ORLANDO – Unruly fan behavior is certainly getting more attention nowadays in pro golf, and Rory McIlroy isn’t backing off.
It was just last month the Northern Irishman said he had a headache after dealing with Tiger Woods crowds for two days, claiming that the 14-time major champion was forced to give up two shots to the field per tournament dealing with all that insanity.
Justin Thomas has also voiced his displeasure at crowd antics recently, even coming under fire during his Honda Classic win for calling for a fan to be ejected during the final round.
Unsurprisingly, the issue isn’t going away.
After a marvelous third-round 67 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational to get within two of the lead, McIlroy was asked about raucous fan behavior and if he’s dealt with any recent incidents.
As usual, McIlroy offered a captivating and thought-provoking response:
There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife’s name, I was going to go over and have a chat with him. But, yeah, I don’t know, I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more. I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves and whatever, and I’m all for that, but it’s, sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy it can get a little much. I don’t know, it used to be like you bring beers on to the course or buy beers, but not liquor. And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail or whatever. So I don’t know whether it’s just go back to letting people walk around with beers in their hand, that’s fine, but, I don’t know.
Whether you agree with McIlroy or not, clearly this is a mushrooming issue. While the Ryder Cup is a unique environment, McIlroy was sounding off at the 2016 event at Hazeltine about over-the-top fan behavior. So, it’s something he’s thinking about, as are other top players.
Does Rory have a point about alcohol sales? Is some fan behavior truly out of hand? Feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments section below.