Justin Thomas won his eighth PGA Tour victory over the weekend, outlasting Luke List in a playoff at the Honda Classic. But the win wasn't the only thing golf fans were discussing after the event.
The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year, who has been very vocal about "unacceptable" fan behavior behind the ropes in recent weeks, helped get one fan kicked out of the Honda Classic for rooting (very loudly) against him, shouting – after Thomas had swung – for his shots to find hazards.
On-course microphones caught Thomas confronting the fan and asking for him to be removed after teeing off on the 16th hole.
“I don’t want to kick someone out just to kick them out. It’s just so inappropriate. We’re out here trying to win a tournament. … Just because you’re standing behind the ropes doesn’t mean that you can – I don’t care how much I dislike somebody, I’m never going to wish that kind of stuff upon them," Thomas said after the round. “I felt it was inappropriate, so he had to go home.”
But the 24-year-old was singing a slightly different tune Monday on Twitter. After receiving plenty of backlash from those who didn't think the fan's heckling had crossed the line, Thomas apologized to anyone offended by his actions and admitting that he felt bad about overreacting and having the fan removed from the event.
Getting a lot of comments on the fan incident yesterday.. sorry to any and all offended by it. There was more said as we walked to the tee wishing bad things on the course for myself or Luke. Then the get in the bunker comment over and over again I felt...— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 26, 2018
...it was very understandable to have him escorted out. I never want to lose fans, or have people root against me. I just didn’t see a place for that particular person to be yelling at us things that weren’t necessary over and over again. I over reacted...— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 26, 2018
..and should not have had him kicked out. I feel bad for it, but was more doing so because again I felt the stuff he was saying was completely unnecessary. I love all my fans and to hear that I’ve lost quite a few bc of that, isn’t fun. So I’m sorry to all!— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 26, 2018
...the fans are who support us all on TOUR and we are extremely lucky to have them each and every week. Thanks to all who came out and supported at @TheHondaClassic and continue to every week we play. We (I) love you guys— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 26, 2018
Despite admitting that he wished he'd gone about things differently, Thomas reiterated his initial intent and remained steadfast that the fan's yelling was "completely unnecessary."
He also tweeted his thanks to all the fans who show up and watch PGA Tour events each and every week, even though this incident had cost him "quite a few" supporters.