Monday, March 26, 2012

Tiger Mauls, Fans Mar Event

After 924 days, Tiger Woods has returned to his winning form. In capturing his 7th Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bayhill, the former world number one golfer won his first PGA event since the dramatic events of Thanksgiving 2009. The two plus years were marked by personal scandal, physical hardship and a drought of victories so devastating, many wondered whether the days of Tiger’s dominance were over.

Sadly, a five shot win over Graeme McDowell was not enough for many fans who were so vocal they Woods 72nd PGA victory was tarnished. Constant bellows of “Get in the hole!” with each of Tiger’s shots, no matter how far he was from the flag stick were so aggressive and ludicrous, many viewers were forces to turn off their televisions. “We could have had the highest rated golf match of all time,” said PGA spokesman Tad Underhill. “Instead we had viewers changing their channels to shows that were more calming, like NASCAR and Mob Wives.”

The behavior of fans was so offensive, the PGA has enacted new rules to deal with belligerent, nonsensical cheering. Fans will be restricted to yelling “Get in the hole!” and its variation, “In the hole!” only on tee shots from a par 3, where the possibility of a hole-in-one exists, as well as any approach to the green under 120 yards. Shouting these phrases in other situations will be strictly forbidden and the penalties harsher the further Tiger swings from the cup:

  • On Par 4 tee shots: Offending fans will receive a warning from the Marshal for a first offense. A second infraction at any time during the tournament will result in immediate expulsion from the course, along with a $500 fine and the removal of any articles of clothing bearing the Nike symbol.

  • On Par 5 tee shots: As the fan is either so delusional or so antagonistic, or both, consequences will be swift and harsh. Surrounding fans are free to deal with the offending spectator with vigilante-style justice upon the first utterance of any phrase with includes the words ‘hole’, ‘in’ and ‘get’. The use of walking sticks, folding chairs and fanny packs in not discouraged while dispensing punishment.

“We didn’t want it to come to this point, but felt we had to act before it was too late, and fans were bringing vuvuzelas,” Underhill sighed. “But it is in the best interest of golf, especially in Florida where they have shown a precedent for legislating golfing behavior.” Ironically, encouraging any player by shouting, “You ‘da man, Ray” is still permissible, even if the golfer is not Ray Floyd.


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