search of his second PGA Tour win with a one-shot lead over Webb Simpson on 16-under 197.