On Friday, Tony Romo apparently hit into the group ahead of him on the par-5 16th hole.
Here’s a first hand account from Reddit:
I can actually give a first person account of this one! I was there at the beer for birdies tent. They were on the edge of the green, right side, with a rules official for a free drop for a sprinkler head on the fringe. They were not anywhere near off the green. Only thing I can see is the caddy put the flag back in once they figured out the drop, then the caddy walked behind the golfer. There were still about 8 people (players, caddies, scorers) total standing on or very close to the fringe. They were about pin high, maybe 5 yards past. Plus the officials cart parked next to the green. Tony shouldn’t have hit but I’m more surprised other players, caddy’s and volunteers let it happen tbh. Not something you normally see in pga events by any means. Maybe the local muni course. It was that bad.
In the video, PGA Tour rookie Kristoffer Ventura appears to slightly stand in Romo’s line and after making his putt, he turns his head towards Romo’s ball and appears to spit at it.
— Jason Parnell (@jasondean2000) September 28, 2019
Ventura said he did not spit, and that he was taking a glance at Romo’s line to make sure he didn’t leave a spike mark.
I definitely did not spit here. I moved my head to see if I had left any spike marks because I knew I was close to his line, hate to disappoint you guys
— Kristoffer Ventura (@krisventura95) September 28, 2019
The internet, however, cannot be easily persuaded to believe such easy explanations and Ventura is taking plenty of heat for the motion.
Now, if there was no one near the green and Romo hit up because the pin was in, that is understandable, but if the players were just off the green then the mistake is definitely on Romo, his caddy, and his playing partners. For Romo to have hit, there had to be no one on the green. I don’t believe he would hit into the green with three guys and caddies standing on it. That’s not the kind of guy he is.
I don’t know Ventura well enough to make an assumption that he spit on Tony Romo’s golf ball, which would be a very classless thing to do, however, as a rookie I feel he should be given the benefit of the doubt that when he says he was looking for spike marks, that’s what he was doing.
I’m not sure I believe him because his mouth does appear to make a spitting motion, but I can honestly say that it is too difficult to tell exactly whether he spit or not.
What do you think?
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.