• PGA of America issues statement on fan behaviour
• Fans attending today’s final session urged to be ‘respectful’
• Will take a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to disruptive spectators
Responding to widespread media coverage of boorish antics at Hazeltine over the last few days, the PGA has urged fans attending today to be ‘passionate’ but ‘respectful’.
Here’s the statement in full:
“This week we’ve seen some of the largest and most exciting Ryder Cup crowds ever.
Minnesota is home to some of the best sports fans in the country and we are so grateful for their enthusiastic support and warm hospitality.
Rooted in the ideals of sportsmanship and international goodwill, the Ryder Cup is about having a spirited passion for not only the victory, but for the game of golf.
We are encouraging all spectators on Sunday to be passionate and support their team in a way that is respectful to those around them, the players, and the Ryder Cup. Our security staff will continue to enforce a zero tolerance policy, removing from the course any fans who are disruptive in any way, including the use of vulgar or profane language directed at the players.
We look forward to a strong finish today that reflects the spirit of the Ryder Cup and provides a positive experience for all.”
Messages are also being displayed on LED screens around the course encouraging fans to report any over-the-top behaviour.
Message being displayed on video board today at Ryder Cup: pic.twitter.com/xkKHKQz7fs
— Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) October 2, 2016
Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia have both been critical of the behaviour of certain sections of the crowd.
At the end of the first day, McIlroy described the atmosphere as ‘hostile’, whilst Spanish star Garcia went even further following he and Martin Kaymer’s 4&2 defeat at the hands of Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson in the Saturday afternoon fourballs.
“That 15% is really bad and it makes them look bad” – Sergio Garcia
“They have been quite poor,” said Garcia. “I’m not going to lie. Obviously, it’s unfortunate because I think that 85% of the people are great and I love playing in America. My girlfriend is American. But that 15% that is really bad and it makes them look bad. I feel ashamed for my girlfriend because I know how bad she feels when she hears all the things, but it is what it is.”
With any luck, today’s session will be played in a better spirit – one that would do justice to the memory of the late Arnold Palmer.
How do you feel the American fans have behaved during the Ryder Cup? What do you make of the PGA of America’s statement? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.