LA JOLLA, Calif. — Tiger Woods brings out the crowds, which in turn brings out the good, the bad and the ugly.
Consider the hubbub around the green at the par-5 13th on Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open, where Woods stuffed his third shot to five feet from the cup.
His sizzling approach drew huzzahs from the gallery and hollers of support as Tiger stalked his birdie putt.
In the middle of his backstroke, though, one fan couldn’t resist.
“Get in the hole!” a voice blurted, just prior to impact.
Distracted, Tiger shoved his putt, then glared up at the gallery. He didn’t spy the culprit. But someone else did.
some idiot just yelled in Tiger’s backswing. Totally ridiculous. Uncalled for. pic.twitter.com/HA7fbWD393
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) January 28, 2018
“He’s right there!” another spectator called out, pointing to identify a dark-haired man in sunglasses and a visor.
“Yeah, there he is,” cried someone else.
“Get that moron out here!”
“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry,” the man in the visor yelped.
This time, his words fell on deaf ears.
“You’re an idiot. Go home!”
Public enemy no. 1 pic.twitter.com/4SpGRWUvDX
— Fore Play (@ForePlayPod) January 29, 2018
The crowd had swelled into an angry chorus. Brandishing cell phones, they surrounded the offender, snapping photos, shooting video and shouting with the hostility of a mob.
“This is him, the idiot!” a young man barked, thrusting his phone within inches of the spectator non grata.
A sign-holding tournament volunteer wandered over.
“Sir, what were you thinking?” he asked.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” the man repeated.
Seeming unsure what to do, the volunteer raised his arms and shrugged at the crowd.
“If I were you all, I would beat his ass,” he said.
He paused as if to reconsider but then repeated:
“That’s what you guys should do.”
The man in the visor began to slink away. Some fans followed, without acting on the volunteer’s suggestion.
And there you had it: a good shot by Tiger, a bad decision by a fan, and an ugly moment on an otherwise beautiful Southern California morning.