There's nothing that gets a professional golfer's blood boiling more than noise outside the ropes during a tournament. With the exception of maybe the 16th at TPC Scottsdale (that hole was built for noise), most tournament crowds are expected to keep quiet and follow along without causing too much racket.
It's part of being a member of the golf gallery, and for the most part, people respect the rule. So when Karrie Webb stepped over a putt on Thursday at the Women's Australian Open and a spectator yelled out ''Excuse me!'' right before she struck the ball, you had to figure the guy had a screw loose.
Who the heck yells at a golfer right before a putt? A guy who was trying to save Webb from a two-shot penalty, that's who. According to The Age in Australia, Webb was saved from a potential rules violation when the spectator, who was actually a local club golfer, reminded her that she forgot to move her ball mark back to its original position on the green.
Yani Tseng had asked Webb to move her marker so it was out of her line, but instead of moving it back to the original spot, Webb moved it in the opposite direction. Had it not been for the guy in the crowd, the Aussie would have been forced to tack on two more strokes for the careless mistake.
''I just blanked it," Webb said. "I don't even remember moving it the other way, but I guess I moved it the other way. About 15 people standing on the other side of the hole (said). I was just about to pull the trigger and he spoke up. Which really caught me off-guard. In the end it saved a two-shot penalty. It was quite courageous of him, to speak up, and I'm thankful for it.''
Talk about a ballsy move by the spectator. Webb apparently gave him a golf ball after the round, but if she somehow finds a way to get back into contention, I think she should give the guy a cut of the tournament check. It only seems fair!
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