Serial heckler gets under the skin of prickly English golfer

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 November, 2009, 12:00am

English golfer Ian Poulter didn't have a particularly good Hong Kong Open this year and he seems to be laying the blame on a local heckler. Playing alongside Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy - who had a large contingent of Irish fans - Poulter openly accused the noisy gallery of disturbing him during his third round.

However, the Irish weren't to blame. The rascal was an American. Tracked down by CitySeen, the marketing executive apparently also razzed NBA star Kobe Bryant during his recent Macau visit, shouting, 'No means no, Kobe' in reference to a rape allegation made against Bryant, which was later dropped. At the golf tourney, the heckler decided to target Poulter (pictured), who has a reputation for being prickly, after he saw the Englishman kicking the grass, muttering and cursing.

'His disposition was annoying me so I thought I'd get under his skin,' the heckler said. 'He shanked his shot on the 11th [hole] towards the trees and the crowd groaned. I yelled, 'Get left', the direction of the trees. He turned to the gallery and yelled out, 'Who said that'?'

Later Poulter, with blue shoes to match his outfit, had another bad hole and the heckler remarked: 'It must be the shoes, Ian.' Finally, after the 18th hole, he again tormented the golfer by sarcastically consoling him: 'Tough round, Ian.' The disgruntled golfer then turned and confronted his critic. 'Next thing I knew he was in my face calling me classless and saying this is a golf tournament for Chrissakes, like we were at the Vatican or something.'