The worst place for a European player to hit a shank? Well, the Ryder Cup on U.S. soil would be a prime candidate for No. 1. But the infamously rowdy par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale, where hordes of fans in grandstands tend to boo players if they simply miss the green, would be up there as well.
Ian Poulter experienced that nightmare Friday during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The Englishman produced an ugly shank right into the grandstands at No. 16. And yes, he was certainly booed.
The good thing for Poulter was this happened near day’s end, which means the crowd viewing (and heckling) was likely smaller than if this happened earlier on Friday.
Still, this footage gives a better idea that, nonetheless, the booing remained strong at this point:
Poulter appeared to take the whole shank ordeal in very good humor. so that’s nice to see.
And apparently, to make matters even stranger, a spectator threw Poulter’s ball back into play!
Poulter ended up bogeying the hole and firing a 69 to finish 36 holes at 3 under. He is onto the weekend.
And while we can’t imagine Poulter relished going through this experience, he’s certainly been through the gauntlet now at 16.
His tee shots Saturday and Sunday at the infamous par 3 can only improve (we would think) from his disastrous strike Friday.
So take heed, Ian: You really go into the weekend with nothing to lose at one of the most raucous holes in golf.