Ryder Cup heckler putts European pros in their place

30 Sep 20162 Shares

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Rory McIlroy enjoyed the heckler’s putt. Image David W. Leindecker/Shutterstock

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An opportune moment for one lucky, vocal heckler at the Ryder Cup has landed David Johnson a Twitter celebrity crown, and $100.

Not the most exciting of sports, golf’s popularity tends to rise and fall like the tides, with high tide surely at the bi-annual Ryder Cup.

Pitting US golfers against their European counterparts, the event attracts far greater numbers of onlookers, with the novelty of red v blue bringing loyalty and fandom to people not usually into elongated pitch and putt.

Rory McIlroy Ryder Cup

But just as golf can spoil a walk, hecklers can spoil some golf.

During practice for this year’s edition at Hazeltine in the US, vocal onlooker David Johnson took umbrage at some missed putts from Europe’s Andy Sullivan.

So vocal was he that Henrik Stenson, a playing partner of Sullivan, decided to act. He walked over to Johnson, handed him a putter and challenged him to make the 12ft putt that proved so difficult for professional Sullivan.

Happy to comply, and backed by the crowd of onlookers, Johnson took the putter and steadied himself. Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose put a $100 note beside the golf ball, adding both reward and pressure to the heckler’s effort.

This was something Johnson relished, though, sinking the putt and celebrating in style. And, in doing so, becoming today’s Twitter celebrity.

Rory McIlroy enjoyed the heckler’s putt. Image David W. Leindecker/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com