PGA Tour boss, Jay Monahan agrees with Rory McIlroy but shied away from stricker control of the sale of alcohol at Tour stops.
Jay Monahan / Image from Getty Images
As recently reported by Irish Golfer Magazine there have been increasing numbers of booze-related incidents on the Tour recently, with McIlroy the subject of a drunken spectator’s attention during the third round of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.
This came on top of the ugly incident in the 2016 Ryder Cup when a clearly inebriated fan sought to also single out McIlroy before being escorted off the Hazeltine course.
Monaghan stressed the PGA Tour’s policy is to cease the sale of alcohol an hour before the end of play, which is normally around 5 p.m but then there’s fans, as we saw at last year’s Presidents Cup and again at the Phoenix Open, who can hardly stand-up before lunch!
It seemed timely then that Monoghan should host a breakfast today (Wednesday) for media attending the WGC – Dell Technologies Match-Play Championship where the issue of beer-fuelled fans was raised.
“When you have people who aren’t behaving properly and they maybe consume too much alcohol, then I agree with Rory, and in those incidences alcohol sales should be limited to those people,” said Monoghan.
“We do have a lot of security, police and plain clothes security out there following the groups who identify behaviour that is not acceptable. So we are not afraid of tackling people up front if there is a behaviour problem, and I think it was right for Rory to say that, and a player when he’s playing has recourse on the golf course to have someone removed.”
“But it is something we will address on a going forward basis but keep in mind we are trying to balance the fact that you have more people, more young people, excited about what is happening out there and 99.9% of them are behaving properly but you will always have a few people that draw attention to themselves or to an issue like this.”
“We are not looking backwards, we are looking forward and I would just watch how this develops as this is something we are continuing to put our effort behind.”
Monaghan also declined to fully address the Justin Thomas incident when the American, en route to victory, had a fan removed when he yelled for Thomas’ tee shot at the par-4 16th hole to “get in the bunker” at the recent Honda Classic at PGA National.
“I believe that there was more that went into it that preceded it and in a situation like that we’re hopeful our players will reach out to our security staff and they can handle that,” Monahan said.
“But yelling, ‘get in the bunker,’ that’s part of what our players have to accept. In any sport, you go to an away game, in any other sport, and people aren’t rooting for you.”
“Sometimes out here you’re going to have fans that aren’t rooting for you, but they can’t interfere with what you’re trying to do competitively.”