Rory McIlroy has had enough of rowdy PGA Tour fans who shout things at inopportune times, don't show respect for the competing players and carry themselves poorly. And Rory McIlroy has a proposal to solve the problem: limit liquor sales to fans at PGA Tour events.
"There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife's name," said McIlroy on Saturday. "I was going to go over and have a chat with him. I don't know, I think it's gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit 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."
McIlroy played with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas for the first two days of the 2018 Genesis Open at Riviera, and the Ulsterman lamented Woods' fans probably cost the 14-time major winner a half-stroke per round -- or two shots per tournament -- because of their behavior. McIlroy said he had a headache after the experience.
Similarly, Thomas was shellshocked by the fan behavior in a Woods gallery, and he has been consistently commenting this season about the decline in fan decorum. On the 70th hole of The Honda Classic, Thomas had a fan ejected for rooting for his ball to get into a bunker, though it wasn't done while Thomas was swinging. Thomas later apologized for having the fan removed.
McIlroy seems most peeved that the comments turned personal.
"I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I'm all for that, but it's when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy it can get a little much," McIlroy said. "It used to be you bring beers on the course but not liquor. And now it seems like everyone's walking around with a cocktail. So I don't know if it's just go back to people walking around with beers in their hand, that's fine, but I don't know."
There may need to be a resetting of expectations of sorts, as fans have grown more aggressive in their support for or opposition to a particular player. It's unclear what the PGA Tour could do to make clear their standard for fan behavior beyond stricter fan rules and enforcement of them akin to the era when mobile phones and the taking of pictures and video of tournament action were banned.