Defending US Masters champion Sergio Garcia has always been one of the most fascinating characters to watch on a golf course and he did not disappoint during a dramatic 12th hole in his duel with Shubhankar Sarma at the World Golf Championships matchplay event at Austin country club on Wednesday.
Much to the disbelief of Nick Faldo in the commentary booth, the charismatic Spaniard, forced to take a drop in a cart path after a wayward tee shot, proceeded to take off his golf shoes and rip a glorious iron shot pin high.
The drama did not end there, however, as Garcia immediately indicated to a nearby police officer that an unruly fan had been heckling him on his backswing.
The unsavoury incident comes on the back of fellow pros such as Justin Thomas and Rory Mcilroy speaking out about the growing problem of drunken, boorish behaviour from golf galleries.
Thomas blew a fuse recently when a boozed-up spectator yelled for his ball to 'get in the bunker' while McIlroy called for stricter alcohol restrictions as he was subjected to some fans persistently shouting out his wife's name during his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last weekend.
Garcia explained post-round the reasons for his reaction to the mouthy spectator: “The guy obviously was shouting not very nice things at me. So I pointed him out to my [police] officer and then he decided to get him out of the course because he was being disrespectful not only to me but to everyone around. ”
It seems that golfers are increasingly taking a stand against the alcohol-fueled morons crudely attempting to goad them and in the process creating a nasty, distasteful atmosphere for the normally well-mannered galleries that line the fairways at golf events.
One of the wonderful aspects of golf is the proximity and interaction that fans can share with their heroes and it is hoped that an increasing proliferation of loud-mouthed spectators shall not impinge on the close bond enjoyed between player and gallery in the future.
Garcia is certainly taking no nonsense and as his remarkable golf shot proved, his game is coming together nicely with a return to his beloved Augusta just around the corner.