Ian Poulter doesn’t believe that occasional fan abuse is an inevitable by-product of alcohol being generally available at Tour golf events.
His comments come after a spat with a fan on the final hole of his first round at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis.
The Englishman was hitting his second shot into the par-four 18th when a member of the gallery shouted: “Get in the bunker”.
“Really?”, responded a clearly angered Poulter.
On Twitter yesterday Poulter returned to the issue, commenting: “I guess it [wasn’t] actual abuse on this occasion. But it is at times. Stupid nonsense from someone trying to look cool in front of his mates really has no place in golf.
“We had five times the (number of) fans in Ireland last week and it doesn’t happen.. Classy fans for the Open Championship.”
I guess it isn’t actual abuse on this occasion. But is at times. Stupid nonsense from someone trying to look cool in front of his mates really has no place in golf... We had 5 tiles the fans in Ireland last week and it doesn’t happen.. Classy fans for the Open Championship.— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 26, 2019
When golf writer James Corrigan responded by suggesting it didn’t help that the bars at US tournaments are open from first light.
“When you mix the booze with the heat and the natural instinct for a certain type of American to make loads of noise…”
But Poulter responded: “No excuses... They drink real beer in Europe instead of shandy and it doesn’t happen!!!!!”
Earlier he told Nick Dougherty on Sky Sports: “I get it. I am an Englishman, I play on the Ryder Cup team. I am sure I have upset a few of these guys from time to time when they are watching television.”
“But when we are playing a world-class event like we do, week in week out, and you have got guys like that, that are in a small group, they want to feel big in front of their friends and they scream silly things out, it is disappointing.
“Most of the time we just ignore it and let it go, but it is a real shame. It is just disappointing.
“We have got a WGC tournament, it is a great field, and it is a great purse. It has got everything that we want to come and compete, apart from one idiot who decides to be silly.
“So, it is a shame. I hope going forward we can control it more and more and it gets stamped out. It is not needed in the game of golf.”