Villain Origin Stories
Patrick Cantlay gets heckled at Harbour Town for slow play, caddie flips fan the bird
The last sporting event on earth you'd expect there to be heckling at, outside of the Masters (which literally doesn't allow it), is the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town, which just so happens to fall directly after Augusta National on the schedule. Harbour Town is famously the most laid back week of the season, a byproduct of being after the most mentally and emotionally grueling week of the year and being held in the extremely chill area that is Hilton Head Island in April.
But the 2023 RBC Heritage had a much different vibe with it achieving elevated event status, meaning big-time players came to play for big-time money. Normally, the event is lucky to get Jordan Spieth and maybe one other big name to show up, but this year, just four days after the Masters, everybody but Rory McIlroy showed up, Jon Rahm included.
Also among that group was Patrick Cantlay, who could have desperately used a week away from the spotlight after his pace of play came into question on Sunday at the Masters. Credit to Cantlay for still showing up at Harbour Town, where he managed a solo third finish but did have to deal with more slow-play scrutiny both on social media and on the actual golf course. Here's Cantlay getting heckled, at Harbour Town of all places, to "hurry it up," which caused his caddie Matt Minister to flip the heckler the bird:
Oh boy. For fans to do this at Harbour Town means Cantlay has become an overnight slow-play villain, something he's keenly aware of based off his self-troll from Friday, when he made a hole-in-one and tweeted out the video with the caption "Playing faster!" Not exactly a fix to the problem, but it was at least an acknowledgement that there is one.
That said, it didn't appear like Cantlay was doing much to fix it on the weekend in South Carolina. A video of Cantlay taking nearly a minute to hit a four-foot putt during the final round went viral, specifically two videos comparing the length of Cantlay's routine to two separate but equally hilarious scenes from "Happy Gilmore." He also took a ton of time to hit that chip off a bulkhead on the 14th hole, though that was somewhat understandable given the difficulty of the shot and the magnitude of the moment late in the round.
And then there was this video, also from Sunday, of a fan timing Cantlay's pre-shot routine on a different hole:
If this fan's timer on his phone is to be believed, Cantlay took nearly three minutes to hit this shot. Even if you're behind a tree or on a bulkhead and you're playing for $3.6 million, it should never take nearly three minutes to hit a shot. But, as it's already been said one million times and will be said one million more, unless the PGA Tour enforces slow-play penalties, nothing will change on the pace-of-play front.