Love: Fans should control themselves better

Last week’s PGA Championship was exciting to watch, and I have to admit that I was happy to see Jason Dufner win – even though I was rooting for Pennsylvania native Jim Furyk.

One negative during the broadcast, however, is the ever-increasing penchant for golf fans to scream out catch phrases immediately following the tee shots of many of the players.

For years, the shoutouts were mainly confined to phrases like “you’re the man,” but more recently, the screaming has become a little more crazy and childish.

This past weekend, “Baba Booey,” “Chewbacca,” and even “mashed potatoes” could be heard immediately following many of the contenders’ tee shots.

I realize people like to have fun, but you would think that fans could control themselves a little better, especially at a championship golf tournament.

Pro golfer Ian Poulter certainly wasn’t amused, as one of his tweets indicated shortly after Saturday’s round: “We should be allowed to take 10,000-volt tazers onto the course and tazer every muppet who shouts out something stupid. I would laugh then,” Poulter wrote.

Local champions

Congratulations to Todd Homan, who took home the Park Hills’ stroke-play championship over the weekend, following a close defeat last year. Darlene Grove also added to her lengthy list of championships on the ladies’ side.

At Summit Country Club, Jessica Burlingame took home the ladies title, while David DeGol Jr. repeated as the men’s winner. DeGol will attempt to repeat yet again this weekend as he’ll be defending his Scotch Valley crown. On the ladies’ side, Greater Altoona champ Michelle Day will be the favorite to win.

Iron Masters will also crown champions this weekend with Gwen Paden, Patti Dodson, Deb Long, Kathy Bottenfield and Deb Showalter among the ladies’ favorites. Wally Clapper, Garth Honsaker and Rick Dillon will join defending champ Brett Miller as contenders for the men’s title.

New TV deal

In a bit of a surprise last week, the USGA announced a new television deal with the FOX Network to televise its events over the next 12 years.

This will end NBC’s 18-year run as the broadcaster of USGA events – meaning no more Johnny Miller at the U.S. Open.

Miller has been an outspoken commentator who rubs many viewers the wrong way, but I’ve personally enjoyed his honesty and intelligent insights. Early reports say Greg Norman has been tapped as Fox’s new lead golf analyst.

Norman has never been shy about voicing his opinions. If he can handle the inevitable criticism, he has the potential to be a great commentator in his own right.

Ken Love covers local golf for the Mirror. His column runs on Fridays.