Rory McIlroy has called for a limit on alcohol sales at US PGA Tour events to ease the effect of a growing number of hecklers at tournaments.
The four-time major champion made the call after the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on St Patrick’s Day.
The Northern Irishman recalled a heckler who made things personal in Saturday’s third round and wouldn’t quit or be escorted away by security.
“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,” McIlroy said. “I think it has 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.”
McIlroy said the fine line between people enjoying themselves and impacting the competition is being encroached upon.
“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves and whatever, and I’m all for that, but… sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy it can get a little much,” McIlroy said.
“It used to be like you bring beers on to the course or buy beers, but not liquor. 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.”
McIlroy noted some events try to copy the boisterous atmosphere of the US PGA Phoenix Open, which features a stadium hole and huge crowds in a festive setting under the desert sun.
“A lot of tournaments see how successful Phoenix is and they want to try to replicate that,” McIlroy said.
“But golf is different than a football game and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out. You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”