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zach johnson

Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel rage at fans during WM Phoenix Open

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.

Both Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel lost their cool during play on Sunday at TPC Scottsdale.

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!”

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.

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.

NOW READ: Tick tock! PGA Tour star out of WM Phoenix Open after missing tee time

NOW READ: How much? Here’s the WM Phoenix Open prize money

What do you make of the Phoenix Open fans? Does a lid need to be put on the event? Tell us on X/Twitter!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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