Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas were grouped with Tiger Woods for the first two rounds at the Genesis Open last weekend. Both players said they were looking forward to the opportunity prior to the tournament, but afterwards, they seemed to sing a different tune.
With Tiger comes a large crowd, and some in that crowd feel the need to continuously yell things like, “mashed potatoes” for some reason. After the third round, Thomas commented on the crowds:
“It was pretty wild this first couple days. It was all right for a little bit today, but there at the end it got a little out of hand. I guess it’s a part of it now, unfortunately. I wish it wasn’t. 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.
“I don’t know – I guess they just think it’s funny. It might be funny to them, and obviously people think of it differently and I could just be overreacting. But when people are now starting to time it wrong and get in people’s swings, is just completely unacceptable really.
“We’re out here playing for a lot of money, a lot of points, and a lot of things can happen. And you would just hate to have, hate to see in the future something happen down the line because of something like that.”
Thomas wasn’t alone in his sentiment as McIlroy, who said he needed to take some Advil because he had a headache, also had some thoughts on the ridiculous shouting that follows Woods:
“It might have always been like this, the whole Tiger mania, but I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field.
“It’s two shots a tournament he has to give up because of all that goes on around him. Whether that calms down the more he plays and it doesn’t become such a novelty that he’s back out playing again, I don’t know, but it’s tiring. I need a couple Advil just to… I’ve got a headache after all that.
“You’ve got a six-foot putt and they’ll shout: ‘It doesn’t break as much as you think.’ Just stuff like that, stuff they don’t have to say. Whoever is teeing off at 8:30 in the morning doesn’t get that and can just go about his business and do his thing. That’s tough. Tiger has to deal with that every single time he goes out to play.”
While I understand the excitement that follows Woods on the course, he is one of the greatest to ever play the game, I don’t understand the need people feel to shout dumb stuff at the players during their swing. After they’ve hit, cheer, yell, shout, but don’t be that guy and try to be the first one heard yelling “baba booey.”
Woods, who said he is used to it, also confirmed that he feels it has cost him quite a few strokes over the years.
“It’s cost me a lot of shots over the years. It’s been a lot because all it takes is one shot on a Thursday and you lose the tournament by a shot on Sunday. What people don’t realize, it’s not just something that happens on Sunday afternoon – this is cumulative and it’s par for the course. But I’ve dealt with it for a very long time.”
Woods missed the cut at the Genesis Open, but will play this week in The Honda Classic.