The rowdiness was nowhere close to Ryder Cup levels Friday at the Presidents Cup, but usual golf etiquette took a bit of a dive -- especially after a one-hour, 20-minute rain delay in the afternoon, during which some fans appeared to have spent too much time at the beverage stalls.
``Obviously there must have been some beer factor in there,'' U.S. player Fred Funk said.
U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus was concerned more about the lack of appreciation given to the International players before the delay. Nicklaus walked up to people in the galleries at various times to express his displeasure.
``I said 'Hey guys, you can root if you want to for the American team, I think that's fine, but when the International team hits a good shot, I think they deserve a round of applause in appreciation,''' Nicklaus said. ``Nick O'Hern hit about a 25-footer at 8 today and you could almost here a pin drop. I didn't like that at all.''
Nicklaus realizes he takes the matter more seriously than most -- he even wishes the fans would behave better when he goes to football games at his alma mater, Ohio State.
``I love going to Ohio State, but I cannot stand when they boo the opposing team when they run onto the field,'' Nicklaus said. ``It drives me insane. To me, not basically appreciating what the other team is doing is not the spirit (International captain) Gary (Player) and I want to see in the matches. I don't think it was terrible today, but I think we could be better.''
Later in the day, Vijay Singh stared down some fans for their reaction after he missed a 10-foot putt at the ninth hole.
Campbell, however, said he wasn't bothered by the hecklers.
``That's human nature,'' the reigning U.S. Open champion said. ``That's normal, wherever you go. If you played in Australia or South Africa, it would have been the same thing if Americans missed a putt. That's all part of the game over here in America. I know it's very vocal at times. You've got to accept that as a player. ... If you hear the heckling in the crowd -- like this guy said to me 'Miss the putt' -- it's pretty unfair, but it got me revved up.''
A TURTLE NAMED FUNK
It's been 17 years since Fred Funk was the golf coach at the University of Maryland, but you'd never know it by following him around at the President Cup.
Shouts of ``Go Terps!'' and ``Fear the Turtle!'' greeted Funk at every hole. Funk, his wife or his caddie seemed to know by name at least a half-dozen people in any given section of the gallery. Funk waved more than the Queen of England at a royal parade.
``This is cool,'' Funk said. ``I really do pinch myself to realize where I've come from. To obtain some of the things I have obtained out here is pretty cool.''
Funk is the local favorite any time he plays in the Maryland or D.C. area, but he says fans call out the ``Terps'' and ``Turtle'' greetings when he plays in other parts of the country, too. Even though he now lives in Florida, he isn't surprised by the loyalty. He was born in Takoma Park, Md., and went to high school not far from the University of Maryland's campus in College Park.
``I was almost born a Terp,'' he said.
HIT BY A TIGER
Give spectator Steve Cagle of Battle Creek, Mich., an assist to Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk in their match against Stuart Appleby and Mark Hensby.
On the first hole, Woods' drive was headed hard right until it bounced off Cagle's left shoulder and into the middle of the fairway.
Woods walked over to Cagle and rewarded him with an autographed glove, then went on to score par to give his team a 1-up lead.
Asked if it stings to be on the receiving end of a drive by Woods, Cagle simply nodded: ``It caught me flush,'' he said.
Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman said he would pay close attention to the Presidents Cup matches, and he meant it.
Instead of watching on television, Lehman showed up on the course Friday. He was decked out in a white Presidents Cup shirt and stood behind the 18th green as Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco halved their better-ball match against Michael Campbell and Angel Cabrera.
``I'm just here to watch, to see who's playing with who and how it works -- how they interact, was it good, was it bad and if they would want to do it again,'' Lehman said.
The Ryder Cup is one year from now in Ireland.
Lehman played in the Presidents Cup three times.
Team captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had to stop their daily Presidents Cup news conference for a few seconds Friday evening when a noisy, low-flying plane went over the media tent.
``I hope Tiger comes back for morning play,'' Nicklaus said, drawing a big laugh as he looked toward the ceiling. ``He's got to go to dinner somehow, guys.''
After Friday's rain delay, International player Peter Lonard returned to the course with his left wrist wrapped.
``My wrist just sort of locked up at the start of the week, and the (trainer) reckons it looks better if I put a little white towel around it or something -- a magic sponge,'' Lonard said. ``It's fine.''
It must be. He and Nick O'Hern beat Davis Love III and Kenny Perry 3 and 2.
NBC has moved the first hour of Saturday's Presidents Cup broadcast to the USA Network in order to devote an extra hour of coverage of Hurricane Rita's expected landfall in the Gulf Coast.
USA will carry the tournament from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., while NBC airs a special edition of ``Saturday Today.'' NBC's coverage of golf begins at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 6 p.m.
After two days of the Presidents Cup, five players have yet to score a point: Fred Couples, Kenny Perry, David Toms and Davis Love III of the American team and Stuart Appleby of the International team.