Sophia Popov Calls For Women's Phoenix Open

Like the sound of the German's idea?

Sophia Popov watches a shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sophia Popov, winner of the 2019 AIG Women's Open at Royal Troon, has called for a women's equivalent of the WM Phoenix Open, saying she wants to "have just as much fun" as Harry Higgs and Joel Dahmen, who both went shirtless on the 16th hole in scenes never witnessed before on the PGA Tour.

The 2022 edition of the tournament was controversial, unique and entertaining with two holes-in-one on the signature stadium 16th hole and hundreds, if not thousands, of beer cans thrown onto that specific golf hole from the onlooking fans.

It then took an even stranger turn when Higgs and Dahmen went shirtless, after a 15-foot par putt was holed, and the fans once again covered the green and surrounding areas in beer cans. It was certainly a moment where golf opened itself up to the wider sporting audience, many of whom may still think the game is stuffy and outdated.

A screengrab of a Sophia Popov tweet

(Image credit: Twitter: @SophiaCPopov)

"Can we please have a WMPO for women too….I wanna have just as much fun as @harryhiggs1991 and @Joel_Dahmen had on 16 today at a golf tournament," Popov wrote on Twitter. Many fans were in agreement with the German, with one user commenting that the Phoenix Open could be a mixed event and another saying that both tournaments could be played back-to-back.

The LPGA Tour doesn't currently run an event in Arizona, after the Founders Cup was moved from Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix to Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey. The WM Phoenix Open, coined as the Peoples' Open, is the best-attended event in all of golf with hundreds of thousands of fans lining the fairways, and the stadium, each year. 

Popov could certainly be onto something here and the Tour and its sponsors could be missing a trick. The fans would likely buy into an LPGA Tour Phoenix Open and TV viewers would surely love to see the stadium 16th hole on our screens more than just four days per year.

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x