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Updated Dec 16, 2013 - 9:35 am

Security, ticket prices increase at WM Phoenix Open

PHOENIX -- Golf fans will see some new things at the next Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Fans will be greeted with tighter security and slightly higher ticket prices.

Tournament Chairman Tom King said every fan coming into the TPC of Scottsdale will be wanded.

"In light of things like (bombing of) the Boston Marathon, and the fact that our event is 500,000-plus (people) event ... we thought we should put some policies in place," King said. "If you're doing it the right way, and we're planning it out well in advance, it should be a smooth operation."

King said the tournament enlisted the help of Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill to develop a security policy. He said that the procedures will be much the same as fans go through to get into Arizona Cardinals games at University of Phoenix stadium.

Ticket prices will be higher for the tournament, up from $25 to $30.

"It's the first increase in eight years," King said. "We took all of that money and we want to invest it back into different things to make it a better experience for the fan."

One of those things are ten new cabanas that will be at the 18th hole.

King said there's a good field of players shaping up for this year's tournament.

"We've got Lee Westwood coming for the first time, and that's a big name," King said. "Padre Harrington had so much fun from Ireland that he's coming back, Ricky Fowler is in, Bubba Watson of course is in."

Defending champion Phil Mickelson -- a three-time winner -- will also be there.

O.A.R., Jake Owen, Weezel and Metalhead will be playing at the Bird's Nest during the tournament, which takes place Jan. 29 through Feb. 2.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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