Irish golfer Graeme McDowell was none-too-impressed with hecklers during the US PGA Championship last week. At one point he responded with a foul-mouthed retort for those shouting “Baba Booey” after his shot.
Following a tough time on the course on Thursday, McDowell was looking for things to go more his way in the second round last Friday. As he teed off at the fourth hole at Baltusrol in New Jersey, the 37-year-old was forced to endure the shouts of a spectator as he watched his ball spin off to the left. McDowell let loose with "Baba fucking Booey" on live TV.
McDowell later apologized for his “French,” taking to Twitter to explain that he is not a fan of the recent phenomenon fans shouting idiotic phrases such as "Baba Booey" just after a golfer has taken his shot.
Golf is fun and it was just some guy trying to get on TV. I love the genuine fans in the NY crowds. https://t.co/aUwOhCC93i— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 31, 2016
Although the hecklers were not to blame, the Irish golfer did not manage to salvage anything from the tournament. He finished nine over for the two rounds and didn't make the cut. Whether he could make himself watch and listen to yet more hecklers is another question.
The reason why “Baba Booey” has become a heckler's favorite at golf tournaments in recent years is unknown, but the phrase/name came into the cultural stream in 1990 as a nickname of sorts for Gary Dell’Abate, the executive producer of the Howard Stern radio show based in New York City. Dell'Abate mispronounced Baba Looey as Baba Booey and was never allowed to forget the slip-up. It became a regular feature of the show and has now spiralled out of control to the point where it is now – a common phrase for hecklers at golf tournaments and those trying to disrupt live TV reports.
Among the other phases favored by hecklers at the 2016 PGA Championship were: “Hold the Door,” a reference to a massive reveal in the latest season of 'Game of Thrones,' and “Harambe,” the name of the gorilla shot dead at Cincinnati Zoo in May when a child fell into his enclosure.
Despite tweeting his apology after the live TV slip of the tongue, McDowell won many fans for his response.
@Graeme_McDowell Don't be sorry. For that. Ever.— Michael Carr (@Tapinforadouble) July 30, 2016
@Graeme_McDowell Please don't apologize, those idiots make golf fans look stupid— Matt Moseley (@memoseley21) July 30, 2016