Unruly fan behavior draws golfers' ire in Phoenix

Unruly fan behavior draws golfers' ire in Phoenix
By: ESPN GOLF Posted On: February 11, 2024 View: 73

Temperatures are only in the 50s, but tempers continue to run hot at the Phoenix Open due to unruly fan behavior.

The PGA Tour event, known for its huge crowds and party atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale, continued to get out of hand Sunday after organizers had attempted to slow down the festivities Saturday.

Zach Johnson was caught on social media laying into a heckler after a tee shot.

"Don't 'sir' me," a clearly agitated Johnson told a group of fans before storming off. "Somebody said it. I'm just sick of it. Just shut up!"

Elsewhere on the course, Billy Horschel took exception to fans making noise during a swing by fellow competitor Nicolo Galletti on the 11th hole.

"Buddy, when he's over the shot, shut the hell up, man," Horschel yelled at a fan. "Come on, he's trying to hit a damn golf shot here. It's our f---ing job."

On another hole, Jordan Spieth was agitated when a fan yelled during his backswing. Spieth still hit his approach shot to 15 feet, but he dropped his club and pointed to somebody in the gallery after the fan yelled.

"What the f---?" Spieth could be seen saying as he glared at the gallery.

There were other incidents shown on social media, including fights among spectators and other alcohol-fueled incidents.

On Saturday, tournament officials briefly stopped alcohol sales at several locations around the course, hoping to slow down the party. They also briefly turned away ticket holders around 2 p.m. Saturday because it was too crowded.

The Phoenix Open, dubbed the "Greatest Show on Grass," is unlike anything in golf. Masses of up to 200,000 fans pack TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course with cheers, boos and the occasional beer shower.

The eye of the rowdy hurricane is the 16th hole, a multitiered party of a par-3 where "Quiet please" signs are met with disdain.

On Friday, a woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries after falling at the 16th. It was unknown whether the woman had been drinking before the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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