Tuesday 21 November 2017

Padraig Harrington responds to Jordan Spieth's row with 'scum' autograph hunters

Padraig Harrington and Jordan Spieth
Padraig Harrington and Jordan Spieth
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington has claimed that Jordan's Spieth's language 'was a little strong' after he referred to autograph hunters as 'scum' Pebble Beach Pro-Am recently.

The incident happened after Spieth walked off the 18th green after his practice round and stopped to sign autographs for kids.

A number of adults, who Spieth thought were professional autograph seekers, became abusive when the American refused to sign anything for them.

"It's not really worth me spending time arguing, but I'm just not really appreciative of people who travel to benefit off of other people's success," Spieth told reporters after the incident.

"We like to sign stuff for charity stuff or for kids or... and if you ask anybody universally it's the same way, it's just, they frustrate us.

"So I turned around and one of them dropped an F-bomb in front of three kids, so I felt the need to turn around and tell them that that wasn't right.

"I was just a little frustrated at the end and I didn't appreciate the language that was used and just some scums that just, it just bothered me."

Speaking to Sunday Independent columnist Paul Kimmage, Harrington said he felt that signing autographs was an occupational hazard and suggested that Spieth had overreacted.

" I think Jordan's issue was that he had limited time to spare. I've seen it happen; you're walking to the tee and you sign something for a guy, and then he goes to the end and tries again, meaning somebody more genuine is going to lose out. That's what's upsetting - when there's a kid or a genuine fan waiting in the line. So I feel for Jordan in that situation, but I thought his language was a little strong - they are not all 'scum'," he said.

"Look, we've all had that. And they are going to get them done anyway so I try and get it out of the way. And when Jordan is 80 years of age, he will want someone to ask for his autograph."

Shane Lowry added: "As soon as someone stops asking you for your autograph you're in trouble."

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