As Scottie Scheffler stepped forward to hit his approach shot on the par-5 fifth hole at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Saturday afternoon, he suddenly heard his name called.
But it was not a fan. Instead, to his right was a large TV screen showing live golf coverage of his current shot. Analysts were breaking down what Scheffler was about to do in real time, and the volume was high.
Scheffler had to back off. It was unlike anything he had experienced before.
“It was strange,” he said. “I was standing over my shot and they had the TV on full volume there and she was commenting on my shot.
“So I heard my name in the distance and I was like, okay, I have to back off. I’ve never heard such a distraction before. Usually something that loud is music or something. Hopefully they turn that down when the leaders get back there. It was very – I’ve never been so distracted by anything like that before.
Scheffler is not the first to experience it at Royal Liverpool this week. Max Homa heard from TV analysts that he was close to using too much club before his approach on the par-5 18th in Thursday’s first round.
Homa didn’t back down, and the analysts were right. He had too much club and he hit him in the stands.
“I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this before, but you can hear the commentators on the big TV show, and I was over the ball and one of them said, ‘That’s too much of a club,'” Homa said on Thursday.
“I did an absolutely horrible job of not backing down because I knew it was too much of a club. That was the goal… Hopefully they turn it down tomorrow because it’s really distracting.
Adam Scott also went through the same thing on Saturday. He backed down after hearing commentators drop his name, which caused a lot of laughter from the crowd around him.
Despite the random commentary, Scheffler still birdied the hole. It was one of four he had that day, but he still finished with a 1 of 72. Scheffler, who entered the week ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, fell to 4 on the week. He is well behind leader Brian Harman, who holds a five-stroke lead over the rest of the field.
Advertisers haven’t impacted anyone’s tour too much so far. And, at least for Scheffler and Scott, they seem to be taking it well.
“It was pretty funny, just hearing your own name on the cover,” Scheffler said. “It was a weird moment for sure.”