We all have those moments – “oops” moments that immediately make you want to face palm or, if the fail is bad enough, crawl into a hole for a century or two.
In professional golf, these moments are often caught on camera for all the world to see. Sometimes it’s the pro who caused the gaffe. Other times, it’s a spectator making us shake our heads. But they do happen frequently and, usually, to the dismay of their subject.
Below, we relive some of the top “oops” moments from professional golf in 2022.
Scottie Scheffler four-putts to win Masters
Who four-putts to win the Masters? Scottie Scheffler, of course.
It’s something everyone can laugh about now, but in the moment, the entire golf world sat on the edge of its seat as Scheffler almost gave up a five-shot lead on the 72nd hole at Augusta.
While it never really felt like the green jacket would go to someone else, there was still visible relief on Scheffler’s face after he finally finished with a double-bogey 6.
Kevin Na’s early walk-in for a… missed putt
When your trademark is an early walk-in, you’re bound to have it go awry at some point, and that’s exactly what happened to Kevin Na at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in January.
Na had a birdie putt on the par-3 eighth during the final round and was about six feet out when he tapped the ball and walked it in, just to miss the cup completely.
Tom Kim opens with quad, goes on to win
Tom Kim cemented his status on Tour by winning the regular season finale Wyndham Championship in August, but the week could’ve gone much differently.
Rewinding to the par-4 first, things didn’t get off to the best of starts when the South Korean opened with a quadruple-bogey 8.
After laughing it off, Kim went on to card a 3-under 67 after the first round. It was the third time in the ShotLink era (2003) that a player made a quadruple bogey or worse on a round’s first hole and then went on to card an under-par score.
Willy Z’s ball somehow stops on top of Matt Fitzpatrick’s ball marker
We’re only calling this one an “oops” because it clearly wasn’t meant to happen, but it definitely entertained the masses for a minute.
During the Scottish Open’s opening round at the Renaissance Club’s par-5 16th, playing partners Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick were both struggling mightily with the high winds on the links golf course. When it came time to finally chip on to the green, Fitzpatrick successfully positioned himself six feet out. On the next shot, Zalatoris played a high chip that looked as though it might go in before lipping out, rolling six feet and, you guessed it, stopping on a dime – or Fitzpatrick’s large poker chip, to be exact.
Scottie Scheffler walks through Cam Smith’s line, golf world erupts with conspiracy theories
For a pretty low-key guy, Scheffler is on this list twice – that tells you just how crazy golf was this year.
In this particular instance, during Round One of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, then world No. 1 Scheffler appeared to walk through the line of then world No. 2 Cam Smith. (Read: a big no-no in golf.) To make matters worse, Smith was rumored to be leaving for LIV after the playoffs (spoiler: he did), so everyone made this out to be Scheffler slighting Smith.
Cue the drama… among everyone but the two players, who laughed it off and said it was merely an accident.
DP World Tour’s Ashun Wu drives it just 50 yards at Spanish Open
After opening with an 8-under 63, China’s Ashun Wu was dealt an aggravating hand at the Spanish Open at Club de Campo Villa in Madrid.
Having already carded two double-bogeys earlier in the second round, Wu hit a drive off the par-4 16th that hit a tree and bounced straight down into thick rough, traveling a whopping 56 yards.
What ensued was a valiant effort, even if it did result in the third double-bogey 6 of his round.
Rory McIlroy chucks fan’s remote-controlled golf ball into lake
Deer, turkeys and… remote-controlled balls? That’s the kind of 21st century intruder Rory McIlroy had to deal with on the 15th green during the BMW Championship’s third round in August.
McIlroy put a stop to a fan’s shenanigans when he picked up a remote-guided ball that was interrupting his round and hurled it into the water guarding the green, receiving a loud applause from onlooking fans.
The culprit, who was apparently trying to fulfill some sort of strange dream, was promptly escorted away by course stewards as the crowd jeered him.
‘I could hear you eating those chips man’
If they’re not already, go ahead and put chips on your “do not eat while following pro golfers around” list, so you can avoid the embarrassment of getting called out like one patron did at this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.
On the 14th green at TPC Potomac, two-time Tour winner James Hahn had a 20-foot putt for birdie that would have moved him to even par for the day and within two strokes of the 54-hole leader. After surveying his putt and finally striking it, the ball rolled up and past the hole. Hahn then proceeded to turn, stare into the crowd and say, “I could hear you eating those chips man. For, like, two minutes.”
The chip-chewing must have ceased for one reason or another, because Hahn would go on to make his par putt and enter the final round T-4.
Aaron Cockerill goes from two aces in a week, to a quad and then a DQ
Aaron Cockerill certainly had an exciting 2022, especially in the early fall, when he carded two aces in seven days.
Unfortunately, we’re pretty sure the second ace will never formally exist in the DP World Tour’s eyes because, after tallying a 4-over 75 to open Made in HimmerLand – a round that included an ace, three birdies, three bogeys, a double and a quad – Cockerill was subsequently disqualified for not signing his scorecard. Oops.
Oblivious fan picks up Nelly Korda’s ball during final round of Evian Championship
There are certainly a few fan “oops” featured on this list, but this one in particular has to be the most cringe.
Nelly Korda was in the mix on Sunday at the Evian Championship when her ball, having just rolled to a stop, was picked up by an oblivious spectator.
Korda’s approach shot on the par-4 sixth went into the trees and settled in wood chippings, where a fan picked up the ball and smiled, taking it to a nearby official who directed her to put the ball back and gave her a much-needed lesson on ball etiquette.
The 24-year-old went on to double bogey the hole; it was the only double bogey she carded the entire week.