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The tension between Justin Thomas and PGA Tour fans is escalating

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In case you missed it, Justin Thomas spoke out against unruly and “completely unacceptable” behavior from PGA Tour fans after the Genesis Open last week. He said, among other things, “I wish people didn’t think it was so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we’re trying to hit shots and play.”

Well, one fan on Sunday at the Honda Classic — which JT went onto win in a one-hole playoff — was openly rooting for Thomas’ tee shot to go into a bunker.

As the television audio picked up, per the Tweet embedded below, Thomas told the fan that he would be kicked out of the event. (If the Twitter embed doesn’t work for you, click here.)

Thomas kept his composure enough to get the victory at the Honda Classic, but it will be interesting to see where the relationship between JT and the fans goes from here.

What do you think? Should fans be allowed to openly root against players like in other sports, or is that disrespectful? Is Thomas overreacting?

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the topic in our forums.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. joro

    Apr 4, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    This is really stupid, sports fans today think they have to be A-Holes and JT is just egging them on with his crying. They sell Beer and that doesn’t help, but whatever you do, do not smoke, that makes you unruly.

    Justin, just shut up and do your job, the same job Millions would love to have, or go to work at a take out for 10 bucks an hour, you’r a fool.

  2. Frankrizzo

    Apr 3, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Anyone who screams “get in the hole” after a player hits their driver off the tee on a 596 yard par five should be ejected…for stupidity!!!

  3. Lenny

    Mar 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Golf has become more WT in the last 10-15 years.

  4. Joe

    Mar 14, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I don’t see the update to your article where this particular fan was abrasive and basically stalking JT…. I’ll wait…. well, wait, it’s not Tiger so you won’t update it

    • george

      Mar 24, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      The jerk(s) want attention. Dont give it to them.

  5. d

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:43 am

    What a princess.

  6. ray

    Mar 9, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Golf WRX is ‘escalating’ a problem for Justin Thomas by making an issue out of nothing, Do him favor and let it go.

  7. Josh

    Mar 8, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I really hate all the yelling that people do. Golf is more of a sophisticated sport, where you cheer for your favorite golfer and that is it. No more yelling after a shot or putt is hit.

  8. Michael Werner

    Mar 7, 2018 at 4:15 am

    It is basically a matter of decency and education, whether I behave this way or not. Unfortunately this behavior is often seen in golf tournaments in America. for example at the Ryder Cup
    Greetings from Germany

  9. Ray

    Mar 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Justin is the man. With a chance to win the tournament he absolute had to have that guy removed. Tour pros are obviously experts at blocking out distractions, but this was over the top.

  10. Ron Reagan

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:52 am

    Fans have gotten much worse. I’ve always felt security was too lax and now is the time to tighten things up by removing fans that apparently have no real understanding of golf etiquette. Let them learn the hard way that this is not acceptable.

  11. Tony

    Mar 2, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    The F-bomb he dropped that was hears all over the network telecast does not help him.

  12. Al

    Mar 2, 2018 at 4:37 am

    Spectators shouldn’t act like this but this is the same guy who for years hasn’t shouted fore at drives landing in large groups of people and only started shouting last week after splitting someone’s head open with a tee shot. A look in the mirror before criticising others would have been better from Mr Thomas.

    • David

      Mar 10, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Really? Splitting someone’s head open? That didn’t happen so stop exaggerating things.

      • Al

        Mar 13, 2018 at 3:25 am

        It absolutely did! His drive carried full toss onto a spectators head which was bleeding and required medical attention!

  13. StankyRamy

    Feb 28, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    This little guy should start eating pancakes at Perkins with ol buddy Tiger. Get on a workout regimen and take some Ped’s before you act like a tough guy. Get in the Ho!

  14. TeeBone

    Feb 28, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Trends toward negative fan behavior is no surprise. After all, we are now in the Golden Age of Hate. But let the Tour handle it, JT.

  15. Kevin

    Feb 27, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    JT’s going down a slippery slope. Just ask Sergio how things go when you start criticizing and picking arguements with fans. His quickly becoming unlikeable.

  16. steve c

    Feb 27, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Distracting a player while he is hitting the ball should absolutely be grounds for removal from the facility. However, openly rooting against a player while he is walking? Just keep it clean (no vulgarity, screaming, and the like). Heck, I’ve got NO sympathy for a guy making $1.5 mil when his feelings get hurt. He is welcome to go play by himself and make $0 if he doesn’t like it!

  17. Rob

    Feb 27, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I say just snap his skinny punk self in half and see how “big boy” he thinks he is after that.. cry me a river kid

  18. Blake

    Feb 27, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Justin did the right thing

  19. Jack Nicholas

    Feb 27, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Boorish behaviour; it’s the American way. Stop selling alcohol to these idiots and show them the way to the nearest nascar track instead.

