Heckling Gamblers Tormented Golfers During US Open

  • It was the first US Open to take place in a state with legal sports betting
  • Bettors heckled big-name players like Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau
  • Fans often perch themselves on a certain hole for the day and bet on each group
Golf fans
Fans were heard heckling golfers during the four rounds of the US Open that concluded on Sunday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Heckling gets intense

The latest renewal of the US Open concluded on Sunday, with Rory McIlroy throwing away the title after missing two short putts down the stretch. When McIlroy missed a three-foot putt on the 18th hole that ultimately meant that Bryson DeChambeau won by a single stroke, certain fans jeered.

Notably, some of the boisterous crowd referenced betting with their yells.

The tournament in North Carolina was the first US Open to take place in a state with legal sports betting. People attending the event could instantly take out their phones and place a wager for the first time at this prestigious tournament.

Common occurrence

One of the spectators on Saturday yelled at the eventual winner that he had $100 on the 30-year-old shooting a higher score than 70.5 for his third round.

A journalist spoke with the fan in question, Lee Woody, who was holding two cans of alcohol. Woddy acknowledged that a fine line exists when heckling and that sometimes he goes a bit too far. In addition to the DeChambeau wager, he backed Hideki Matsuyama to shoot less than 71.5 for his Saturday round.

challenged Phil Mickelson to a wager on what he would shoot on the 17th hole

Woody commended the Japanese player’s composure, claiming he “doesn’t get rattled by anyone who chirps.” Someone else challenged Phil Mickelson to a wager on what he would shoot on the 17th hole on Friday, despite the player being a self-proclaimed gambling addict.

Core part of the sport now

Speaking before the tournament, DeChambeau said that the players hear the comments while playing and know that people have money on the line. He said he still supports legal sports betting if it helps to attract more viewers and grow the game though. DeChambeau was one of the first golfers to strike a partnership with a sportsbook operator when he entered an agreement with DraftKings in November 2020

World number 15 Max Homa was on the receiving end of heckling from bettors in the past, with some people even managing to track down his Venmo account and requesting payments when they lost their bets due to his poor play.

Live betting during events is constantly growing more popular as fans can see the action unfold in real time. During the US Open, many perched themselves on a hole for the day and wagered on the groups coming through. With live television feeds often lagging by up to 50 seconds, fans on the course can feel they have an advantage compared to the average bettor at home.

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