Rory McIlroy has called for golf’s powers-that-be to more closely monitor fan behaviour at golf events and, where necessary, eject spectators who overstep the mark.
Speaking ahead of this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Texas, McIlroy was asked about where he draws the “demarcation line” in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable from those on the other side of the ropes.
“I think one of the wonderful things about PGA Tour events, golf events in general is a lot of kids come out to watch,” said the PLAYERS champion. “It's great for the game. They're the future. So, I think profanity is one thing. If you've got guys that are shouting obscenities and swear words and stuff and there are kids around, that isn't cool.
“And then there's other stuff. They start to shout about the players' private life. That crosses the line, as well."
McIlroy has been on the receiving end of heckling from fans in the past, most notably at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, where tournament organisers were forced to make a mid-event plea for those attending the event to show more respect to the players.
He added: “Deliberately rooting against someone or trying to get in their head, I think that's another thing.
“That might be acceptable in terms of a basketball player going to shoot a couple of free throws and people are making noise or whatever. That's acceptable in their game. But it's not fair when only a handful of guys are subjected to that in the field and the other guys can just go about their business.
“So, I think that would be a point if it were to come to that where you might want to try to either get security to tell the guys to settle down or to remove them.”