Which left him to wonder: Where has golf etiquette gone?
Love had a 1-up lead over Woods halfway through the 36-hole final at La Costa when a man started riding him hard. Love didn't win another hole after that. Woods, the No. 1 player in the world, rallied to win 3 and 2, and collect $1.2 million.
The man let out a 'Whoop!' when Love missed a par putt on the 20th hole that squared the match. The fan started yelling, 'No Love!' as Love stepped to his ball on the fifth tee. Love sought out the fan and said he wouldn't continue until he was found.
A man wearing a Tiger Woods logo cap was identified as the heckler and tossed out. But Love, ranked No. 3 in the world, was already unnerved.
'I wasn't going to play anymore until somebody got kicked out, because he had already cost me a hole,' Love said after the round. 'I mean, I hit awful shots at 2. I wasn't going to put up with it. I want to win and I want to play and I want to play fair. If his fans are pulling for him, I'm used to that.
'I've played with Fred Couples. Freddie is just as popular in California as Tiger Woods, but you can't have people picking on you.'
Love called the man 'just another one of those fans that doesn't respect the game. ... He didn't deserve to watch golf. Once we narrowed down where he was, they got rid of him.'
Love, who earned $700,000, said Woods was sympathetic.
'He's used to the atmosphere he plays in,' Love said. 'He said, 'Take your time and get back into it.' He understands. He deals with that stuff all day. People taking pictures and people moving and people yelling, so he knows what it's like.'
It wasn't the first time Love was bothered by someone in the gallery. At Bay Hill in 1998, he and his caddie had a confrontation with a heckler.
'You can block it out as many times as you can, but after a while you're going to snap,' said Woods, who won this tournament for the second straight year.
The emergence of John Daly at the 1991 PGA Championship and then Woods in 1996 brought out a new breed of fans.
'It's unfortunate that we are living in a time where that has changed quite a bit,' Woods said. 'You know, the past, I'm sure, 15, 20 years, it was never like that. Golf fans were excitable, but they weren't raucous and they didn't have to yell out just because the ball got airborne. We do have our names on the bags. We are pros. We can get the ball in the air.'
Love said the problem isn't limited to just golf.
'I think it's our whole society,' he said. 'They don't respect what other people do, don't respect your elders, don't respect other people's space, don't' respect traditions or etiquette or customs. You see it in every sport, you see it walking down he street, not holding the door open for a lady when you're supposed to.'
If the heckler wasn't bad enough, Love said fans offered him beers at least five times during the tournament while he was walking between holes.
'I don't drink beer when I'm out at dinner, like last night,' he said. 'I don't need a beer when I just birdied a hole or when I just bogeyed a hole. People just assume we're out here screwing around, and we're not screwing around, we're playing hard.
'... I don't come into your office and screw you up. Don't come into my office and screw me up.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.