Horschel on the fan conflict: This event wasn't meant for players to be ridiculed

"I just feel like there was a loss of respect there."- Horschel said.

by Sead Dedovic
Horschel on the fan conflict: This event wasn't meant for players to be ridiculed
© Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport

This year's WM Phoenix Open gained more attention than ever before. A lot happened in a short period, and the impressions are still being summed up after everything. 

Nick Taylor emerged as the victor in the final, and he has every reason to be the happiest. The WM Phoenix Open always has a special vibe. There are lots of people watching, the streets are lively with spectators having fun and drinking, and there are occasional conflicts. These things make the event unique every year. The latter is not something that we, neither the golfers nor the officials, look forward to, but it is a frequent occurrence at this tournament.

This year, many expected the same. However, things seemed to be twice as bad as in previous years. The golfers who had the opportunity to perform at this event also spoke about it. 

One of those who was frustrated by the behavior of the fans was Billy Horschel. After some fans made a lot of noise while his playing partner was taking a shot, Horschel got really frustrated and shouted; "Buddy, when he's over the shot, shut the hell up! He's trying to hit a damn golf shot here, it's our * job!"

Horschel also received support from his colleagues, as well as from many golf fans, who considered his move reasonable.

Reactions via social media immediately followed. One of the golf fans wrote: "Should be fun but if you ever played golf talking in someone's backswing is just rude and if you never played golf you just don't have an opinion."

However, some believe that Horschel is exaggerating: "Never understood why so called professionals act like they can't hit the ball with background noise."- one of the fans wrote.

Speaking to the PGA Tour's Sirius XM, Horschel explained his reaction. Billy was frustrated because three or four fans decided to talk loudly while his partner was over his shot. Horschel is frustrated with the lack of respect from individuals. Billy believes that the rules are there to be respected, and he does not want to see such behavior on the golf course again.

"We'd just started our second round, we're on the 11th hole and [Galletti] is over his second shot. We had told some fans over there to be quiet as he was about to hit. There were three or four guys over there that continued to talk and say some things.

They talked very loudly when he was over his shot, and I just feel like there was a loss of respect there. The guy is trying to play his shot, he's trying to do his job. It's the third day of the tournament and we hear a lot of different things.

I just responded to it afterwards that I was displeased with the level of respect that was shown towards a fellow competitor while he is trying to hit a golf shot and compete in a golf tournament. And that's just the simple fact of it."- he said, as quoted by golfmonhtly.com

The WM Phoenix Open is known as a tournament with a different atmosphere than others. However, no one expected that things could go so far. 

Billy Horschel and his caddie
Billy Horschel and his caddie© Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport

Those older golf fans are disappointed by the behavior of individuals, considering that golf is a sport with tradition. It seems that over the years, some want to spoil the image of this sport and create a completely different image of this sport for those who do not follow golf.

Billy Horschel isn't happy with the behavior of the fans at the WM Phoenix Open

Billy Horschel is saying that the WM Phoenix Open has become a bit too much in the past few years. He thinks things have gotten out of control, and he brings up the importance of respect for their jobs.  What he has emphasized many times is that there is a lack of respect for this sport and its players.

Some people on social media argue that golfers should expect this kind of treatment, saying things like "you know what you signed up for" and "if you can't take the heat, then don't show up." However, Horschel disagrees, stating that the tournament was never supposed to be about players being made fun of by the fans.  The truth is, the fans went too far with their behavior this season. The organizers of the tournament have said they will make changes in the next few years to make sure we don't see the same issues in 2025.

He believes in maintaining a positive and respectful environment during the event, rejecting the idea that players should tolerate negative behavior as part of their job.