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Max Homa, Jon Rahm, and now Rory McIlroy.

That is the growing list of PGA Tour stars who are noticing the affect gambling fans are having on golf events.

McIlroy is the latest player to chime in on the issue, as he warned that golf must notice the ‘slippery slope’ of sports betting in the US.

The Northern Irishman confirmed the issue has been discussed regularly at PGA Tour board level, on which he is a player director.

McIlroy said: “We’ve talked about this at the board and the PAC (Player Advisory Council) level for a few years.

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“It is a bit of a slippery slope because I don’t think there’s any sport – maybe basketball and you can sit courtside, but I think it’s a different environment – where people can really affect the play out here.

“As long as it’s policed the right way and there’s measures put in place for things like what happened to Max Homa last Saturday not to happen.

“We’re all for people out here having a good time and being able to put something on an outcome, but as long as they don’t feel like they can come here and influence that outcome, I think that’s important.”

Ahead of the Tour Championship, Jon Rahm claimed on Tuesday that incidents like the ones involving Homa will be ‘extremely difficult’ to prevent.

The Masters champion said that players ‘hear it every single round’ and added: “That happens way more often than you guys may hear. I mean, it’s very, very present.”

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Homa was heckled by a spectator at the BMW Championship last week at Olympia Fields, who yelled ‘pull it’, as the American made a putt.

Asked whether he noticed the rise of fans chirping from the galleries, McIlroy shared his frustration.

He said: “My biggest pet peeve is when you’re reading a putt and someone that’s been sitting there all day is like, ‘It doesn’t break as much as you think’, or whatever.

“I just think, ‘Shut up and don’t be a part of the show, just enjoy watching the golf, right?’

“If I was here as a fan, I just want to go out and try to watch the best players in the world and have a good time doing that.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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