ICHEON, South Korea, April 28 – World number one Lee Westwood was left fuming after clicking cameras distracted him during a disappointing first round at the Ballantine's Championship.
His appearance at the $3.2-million tournament, at the Blackstone Golf Club near Seoul, is the first time a reigning number one has competed in golf-mad South Korea and an excitable crowd followed him on his round.
The Englishman, who only returned to the top spot this week, was three under par after 15 but pulled out of shots twice on the last three holes because of camera noises, and the distraction seemed to break his concentration.
He bogeyed his third last hole after standing up from his tee-shot because of a camera, and worse was to come on the last.
After struggling to get out of a fairway bunker, Westwood snapped at the packed gallery when a camera clicked as he lined up a tricky 15-foot bogey putt — which he then missed.
The double-bogey took him to par 72 for the round, six shots behind early leader Damien McGrane of Ireland, but the 38-year-old insisted he was still in contention.
It is not the first time Westwood has had crowd trouble — he complained of suffering "shameful" abuse from US fans at the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla, in Kentucky.