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Unruly fans stir memories of Chris Dimarco Phoenix Open quip in 2004

Unruly fans stir memories of Chris Dimarco Phoenix Open quip in 2004

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Fan/player interaction at the WM Phoenix Open is usually positive. Sure, fans like to heckle the golfers who miss the green at No. 16 but they’re just as quick to erupt into roars after great shots. Fans are always eager to reach out to high-five players as they walk by at many parts of the crowded TPC Scottsdale.

But certainly fans can go too far with their comments, taunts and jeers. Pro golfers are trying to do “their f—ing jobs”, as Billy Horschel told fans during Saturday’s action. Zach Johnson also got into it with some other fans, imploring them to shut up.

It’s nothing new, really, during the People’s Open. The winner of the then-FBR Open in 2002 at TPC Scottsdale, Chris DiMarco had a rough closing stretch in 2004 as victory slipped away, and the fans couldn’t not engage.

After his round, an animated DiMarco had some choice comments.

“They’re just inebriated out there,” he said. “Nothing bothered me. Absolutely not. I heard about 10 or 12 ‘Noonans’ (after a bogey at 16) that I heard from years past. It’s fine.”

He then offered up an opinion that other pro golfers surely have thought of before.

“I’ll just say this. I’d love to get a six-pack of beer, go find out where some of those guys work, go in their office, sit on my chair and go yell at them while they’re making sales calls. It’d be beautiful. It really would,” DiMarco said. “It’s a little disappointing that they don’t show more respect than that, but it goes with the hole. You would’ve thought that since I’d won here and being a past champion, maybe they’d show a little more respect, but it just goes to show what alcohol does to you.

“That (16th) hole is fun for the most part, except for maybe 2 percent of the crowd,” said DiMarco in 2004. “Those 2 percent are complete idiots. Unfortunately, those 2 percent make the rest of the tournament get just a little bit lower than it should be. I love it here.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


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