Phil Mickelson on the 7th green during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. Jun 16, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phil Mickelson on the 7th green during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not very common that hecklers can cause much of a ruckus at major golf events. But that’s what happened at last week’s U.S. Open when someone in the crowd started launching insults in the direction of LIV golfer Phil Mickelson.

As Mickelson got ready for a birdie putt on the 9th hole in the first round of the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, a fan wearing a sombrero and stick-on mustache stood up in the grandstand and started giving him the business.

For around 30 seconds, the heckler derided Mickelson over taking LIV Golf money and for turning his back on the PGA Tour.

“It’s all you need to work for the rest of your life, Phil,” the heckler said. “They’re going to pay you $200 million as well.”

“What about all the guys on the PGA Tour, Phil? Every single of them looked up to you for their entire careers. This is what you do to them, Phil? This is what you do to them?” he added, before being escorted away.

According to, the heckler’s name is Chris Rigby, a 54-year-old former equities trader from Toronto. He was deeply affected by the events of September 11 and lost friends in the Twin Towers. Given the Saudi Arabian government’s involvement in 9/11, he was upset about their movements into professional golf, which culminated with the merger between the PGA tour and LIV Golf.

“Athletes, celebrities and politicians, he contended, should be role models. “They’re supposed to lead by example and make the rest of us better,” Rigby said. “Where are the morals and values of this country? Golf is a game of integrity and respect and what all those LIV guys have done, there’s none of that.”

He explains that he decided to speak up directly to Mickelson, the first high-profile golfer to leave the PGA Tour for LIV.

“What those guys have done is wrong and someone had to call them on it,” Rigby said, “and it had to be someone from the public.”

He certainly made himself heard. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the golf industry is going to do much pushing back alongside him moving forward. As for Phil, it’s been a weird couple of weeks, to say the least.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote '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 other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to