Please don’t pass the “mashed potatoes!”
I’ve never cared for “rutabaga!”
Screaming for vegetables should be reserved for the Thanksgiving Day table.
The PGA Tour, the USGA and golf in general doesn’t need obnoxious fans. Shouting ridiculous phrases as someone strikes the ball has no place in the game, especially at major championships.
There’s enthusiastic and then there’s Anthony Weiner. And these loudmouths were real Weiners.
From Tiger Woods to Jim Furyk, players at last week’s PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y., were peppered with side-dish exclamations. These attention-needy idiots have taken “You Da Man” and “Get in the Hole” to an undigestible level.
“If you’re gonna shout out food at least go with something less starchy. Sub out your “MASHED POTATOES” for “SIDE SALAD” #makeitstop,” tweeted Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman.
Ian Poulter, who is known for his sometimes loud outfits and his own bleepin’ outbursts after bad shots, wants the PGA Tour to do more than issue ear plugs. He urged fans to tweet @PGATOUR to end the nonsense or he might turn into the Taze-manian golfer.
“We should be allowed to take 10,000-volt tazers onto the course and tazer every muppet who shouts out something stupid. I would laugh then,” Poulter tweeted.
OK, electric shock treatments might be a little extreme but Poulter created a buzz.
“I find it an issue when someone shouts out on impact ‘Miss it’ when your putting. Or when someone calls ‘Get in the rough’. Simply Disrespectful,” Poulter tweeted. “Is this the atmosphere we are asking for in golf. Golf is a game of respect and honesty Not stupid outbursts. BA Boom.”
Poulter went on to say such fan behavior wouldn’t be tolerated at Augusta National or Wimbledon. CBS analyst Peter Kostis agreed.
“One thing is certain. Anyone yelling mashed potatoes or some other phrase at The Masters would be escorted away posthaste!” #easytodo,” Kostis tweeted.
The PGA Tour has stops where fans can get a buffet of craziness. The fans on No. 16 at Phoenix were not the originators of raising the roof at golf tournaments. The Greensboro Open, which was once referred to on Tour as the “Pop-Top Open,” embraced the fraternity party atmosphere years ago. Students from the nearby colleges gathered around the par-3 16th green and had as much fun as possible with their clothes on.
The PGA Tour event in Flint, Mich., also has its tradition on the par-3 17th hole. Fans scream the minute the ball gets in the air. They sing the fight songs of players’ alma maters. They get even crazier when guys make great shots. The key at all of these venues is that the fans are celebrating the achievements and aren’t an obscure annoyance.
Some players hate these inebriated incidents and skip the events. That’s their choice, this is their livelihood at stake. It’s their job and “mashed potatoes” aren’t going to pay the bills.
For anyone who thinks fans are bored with the PGA Tour unless Tiger Woods is in contention, they should have checked out Sunday’s ratings. With Tiger on a jet home before Furyk and Jason Dufner teed off, the ratings were up 19 percent over last year, according to CBS. The final 15 minutes of the event, from 7-7:15 p.m., held an impressive 6.0 share of the ratings.
People weren’t turning in to hear the yahoos shout out random shopping lists. They watched a deserving champion win one of the most prestigious tournaments. Golf is a game built on respect and dignity. And any obnoxious vegetable references should be reserved for soccer, so they can be drowned out by the vuvuzelas.
Tom Hanson is the Daily News managing sports editor and caddied for numerous years on the PGA and LPGA tours. Contact him at email@example.com