The PGA Tour has issued a defence of what it insists are continually enhanced security measures at its events, after the recent Players Championship success of Rickie Fowler was partly overshadowed by Sunday heckling towards Sergio García.
Fowler triumphed over García and Kevin Kisner in a Sawgrass play-off. Before the end of regulation play, though, the Spaniard was clearly the recipient of abuse from the galleries. García later insisted “some guys are there that don’t deserve to be here watching golf”. He also suggested such behaviour was common towards him when he was in contention to win tournaments.
In response, the Tour issued a statement on Monday. “It is our goal to create the absolute best tournament in golf – from the field to the course to the experience for the players inside the ropes and for the fans outside the ropes,” it read.
“If players were subjected to inappropriate comments and heckling during their rounds at The Players, that behaviour is completely contrary to our goal. Over the last several years, we doubled uniform police, significantly increased our private security presence and hired more senior officers to help with crowd control.
“We will continue to evaluate ways in which we can be more diligent in reducing any distraction to players and ensuring our no-tolerance policy is implemented. Fans who act inappropriately and affect the tournament experience with disrespectful behaviour will be ejected immediately.
“The Players 2015 was one for the record books and we are dedicated to ensuring a few poorly behaved fans do not impact the competition or the experience for our players and fans.”
García will be a notable absentee when the flagship event on the European Tour, the PGA Championship, gets under way at Wentworth on Thursday.
This article was written by Ewan Murray, for theguardian.com on Monday 18th May 2015 21.36 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010