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With fans back, unruly behavior makes its way to the Memorial. How far is to far?


DUBLIN, Ohio – The din reached throughout each nook of Muirfield Village like undesirable nails on a collective chalkboard.

“We were back on that tee and they were rocking. It was really loud and they were going,” Patrick Reed stated earlier this week. “They’re fine because it’s just kind of the steady kind of noise.”

Reed was truly speaking about the cicadas which have created a horror flick-like soundtrack for this week’s Memorial, however in contrast to the incessant swarm, the fans at Jack’s Place solely really feel like they’ve been locked away for 17 years.

It’s develop into a cliché to blame boorish fan behavior on the pandemic as if being locked away in our properties for 12 months has offered everybody with a license to act like a idiot. Not that the Muirfield Village lots wanted, or wished, an excuse to act like youngsters this week at Muirfield Village.

As Bryson DeChambeau reached for his tee following a wayward drive at the second gap (which discovered a creek) a fan barked, “Atta boy, Brooksie!” It was a not-so-veiled-or-creative reference to DeChambeau’s ongoing dust-up with Brooks Koepka.

In case you’ve been shut out of social media the final week the recreation’s prime two bash brothers bought sideways when a viral video surfaced of a Golf Channel interview with Koepka. In the unaired interviewed Koepka paused halfway via his reply as DeChambeau walked by, muttered beneath his breath earlier than asking for a do-over. Two folks working collectively who don’t like one another. How authentic.

But what the duo’s feud has spawned is a frat boy ambiance at the Memorial. Echoes of “Let’s go, Brooksie!” adopted DeChambeau round Muirfield Village throughout a marathon Friday and as his third-round wore into the afternoon, and the completely happy hour crowd turned happier, the collective turned extra emboldened.

“Go Brooksie!” shouted a fan following DeChambeau’s drive at the third gap.

Borderline fan behavior has develop into the go-to transfer of the summer time and the hecklers had been definitely on their recreation at the Memorial, however officers had been having no a part of it.

The fan who yelled at DeChambeau on the second tee was warned. As was the younger man who shouted at him on the third tee. It appears officers had been going with a “two-strike” coverage on Saturday however by many accounts, the coverage was zero tolerance on the second day when a handful of outspoken varieties had been escorted off the property.

This is golf and that form of behavior is verboten.

Or is it?

Golf has labored for many years to earn “mainstream” standing, no matter which means, however on the events when the recreation truly inches towards that prime ring the ugly aspect of success sends powerbrokers into chilly sweats.

At the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National when mainstream got here calling the behavior on the course, left many on the shedding European aspect shocked. On some degree, it was the identical at the ’17 Presidents Cup outdoors New York City.

 Now there’s this. Fans barking at gamers fueled by a sophomoric feud. The exit is that way, however ought to or not it’s?

While the NBA struggles with actual points following a collection of high-profile incidents – most notably involving Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, who was focused by a fan with a water bottle final week in Boston – golf vegetation its flag for unacceptable behavior at name-calling. It wasn’t even obscene name-calling.

Imagine the blowback to the hapless Chicago fan who calls Aaron Rodgers, the famous person Green Bay quarterback, Jordan Love, who was drafted final 12 months to sometime exchange Rodgers. Oh, the horror.

Traditionalists will argue that golf is completely different. Those golfers name penalties on themselves and there is an applicable way to cheer. “My man, Brooksie!” isn’t it.

“I mean, it’s part of sports,” stated Jon Rahm, the 54-hole chief at the Memorial. “It’s only unfortunate that sometimes fans go a little bit too far and we can’t do anything about it. I think the only unfortunate part, we athletes are held to a certain standard and the fans are not.”

Rahm’s level is legitimate and the recreation is most likely lengthy overdo for a dialog about what in 2021 is applicable fan behavior at PGA Tour occasions. Yelling in somebody’s backswing? Absolutely not. Offering a playful, “Nice putt, JT!” when Jordan Spieth misses a 4-footer? That’s most likely value having a chat.

In DeChambeau’s meager protection this isn’t a Bryson difficulty. There shall be those that say he’s a fragile spirit and will have merely ignored the taunts however the truth is he has desperately tried to stay above the fray. He additionally acknowledged following his spherical Saturday that this may be the place the recreation is going, for higher or worse.

“From an integrity standpoint and an honor of the game standpoint the game has always been played in a certain way,” DeChambeau stated. “I think golf is changing, it’s evolving, so there’s going to come a time where it is going to be like this and if I’m the person to take the brunt of it and whatever, you know, great.”

DeChambeau had to communicate up due to the incessant buzz from the cicadas. It was advantageous, they’ll be gone in per week. But the fans, loud and unrestrained, aren’t going wherever.

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