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- Rory McIlroy expressed his belief that tour events should consider limiting the sale of alcohol after interactions with unruly fans during his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational over the weekend.
- Rambunctious fandom in golf has been on the rise, with some tournaments embracing the cheers and jeers from the crowd to set themselves apart from golf’s usually quiet moods.
- Fans should be less of an issue in McIlroy’s upcoming schedule, with the Masters Tournament just a few weeks away.
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, posting a remarkable -18 on the weekend to finish three strokes ahead of his closest competitor.
But while McIlroy was undoubtedly happy to end his 18-month drought of taking down a tournament, he didn’t leave the event entirely pleased, having taken issue with some fans who got a bit too unruly, especially one fan who continued to yell out McIlroy’s wife’s name. McIlroy’s solution to the issue? Keep fans less inebriated.
“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,” said McIlroy, per Golf Digest. “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.”
It’s not the first time McIlroy has had problems with rowdy fans. At the 2016 Ryder Cup, American fans heckled McIlroy and his teammates incessantly at Hazeltine National Golf Club as the Americans took home the trophy.
Additionally, some tournaments – namely the Phoenix Open – have encouraged a bit more spirit from its fans, embracing loud cheers and jeers as long a player isn’t in the middle of its backswing. While some see the development as essential to the growth of golf, some golfers find it distressing, McIlroy among them.
“It’s obviously a lot of tournaments see how successful Phoenix is, and they want to try to replicate that, which is great, it’s great for the tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved, and you don’t want again like you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out.”
Thankfully, McIlroy shouldn’t have an issue with the crowd at his upcoming events – the Masters Tournament is just a few weeks away, and unruly fans likely won’t last long at Augusta.