Rory McIlroy has had enough of drunk and rowdy fans at golf tournaments and believes it may be time to ban the sale of hard liquor.
Tiger Woods mania appears to have led to an increase in reports of players becoming fed up with unruly spectators with Justin Thomas having a fan ejected at the Honda Classic and McIlroy insisting at Riviera Country Club during the Genesis Open that Woods "gives up half a shot a day on the field" because of distractions.
The Holywood native was distracted himself in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and reckons it's all getting out of hand
"There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife's [Erica] name, I was going to go over and have a chat with him," McIlroy said.
"I think it's 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.
"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.
"I don't know, it used to be like you bring beers on to the course or buy beers, but not liquor. And 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."
The Waste Management Phoenix Open draws hundreds of thousands of fans every year, and a party atmosphere is encouraged at the par-three 16th.
Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth complained this year that fans crossed the line this year.
“I may be somewhat of a fan favourite, but they weren’t holding back,” Fowler said.
“I was a little disappointed in some of the stuff that was said and I don’t want much negativity -- the normal boos for missing a green, that’s fine, but leave the heckling to a minimum and make it fun.”
Thomas was upset when a fan screamed in the middle of Spieth's swing as he played his final hole in the first round.
“That girl just yelled right in Jordan’s downswing,” Thomas said. “I was so upset. It doesn’t matter who it is, whether it’s me or Jordan or anybody else in the field, I mean there’s just no place for that.”
Thomas took matters into his own hands at the Honda Classic last month by having a fan thrown out for constantly shouting abuse at him on the final day.
"We were walking up on the [16th tee] and this guy, I don't know who he was talking to, but sounds like it was [to] me," said Thomas, who went on to win the event in a playoff.
"He said something like, 'I hope you hit it in the water, hit it in the water,' something like that. I just kind of like looked back there. Didn't say anything.
"Just, again, I feel like there's no place for that, and I hit it, and my ball is in the air, and it's not -- it's in the middle of the fairway, and he's yelling for it to get in the bunker. I was like, okay, I've had enough. So I just turned around and asked who it was, and he didn't want to say anything, now that I had actually acknowledged him. So he got to leave a couple holes early.
"I don't want to kick someone out just to kick them out. It's just it's so inappropriate. We're out here trying to win a golf tournament. I would have done it if he said it to Luke [List], just like Rory did to the guy that said something to me at L.A.
"Just because you're standing behind the ropes doesn't mean that you can -- I don't care how much I dislike somebody, I'm never going to wish that kind of stuff upon them. I felt it was inappropriate, so he had to go home."
"As long as they don't yell on our golf swings, we're fine," Woods said. "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.
A spectator was removed from Woods' gallery on Friday for persistent shouting, including a midswing roar as group member Hideki Matsuyama was about to hit.
"As long as they don't yell on our golf swings, we're fine," Woods said on Saturday. "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.
"I know Phoenix; guys were telling me this year, they were yelling and trying to time it. Well, there's really no reason to do that."
McIlroy had a run in with a fan who told him to "go suck a d**k" during the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, and he believes attempts by events to replicate the atmosphere in Phonex can backfire.
"They want to try and replicate that, which is great. It's great for the tournament; it's great for us," he 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."