  20. Tmark

    Feb 27, 2018 at 9:36 am

    How about Justin, he was caught on air 3 times dropping the Fbomb. One has to imagine that it occurred several more times off air. Should young kids on the course and watching on TV be taught that the Fbomb is how you react to a bad shot or a win?? JT needs to look inward about his impact on golf first then possibly, just possibly the people joining in on the boorish behavior will also restrain themselves. As a father,JT,just like Tiger are terrible role models on the course and need to improve for the sake of our kids golf future.

    • Robert Roy

      Feb 28, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Fbomb isn’t aimed at anyone. Players get fined for inappropriate language.

      • njrp

        Mar 1, 2018 at 8:07 pm

        Tmark has a point…if a kid is watching home he will hear the fbomb…shows lack of respect for fans at home…you can tell Justin has copied Tiger.

        However, you are not supposed to root against someone in golf…the heckler was probably a nongolf fan attracted to event by Tiger.

  21. Patricknorm

    Feb 27, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Someone has to explain to me why it’s acceptable to chirp, or heckle or interrupt a golfer during a tournament. I’ve been to numerous Tour events over the last 30 years and incidents like these are more prevalent. When you attend the Waste Management tournament in Phoenix , everyone knows going in it’s going to be a gong show, especially on the 16th. But to purposely cheer against a player is mean spirited.
    There has to be a better way of getting on tv.

    • Adam

      Mar 8, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      Why? Fans root against players and teams in every other sport. Maybe the guy is a big fan of another player in contention?

  22. Boyo

    Feb 27, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Any moron that yells at any time should be escorted off the course. Any fool that takes a picture without silent mode should be escorted off the course. The majority of golf fans would applause.

  23. Alex

    Feb 27, 2018 at 1:41 am

    Justin’s right but I’m afraid he’s just going to make things worse. The moronic fans will get on him the way they did Monty. But why does Golf have to be degraded by the mentality of team sports. If you want to verbally abuse an athlete, go to a Phillies game. Let Golf be different, an oasis of sportsmanship free of drunken idiots with no life.

  24. Mike

    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Monty could hear a sheep change its mind according to Nick Faldo
    Only happens in USA mostly. However wait till Paris boy are the US guys going to get it!

  25. DTCMD

    Feb 26, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Only empty headed losers condone that kind of behavior on a golf course, during a tournament. I see two here in the comments section.

  26. Marc

    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    What is Justin going to do this year in the Ryder Cup? Ask the European fans to be quiet so he can hit a shot? I don’t think so.

  27. Greg

    Feb 26, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    I hear sounds of babies crying at his future events. Weasel move. His reaction was overboard.

  28. Steve

    Feb 26, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    No it’s not overreacting and yes it is disrespectful. Seems to be getting worse too. What a moron.

    • Will

      Mar 14, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Justin dropping the F-bomb after the win was equally disrespectful.!!!

  29. Mikee

    Feb 26, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Take a lesson from the British fans at The Open

    • Dan

      Feb 26, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      It’s one thing to distract the players while swinging or getting ready, entirely another to root against players openly. I don’t see any issue with rooting for a ball to go in the bunker!

      • Axel

        Feb 27, 2018 at 12:37 pm

        So, if you and I were playing a round with money on the line and I am openly rooting for every one of your shots to be bad, you would be ok with that? Just because they are professionals doesn’t justify an idiot loudly rooting for someone to fail. Golf is supposed to be a gentleman’s game, not the same atmosphere as a Philly game.

      • wardman

        Mar 9, 2018 at 2:56 pm

        Agree – play the game, and want fans there for you, they can root against you too. Yup, noonan’s are all right by me. So are “in your face” when you make it.

    • Joe

      Mar 14, 2018 at 8:56 am

      hahahahaha

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Tour News

It’s the Ardmore! Woods begins Quicken Loans National with TaylorMade putter in the bag

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If you had a bet going with your buddies that there was no way Tiger Woods would depart from his beloved 13 major-winning Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS this week, you lose.

Woods started the first round of the Quicken Loans National with the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 he has been practicing all week with at TPC Potomac.

Adam Schupak spotted Woods’ caddie, Joe LaCava, on the way to the first tee for Woods’ 1:20 ET start time with the camo TaylorMade putter cover in the bag (not surprisingly, the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 was beneath the cover).

Woods has struggled with the putter this season, as we’re all well aware, particularly since the Memorial. No. 89 on Tour in strokes gained: putting, the 14-time major champion knew he had to do something.

“I’m trying to find something that I can feel again, like the swing of the putter, getting my body in the right positions and seeing the lines again,” Woods said. “You know, it’s just one of those things, once I start to get the ball rolling on my lines, then I’ll be back to putting like I was. I just have not been rolling it on my lines. And then on top of that, when they don’t roll on lines, then I have a hard time seeing my lines and it’s a vicious cycle. And I’m just trying to get out of that cycle.”

Woods reportedly tried a number of TaylorMade putters in the Bahamas last week, arriving (as far as we know) at the Quicken Loans National with just the Ardmore and his Newport to choose between.

He has made his choice for the first round. We’ll see how it pans out and whether Woods remains a mallet man all week.

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5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

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Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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