Golfers growing weary of ‘rowdy’ fans on 16th hole at Phoenix Open

By Jesse Reed

The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is famous for its amphitheater arrangement and exuberant fans.

When golfers hit great shots on this par-3, you can hear the roar of the fans all over the course. When they aren’t as successful, fans are loud then, too. And based on some comments by top golfers Friday evening, the fans at No. 16 are just becoming unruly in general, which they feel is taking away from the positive vibe.

Justin Thomas, for one, was very frustrated when a fan yelled as Jordan Spieth was in the middle of his swing on Friday.

“It’s frustrating,” Thomas said, per ABC 15 in Arizona. “It’s fun to play in a crowd like this with all the people cheering you on, but that girl just yelled right on Jordan’s downswing. He hit a great tee shot for that being (but) I had no idea where he hit it because I was so upset that that even happened. It doesn’t matter who it is, whether it’s me or Jordan or anybody else in the field. There’s just no place for that.”

“I get it. Late in the day, at a place like Phoenix, I’m sure there are a couple in,” he said. “But it’s┬ánot appropriate, and I hate that it could affect someone’s score because of that.”

Rickie Fowler, who is a huge fan favorite at the Waste Management Phoenix Open every year, is also not pleased with the way fans are behaving.

“There was actually some rowdy fans this morning on 16. I may be somewhat of a fan favorite, but they weren’t holding back,” he said. “I was a little disappointed at some of the stuff that was said. I don’t want much negativity — the normal boos for missing a green, that’s fine, but leave the heckling to a minimum and make it fun.”

Being that many of the fans who attend this tournament are younger and likely have knocked a few back, it’s not surprising that they are getting a bit rowdy. Still, given the way this tournament has developed over the years, with the 16th being billed as the place to be, golfers shouldn’t expect fans to behave like it’s the 18th at Augusta, either.

There was a very inspiring moment at the 16th on Friday, however, that warmed our hearts. Jon Rahm, who attended Arizona State, donned a Pat Tillman jersey to honor the fallen hero, who passed away in Afghanistan back in 2004.