Top 10 Times Golfers Rage Quit

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Top 10 Times Golfers Rage Quit

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Zachary Siechen
These angry golfer moments are amazing! For this list, we'll be looking at the memorable, sometimes relatable, and often hilarious times that professional golfers lost their cool on the course. Our countdown includes Rory McIlroy's 3-Iron, John “Tin Cup” Daly, Tiger Woods, and more!
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Top 10 Times Golfers Raged Quit


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Golfers Rage Quit.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the memorable, sometimes relatable, and often hilarious times that professional golfers lost their cool on the course. We’re excluding fictional golfers, as that’s a leaderboard for another list.

Which temper tantrums made you really feel the frustration? Mark them in the comments!

#10: Rory McIlroy’s 3-Iron

Honestly, this whole list could be a blooper reel of golfers tossing their clubs. The fling that makes us chuckle the most, though, is the unfortunate fate of Rory McIlroy’s 3-iron at the 2015 Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida. Coming into the eighth hole, McIlroy sent his approach shot too far left and into the drink. Perhaps fearing that the ball would be lonely, he hurled his 3-iron into the air to follow suit. The club would not end up doomed to its fate, however, as the course’s owner, former President Donald Trump, sent a scuba diver after the lost iron. Trump returned the club to McIroy, reportedly calling the Irishman’s throw “beautiful” and done with “elegance.”

#9: Sergio & the Sand

No matter a golfer’s skill level, getting stuck in a sand trap is often a foreboding predicament. Spanish Pro Sergio García found himself in one during the 2019 Saudi International. Garcia is arguably as famous for his outbursts as his swinging skills, and when he misfired a short chip shot at the 2019 Saudi International, he turned the course's artificial beach into a powder keg. His frustration over the poor shot led to a Happy-Gilmore-level of hacking away at the bunker…and that’s just the footage that made newsreels. Apparently, Sergio had also damaged at least five greens during the tournament, and the behavior led to his eventual disqualification. Don’t be shocked if there are other Garcia stories to hear…even on this very list…

#8: Woody Austin’s Own Head

Woody Austin has raged multiple times, tossing golf balls, beating golf bags, and beating golfer heads…his own, that is. Austin established his reputation in 1997, when a missed putt caused him to unleash fury upon his own skull. (“Release the Kraken” insert) He hammered the putter against his cranium with enough force that the club actually bent. He’s cooled down in his older days, as he’s won several PGA victories and has even stated that he’s seen a sports psychologist to help quell his anger. For better or worse, though, this boneheaded moment is likely to be the one that Woody Austin will be remembered for.

#7: Putting with Irons

“Gentle” Ben Crenshaw didn’t live up to his nickname in the 1987 Ryder Cup singles, when he played for team U.S.A. in a match against Eamonn Darcy. Unable to get the ball to its home, frustration got the better of him and he broke his putter in two. Per regulation, Crenshaw was not allowed to replace the club and was forced to improvise the remainder of the match by putting with his one-iron and sand wedge. Surprisingly, Crenshaw was still able to keep up with Darcy all the way to the 18th hole. The outburst would end up being the putter that broke the camel’s back, however, as Gentle Ben lost the match, and team Europe would eventually win the tournament 15-to-13.

#6: Henrik Stenson Can’t Catch a Break

Sometimes…the clubs fight back…or so Henrik Stenson found out in the 2011 U.S. Open. After a 7-iron swing didn’t go his way on the 15th hole, he decided to aggressively divide his club in two. He did so with such force that the damaged shaft dug into his arm and left him with a mild laceration that required bandaging. He ended up tying for twenty-third, but he left the locker room with concerns that stitching might be necessary. It’s not the first or last time that Stenson broke a club, though he later admitted that the habit could actually be therapeutic and do wonders for his mental game. As he put it, “breaking stuff really helps.”

#5: John “Tin Cup” Daly

It’s not his actual nickname, but the short-fused John Daly may have been inspired by Kevin Costner’s loveable hothead for this rage-quit. This golfing “bad boy” is known for his antics, such as when he destroyed a spectator’s camera in the 2008 Australian Open. Fast forward to 2011, and Daly tried to clear the 11th hole lake half a dozen times, splashing unsuccessfully into watery depths. Though it’s not the only time the golfer pulled a “tin cup”, this instance had him walking off the course in angry surrender. The scene got Daly banned from the upcoming Australian PGA, though he did shake the other players’ hands before he left. As Daly put it, “when you run out of balls, you run out of balls.”

#4: Hennie Otto’s Six Putts

Don’t you hate it when gravity won’t do its job? Hennie Otto learned that infuriating lesson in this moment that has since garnered YouTube fame. Rumors of the South African breaking whole sets of clubs and abandoning them in the river have been afloat, but his performance during the 2005 Nashua Masters actually made it to tape. After missing his putt by just a hair, Otto proceeded to carelessly slap the ball with the putter head, no longer seeming to care if it dropped. It took an embarrassing six putts to end Hennie’s torture. The moment is a replay-favorite for disgruntled golfers everywhere and a humorous reminder that even the pros can suck sometimes.

#3: “Terrible Tommy” Bolt

Some raging golfers have reputations, and others are simply the stuff of legend. This fifteen-time PGA title winner earned his nicknames “Terrible” and “Thunder” by making rage-quitting an art of showmanship. Tales of Tommy begin with multiple instances of club throwing and continue with stories of bag throwing. In one case, he even followed his thrown golf bag into the water and stomped the accessory senseless with his foot. In another round, Bolt’s caddy offered him an excessive 2-iron for a short shot, as it was the only club that remained in the bag. It’s hard to pick one moment for a man who made a career out of tantrums, so we’re just going to salute them all.

#2: Sergio Garcia Loses His Shoe

Now here’s a “wardrobe malfunction” of a whole different kind. Sergio Garcia, in his second appearance today, finds himself pitted against Retief Goosen in his World Match Play debut. Garcia’s tee shot flew into O-B territory when he lost his balance during the swing. Sergio clearly thought his right shoe was to blame, as he removed the footgear and launched it over the crowd and just past a match official. Even when a spectator returned the shoe, Sergio still treated it to a finishing kick. Fortunately, no collateral damage was incurred on the referee’s face, and Garcia later apologized for the incident, saying, “if I think about it, I wouldn’t do it again.”

#1: Tiger Woods

He’s maybe the greatest golfer of all time…and he’s got one heck of a potty mouth. Many of Tiger Woods’ professional appearances have sent censors scrambling to cover up his curse words, and he’ll frequently slam clubs into bags and into the ground in exasperation. There’s really no one Tiger tantrum that tops the others, but together they strongly solidify his association with emotional upsets. Tiger did briefly step away from the game due to self-assessed insufficiency in performance, though he has since returned with some impressive finishes. When asked about an upcoming return to the PGA, he said it won’t be “just for the sake of it.” Who knows what future feats and fits this “GOAT” of golf may have in store for us?
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