Another fan was ejected at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Wednesday - a further incident to join the ever-increasing list of fan problems the PGA Tour has had to face this year. By Lewis Blain.
Is PGA Tour Fan Behaviour Getting Out Of Hand?
The increasing problem of fan behaviour has become more and more of an issue in recent weeks.
At the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on Wednesday a fan was removed from the course for heckling Masters champion Sergio Garcia.
Following his shot on the cart path on the 12th hole, Garcia gestured a police officer towards a member of the gallery to have him removed.
“The guy obviously was shouting not very nice things at me,” said Garcia.
“So I pointed him out to my officer and then he decided to get him out of the course because he was being disrespectful not only to me but to everyone around.”
It is just another incident to join that of many over the last few tournaments.
Last week saw Rory McIlroy react to shouts of his wife’s name, while Justin Thomas publicly had a fan ejected at the Honda Classic and someone shouted halfway through a Tiger Woods putt at the Farmers.
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It sparked a reaction out of four-time PGA Tour winner Billy Horschel.
Horschel suggested that the issue is very close to getting out of hand.
“I told the Tour, listen, if someone says something personal to me about my family that crosses the line, we’re gonna have an incident on our hands,” said the world number 87.
“Then you guys may take it seriously.
“I said, we’re one incident away from a player going into the crowd a little bit and handling a situation that has crossed the line.”
Rory McIlroy suggested that there should be a limit to alcohol sales following his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but Horschel believes it wouldn’t solve most of the issues and suggested that the PGA Tour should invest in more security to police the crowd on every hole.
“There’s a lot that needs to be figured out and I think the tournaments and the PGA Tour are trying to do everything they can to figure out what’s the best way to go about it.
“All players can agree we love fans. We want as many fans out there as possible.
“We want them to be excited, we want them to have the energy to cheer everybody on, but at the same time we just ask for a little bit of respect and certain times and to not do anything personal, because that’s just out of line in our opinion,” he said.
On Wednesday, before the start of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the issue:
“That’s part of what our players have to accept.
“In any sport, you go to an away game in any other sport and people aren’t rooting for you.
“Sometimes out here you’re going to have fans that aren’t rooting for you, but they can’t interfere with what you’re trying to do competitively.”
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