Play­ers happy with phone-snappy fans


A clutch of the world’s best golfers are play­ing to a dif­fer­ent beat at the first Pres­i­dents Cup in Asia this week — the con­stant drone of cam­eras click­ing and phones ring­ing.

But they agreed the an­tics of the en­thu­si­as­tic Korean fans, try­ing to get pic­tures at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity and fre­quently an­swer­ing mo­biles in breach of golf’s usual hushed on­course eti­quette, were not a prob­lem.

“Hey, they want to take pic­tures of us. I guess that’s a good thing,” said U.S. team mem­ber and world No. 5 Rickie Fowler af­ter Tues­day’s first of­fi­cial prac­tice day at the Jack Nick­laus Golf Club in In­cheon, South Korea.

“Usu­ally stuff like that doesn’t bother me or the guys too much I think in prac­tice rounds. It will be in­ter­est­ing come tour­na­ment play, come Thurs­day,” added the 26-year-old.

“I didn’t no­tice it too much while we were hit­ting,” said U.S. vet­eran of all 10 pre­vi­ous Pres­i­dents Cups Phil Mick­el­son. “There was so much of it, we tuned it out. I feel like it will be the same for ev­ery­body.”

South African Branden Grace said the un­usu­ally noisy crowds might give his team­mates an edge on the Amer­i­cans, as they play more events in Asia.

“When you come to Asia you ex­pect it,” Grace told AFP. “As Euro­pean Tour play­ers we’ve been ex­posed to it a lit­tle bit more than the U.S. guys.

“You just mustn’t let it get to you. To­mor­row might be a bit more hec­tic out there.

“Golf is so huge in Asia and the peo­ple here just love tak­ing photos, I don’t think there’s any other way to put it.

“It gets nuts out there some­times but it’s fun. They all mean well.”

The fren­zied at­mos­phere, even on the first prac­tice day, came as a bit of a cul­ture shock to some of the U.S. play­ers such as Jimmy Walker, who do not ven­ture out­side the PGA Tour of­ten.

“At the be­gin­ning to­day we were like, ‘Holy cow, this is un­be­liev­able,’” Walker told AFP.

“Af­ter a while, re­ally, there was just so much of it go­ing on, it just be­comes white noise. It’s not a big deal. It’s not like when you’re at home where one click or ring will re­ally stand out. Here it’s just con­stant.

“Never once to­day was I thrown off by the clicks and they were go­ing off a lot. It was fine.”

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