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British Open 2023: Rickie Fowler called ‘coward’ by heckler for truly bizarre reason


Jared C. Tilton

Rickie Fowler ended his opening Open round in embarrassing fashion on Thursday. The six-time PGA Tour winner finished his first day with a snowman, including two out-of-bounds shots after his tee shot. He’s one over, so he’s certainly not out of it, but he’ll have plenty of work to do on Friday to get back into contention.

If someone were to heckle Fowler at Royal Liverpool, it would make sense to do so for his poor showing on No. 18, but that wasn’t the case. Instead a fan had another critique that was apparently more important than ridiculing Fowler’s final hole of the day.

“He called me a coward for not going through with my Leeds investment,” Fowler said. “That’s a first. Maybe he should put up his own money.”

In case you’re not following Fowler’s minute-by-minute movements, the heckle addressed the SB2K crew’s bid for ownership Leeds United, a major English soccer team that was relegated from the Premier League back in May. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas moved forward with the acquisition, but Fowler allegedly pulled out of the minority stake offer due to the relegation.

That’s a very detailed jeer, and you have to respect that the patron had it loaded up and ready to go in case he got near Fowler. Fowler hit back, of course, with a very sly way of saying "I have more money than you," which is the best retort in a situation like this.

Spieth has already stated that he’s “emotionally involved” in Leeds since becoming a shareholder, but Fowler’s eye is on the main prize: winning golf tournaments and besting hecklers.