Justin Thomas had a fan ejected on Sunday in the final holes of the final round of the 2018 Honda Classic. He had a fan straight-up thrown out -- for a reason that divided golf fans.
It all happened on the par-4 16th, the second hole of the Bear Trap stretch, after Thomas hit his tee shot. A fan yelled out, "Get in the bunker!" and clearly wanted the ball to wind up in a not-so-good spot. The eventual winner wasn't having any of that, and he turned afterward toward the fan, pointed him out and asked for him to be ejected.
After hitting his tee shot on 16, Justin Thomas signaled for a fan to be ejected from the gallery for a “get in the bunker” cheer.
“Enjoy your day, buddy. You’re done.”
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) February 25, 2018
Here it is again, JT throwing out a fan...."guy right there in the Seminole hat". pic.twitter.com/c4edIQTNQ0
— ShutFaceGolf (@ShutFaceGolf) February 26, 2018
PGA Tour players can have people in the gallery removed, and even ejected, for their conduct. Thomas made sure he wasn't going to have to deal with that particular fan for the rest of the afternoon.
Thomas did not have other fans ejected on the par-3 17th hole, which is about as close as there is on the Florida Swing to the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Players have complained about fans on that hole, suggesting they're mean-spirited.
Thomas was skewered by many PGA Tour fans on social media, considering his choice to have the fan ejected as weak and showing a fragility they didn't like. However, so many fans also rail against obnoxious fans and what they yell -- as well when they yell it -- that the reaction was a bit odd, especially considering the fan in question was openly rooting against Thomas. It seems odd for a fan to be anti-goofball and anti-ejection at the same time.
The incident follows comments Thomas made the week prior at the Genesis Open about fan conduct, particularly after playing with Tiger Woods at Riviera.
"It was alright for a little bit today, but there at the end it got a little out of hand," he said. "I guess it’s a part of it now, unfortunately. I wish it wasn’t. I wish people didn’t think it was so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we’re trying to hit shots and play.”
Thomas figures why the yelling fans do it, but that doesn't mean he finds it acceptable given what's at stake each week.
“I don’t know – I guess they just think it’s funny,” Thomas said. “It might be funny to them, and obviously people think of it differently and I could just be overreacting. But when people are now starting to time it wrong and get in people’s swings, is just completely unacceptable really. We’re out here playing for a lot of money, a lot of points, and a lot of things can happen. And you would just hate to have, hate to see in the future something happen down the line because of something like that.”