While many of the LIV Golf players are doing their best to move past the controversy that comes with the Saudi Arabian government’s financial ties to the upstart league, some golf fans aren’t going to make it easy for them.

The Liv Golf Invitational got underway Friday at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. The biggest names on the tour began their first round of the 54-hole tournament, including Phil Mickelson, who has taken the lion’s share of grief and criticism from 9/11 victim families and critics of the league.

On the PGA Tour, Lefty might have been used to hearing someone in the crown yell “Get in the hole!” or something else supportive. But on Friday, a heckler in the crowd did the opposite.

As Mickelson got ready to hit his tee shot on the par-3 hole, a heckler broke the silence by yelling “DO IT FOR THE SAUDI ROYAL FAMILY!”

The heckle was followed by audible grumbles from the crowd and, per NJ.com’s Steve Politi, a security guard warned the heckler that he would be ejected if he did anything else. However, it seemed that the damage had already been done as Mickelson eventually hit the ball into a bunker en route to a bogey.

Critics have attacked golfers who joined LIV for massive paychecks as the league is seen by many as a form of “sports-washing” to help the Saudi government clean up its image in the wake of various human rights violations, not to mention the role that Saudi Arabian citizens played in September 11th.

Given how much money they’re making and the way they’ve justified it, it doesn’t seem too many golf fans have much sympathy for Mickelson and his fellow LIV Golfers.

Something tells us this is going to be an ongoing issue for LIV.

[NJ.com]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.