U.S. Open Fans Heckle Tiger Woods

Newsday.com

beergolf

BY JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER AND PATRICK WHITTLE

11:13 PM EDT, June 20, 2009

Beer-sodden fans and rain combined for an ugly finish to a long day of golf yesterday, with Tiger Woods and other golfers subjected to drunken heckling as the action at Bethpage Black came to a close.

At 6:42 p.m., dozens of drunken spectators at Hole 10 taunted Woods as he prepared to start his third round in the rain.

“We’re on Long Island, baby, where men are men!” one fan yelled. “Put that umbrella down!”

The taunts were mixed with cheers from the majority of the crowd.

Woods did not respond to the people who were heckling him but tried to quiet the crowd with a “sshh” hand gesture, putting his finger to his lips, as golfers prepared to tee off on the adjacent 12th tee.

“Suck it up, you’ve got your own video game!” someone shouted at Woods.

Some fans, apparently disgusted by the hecklers’ behavior, walked away from the hole. Others told the vocal contingent to quiet down, which had no effect on the verbal abuse.

Minutes later, a group of fans greeted Fred Funk at the 10th hole by shouting his last name as an obscenity.

A little earlier, drunken fans at the seventh hole shouted at golfers, “This Bud’s for you!” On the ninth fairway, drunks called out “you suck” to players while spectators on the other side booed the hecklers.

Concession stands scattered across the course – including the one near the 10th hole – don’t start selling beer until 11 a.m., yet a line already had formed in front of the taps between the 16th and 17th holes well before that. But the late- morning scene was peaceful, giving little indication of what would happen later elsewhere on the course.

Many beer-drinkers Saturday at Bethpage Black were there simply to enjoy the scene.

John O’Shea, John McQue and Cronan Ryan sat on a hillside overlooking Hole 17, leaning back on their elbows and taking slow sips of Budweiser.

“We just had to rest a while to get some beer in us,” said O’Shea, 22, of Manhattan.

“We just needed to relax,” added McQue, 28, of Sunnyside.

– With staff writer Neil Best

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