The 16th at TPC Scottsdale is known as the rowdiest hole in golf, with the 20,000 fans being extremely critical of any shot produced at the short par-3. If the shot is a good one, then they will cheer and clap to their hearts content, or, in Sam Ryder's case, they'll throw beer onto the green whilst celebrating a hole-in-one.
However, if you don't hit a shot that meets their expectations, then expect to be booed from the tee to the green!
There is one way though to win the raucous crowds over, and that is to hand out free items to them whilst walking down the 150-yard layout. Previously, Bubba Watson has handed out goodie bags containing Oakley and Ping products, Phil Mickelson once threw an American Football into the crowd, and now it seems that Matt Fitzpatrick has joined them, handing out Sheffield United football shirts to the fans lining the hole.
Spreading a bit of @SheffieldUnited around Arizona. UTB! ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/q1ej9YXrWHFebruary 12, 2022
Making his debut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Englishman had actually made a hole-in-one during a practice round on Tuesday. And, after safely making it through to the weekend, Fitzpatrick had been enjoying a steady third round as he walked into the par-3 16th.
Sticking his wedge shot onto the green, the Sheffield United supporter decided to have some fun with the 20,000 lining the hole, handing out Football Club shirts to the baying crowd.
Although it is unclear as to how many know about the existence of Sheffield United Football Club, they didn't seem to mind, with some fans posing in the Blades shirt.
After handing out the tops, Fitzpatrick also wore one as he made his way to the green. Unfortunately, he would go on to miss his birdie putt, much to the disappointment of the crowd. The 27-year-old did go on to birdie the driveable 17th and par the 18th for a four-under-par 67 though, and currently sits inside the top-20.
I’d love to know how many of the 20,000 folks sitting around the 16th hole are familiar with the soccer franchise Sheffield United pic.twitter.com/JoAuw8JtPWFebruary 12, 2022
The interaction caused some reaction on social media, with Lee Westwood responding to the tweet above, with: "Billy (his caddie) will be p****d that he’s had to carry that for 15 holes! Especially after the LUFC (Leeds United) result!"
Sheffield United also responded to Fitzpatrick's post on Instagram, with the Blades commenting: "Love it, @mattfitz94!"
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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