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Patrick Cantlay never seems too far away from criticism out on the golf course. 

The world no.7 has long been derided by golf fans for his pace of play out on tour and, of course, was at the centre of the “Hatgate” storm that swept last year’s Ryder Cup in Rome.

And despite making an fast start to the Genesis Invitational, Cantlay’s actions on the course came under fire once more, this time on social media.

Cantlay posted a seven-under 64 to lead at Riviera, but faced stinging criticism for his apparent reluctance to shout “FORE” on more than one occasion after wayward drives on the back-nine.

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After pulling his tee shot left on 18, Cantlay ended up hitting a ball spotter in the rough. He was then forced to warn fans again after an overhit approach, but his warning came late.

Former pro golfer Tony Johnstone, who won six times on the European Tour, was particularly unimpressed.

“Back to back shots and Cantlay hits a ball-spotter and then spectators around the green. Would a shout of ‘FORE’ be out of the question?” Johnstone wrote on X.

Zimbabwe’s Johnstone agreed with a user who suggested that Cantlay may have not benefitted from a welcome bounce had he not shouted “FORE.” “Correct,” he replied. “Should be nailed with a huge fine.”

He then suggested Cantlay’s failure to call was “narcissism”, adding that he “couldn’t care less about anyone else.”

Many players on the tour have been scrutinised for their apparent failure to prevent fans from possible danger by yelling “fore”.

Bryson DeChambeau has even been called out by some of his fellow pros in the past over a similar issue.

The former US Open champion defended his case on the Rick Shiels Golf Show after his etiquette came into question when launching huge drives towards spectators.

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“Sometimes, it’s potentially more harmful (to shout FORE) because people move and they walk into the direction of the golf ball,” he said.

“When I see a ball and it’s close but I don’t think it’s going to get to someone, that’s when I’m like, one, they can’t hear me because it’s into the wind.

“I can yell as loud as possible, and they wouldn’t be able to hear me. That’s another thing. People think that I’m not being respectful and that I don’t care about patrons or people. That’s the farthest thing from the case.

“I’ve hit people before and it’s been the worst possible feeling in the world, so don’t ever think I don’t care about fans.”


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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