Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel couldn’t bite their tongues at TPC Scottsdale as crowd behaviour at the PGA Tour’s most raucous event is questioned yet again…
Tempers began to flare inside the ropes on day four of the WM Phoenix Open.
While one of Billy Horschel’s playing partners, seemingly the left-handed Nicolo Galletti, lined up a shot from the fairway, footage showed a fan loudly commenting on the player’s downswing.
“Buddy, when he’s over his shot, shut the hell up!” Horschel said, before adding, “We’re trying to hit a damn golf shot here, it’s our f****ing job!”
Haha the players have had enough!!!— Rick Golfs (@Top100Rick) February 11, 2024
For the record I am 100% on Billy Horschel’s side here. STFU when a player is over the ball.
The seven-time PGA Tour winner glared in the direction of the spectator he addressed before eventually walking on.
Johnson also took issue with a section of fans in another part of the Arizona venue and he was filmed remonstrating with them.
“Somebody said it,” he said. “I’m just sick of this. Just shut up!”
It isn’t clear what the 2023 Ryder Cup captain heard but, like Horschel, he wasn’t afraid to hide his annoyance.
Zach Johnson may be the softest human being in golf. You made terrible choices as captain. This is what happens sir. pic.twitter.com/ISrgzDqY53— @countryclubadjacent (@ccapodcast) February 11, 2024
On Saturday, the tournament announced it would let no more fans enter the event on the day due to “larger than usual crowds.”
It was also widely reported that beer sales were stopped too. Videos emerged on social media of fans sliding down muddy hills throughout the third day of play.
The WM Phoenix Open is known for its raucous atmosphere which is epitomised by the giant grandstand which surrounds the par-3 16th hole – the Stadium Hole.
The tournament’s gravitation towards chaos reached a head most memorably when Joel Dahmen and Harry Higgs removed their shirts and waved them around on the 16th green in 2022, with beer cups being launched from every angle.
Fan behaviour has often been called into question at this event, as images from Saturday also showed one topless spectator run and jump into the greenside bunker on 16.
What do you make of the Phoenix Open fans? Does a lid need to be put on the event? Tell us on X/Twitter!