Rory McIlroy: Limit Alcohol Sales at PGA Tour Events Because of Abusive Fans

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2018

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 17: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks along the first fairway during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented By MasterCard at Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 17, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Tired of dealing with abusive hecklers, Rory McIlroy wants the PGA Tour to take action.

His suggestion? Limit alcohol sales at tournaments.

It was just last month that McIlroy acknowledged that playing in Tiger Woods' group can be "tiring" and that he had headaches from playing two rounds with Woods at the Genesis Open. Fast-forward to this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, the No. 13 golfer in the world continues to have issues with the gallery, per ESPN.com's Bob Harig:

"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. 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 managed to block out the noise on Saturday to shoot a five-under 67 to move into third place at 10 under for the tournament.

The four-time major champ made it clear that he doesn't want to stop fans from having fun at the courses. At the same time, though, he wants to be able to do his job without having to worry about what's going on around him.

"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. 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."

As McIlroy has learned over the years, nobody deals with obnoxious fans more than Woods. While acknowledging that some hecklers intentionally try to distract golfers, the former world No. 1 does not have a problem with the distractions—for the most part.

"As long as they don't yell on our golf swings, we're fine," Woods said, per Harig. "They can be raucous. They are having a great time. It's fun. They are having a blast, and hopefully we can execute golf shots, but as long as they don't yell on our golf swings, everything's cool."

There are fans who believe spending their money on a ticket entitles them to be able to say or do whatever they want. But there are countless numbers of incidents that have resulted in athletes asking fans to show some respect.

Selling alcohol at tournaments brings in money, both in ticket sales and at concession stands. Cutting that cashflow out would not be good for the tour's bottom line, and that could impact their decision to limit sales.

However, if this trend continues or more golfers speak out, it may force the PGA Tour's hand to take some course of action.


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