Fan noise at The Open disrupts Tiger Woods' swing and angers spectators

As far as occupational hazards go, someone yelling while you swing a golf club is pretty low stakes. As far as being an annoyance to the professional players, however, unruly fans might as well be the spawn of Satan.

So when a spectator shouts while Tiger Woods is teeing off in a major tournament, it’s not unreasonable to expect the golfing legend to offer an evil stare in return while a chorus of boos rains down from his faithful fans.

Considering Woods was sitting atop the leaderboard before his playing partner Francesco Molinari surged ahead to win the British Open, the fan who disrupted Tiger’s swing on 18 may have gotten off way too easy. But Woods wasn’t the only player to battle the fan noise on Sunday. Xander Schauffele endured a curious child on 17 and was forced to step away from his shot before he could even start his swing.

There are many sins on the golf course, but opening your mouth at the wrong time might just be the deadliest.

It’s time for the madness to end, but what to do with those who insist on shouting at golf tournaments?

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Scenes from the 2018 British Open
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Scenes from the 2018 British Open
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States walks down the 17th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
US golfer Dustin Johnson lines up a putt on the 17th green on day one of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 19, 2018. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tom Lehman of the United States chips in from the side of the 17th green during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
Sweden's Henrik Stenson reacts to his iron shot on the 17th tee during his first round on day one of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 19, 2018. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
ANGUS, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Fans watch Russell Knox of Scotland hitting a tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Angus, Scotland. (Photo by Stan Badz/R&A/R&A/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on 15th during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
US golfer Kevin Kisner (L) and US golfer Zach Johnson mark their balls on the 17th green during their third rounds on day 3 of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 21, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 21: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 21, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 22: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his eagle putt on the 14th hole green during the final round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on the 2nd hole during round two of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 22: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 18: Tiger Woods of the United States tosses his ball in the air on the driving range during previews to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 18, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Warren Little/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States hits a bunker shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan drops his club after a shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the tenth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays out a bunker on the 1st fairway during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 17: Dustin Johnson of the United States tees off during previews to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 17, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
GULLANE, SCOTLAND - JULY 14: Jens Dantorp of Sweden takes his tee shot on hole eighteen during day three of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Course on July 14, 2018 in Gullane, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
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The Case For Shouting

Golf has always been a game of tradition, but does that mean it can’t adapt? In 2018 there are more ways to make a sound than ever before on the course. Whether it’s people shuffling in the stands or fans cheering at the next hole over, noise has become as unavoidable as it is inevitable at PGA events.

It’s time the game embrace it. Give golfers walk up music for each hole. Allow fans to talk and enjoy the moment when a Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth stroll by. Noise isn’t the enemy here. Silence is.

It’s because golf officials demand spectators be quiet that players get frustrated by even the most innocuous sounds — like, say, a small child babbling while Schauffele is setting up for a shot. If fans were allowed to talk at normal level, maybe golfers wouldn’t be so shaken up by anything louder than a whisper whenever they are preparing to swing.

The announcers who watched Schauffele step away from his shot suggested that the small child be removed from the area. If the PGA thinks it can usher in a new generation of fans while shaming them at the same time, no one will ever bring their kids out to a tournament.

Hell, the Waste Management Phoenix Open has become a signature event for golf fans simply because of the rowdy atmosphere and relaxed rules. It’s a destination golf party. The anti-Augusta. And it works because players know what they are walking into.

By setting unreasonable expectations, by demanding that tens of thousands of fans must be neither seen nor heard while paying vast sums of money to attend tournaments, the PGA is ultimately setting itself up to be more disappointed than Tiger fans on Sundays.

See more of Tiger from the Open: 

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Fans have close call with Tiger Woods shot
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Fans have close call with Tiger Woods shot
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the 1st during round two of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on the 2nd hole during round two of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on the 2nd hole during round two of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his second shot from the rough on the second hole during the second round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States lines up his second shot on the second hole during the second round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his second shot from the rough on the second hole during the second round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on the 2nd hole during round two of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
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The Case For Silence

Can people really not sit still for a few minutes at a time any more? Do they not even want to?

It’s 2018 and there are more distractions around us than ever. Being out on a golf course, taking in the elements, enjoying the pristine views and leaving the world behind is all part of what makes this sport such a treat. It’s a game of subtle adjustments and intense thought.

How can players manage any of that if their fans won’t give them a moment to concentrate?

Golfers aren’t asking much here, really. They will display their absurd skillsets as long as they get to practice and perform their craft in an environment of their choosing. If they wanted crowd noise, they’d almost certainly ask for it. Put another way — when Tiger wants fans to cheer for him, he’ll be the first one to start the shouting.

There are countless other events where screaming and roughhousing in the stands is accepted, if not encouraged. A PGA tournament is not one of them. That’s the draw. No one is forcing you to stand on the sidelines all day while the best golfers in the world parade by. All they want in return is the respect that comes with making it onto the tour.

Events like the Waste Management Phoenix Open is the exception that proves the rule. It’s the PGA  equivalent of a parent who allows their teenager to throw a basement party with the promise they won’t come downstairs to check on it.

That doesn’t mean you must host a party every week and it certainly doesn’t mean you let the teenager make the rules in the house now.

Golf is what it is. Fans need to respect that or risk getting kicked out of tournaments. The fan who got the evil eye from Tiger on 18 at The Open gets to go home with a story for the rest of his life. Woods, on the other hand, has to go back to his job knowing someone will pull the same obnoxious stunt again next week.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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